Sweet Apple’s John Petkovic Remembers: “Songs Of Leonard Cohen”

sweetapplelogoSweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.


Petkovic: Leonard Cohen‘s debut is one of my all-time favorite albums, and it still leaves me in awe every time I put it on. But it’s also a litmus test: If you don’t get it, then do we really have anything else to talk about? The thought has run through my head a number of times when I’ve been around people who have dismissed it as “sad” or “boring” or “depressing.” I acted upon this urge once, when I was with someone who asked me to take it off the turntable just as the record was hitting the end of side one, which is one of the greatest sides on record. I give her credit for sitting through “Master Song” (which is 5:59). But she tried to get me to take it off in the middle of “Sisters Of Mercy”—and right before side two, which opens brilliantly with “So Long, Marianne” and “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.” I didn’t know if that was no way to say goodbye to her, but I did anyway. She should’ve known better than to tell me to take off that record.

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