Marc Cohn: "I've Had a Very Specific and Odd Path"
Was it a holdup attempt?
It was an attempt to get our car, a carjacking. We were coming back from the venue, going back to our hotel, the band and I, and this man was high on crystal meth, and he had a gun, and the police were already following him. So he needed to escape, and when he got to our car, he aimed for the driver but shot me instead, and the bullet penetrated right above my left temple, and it was a matter of centimeters. I could have been blind or dead.
Aside from the fact that I was incredibly lucky, and felt so grateful to be alive. It was definitely a process of emotional healing that I had to go through. Ultimately, the oddest part of it is, I had been struggling with writer's block for a while and not performing all that much, and several months after this -- not even -- maybe several weeks and Hurricane Katrina, which happened right after that, I couldn't stop myself from writing a lot, and ultimately I made a record that dealt a lot with mortality and fate and chance and the random nature of things, and that record was called Join the Parade. It wasn't just about me but more about New Orleans and just life and death and how closely related they are every day for all of us.
So what can we expect from a Marc Cohn concert now?
It's a really intimate night. I tell stories about the songs, and I perform them in a very intimate fashion. It's just me and a great keyboard player and singer that I love named Glenn Patscha, who played with Levon Helm for years and Marianne Faithfull, and he started a band called Ollabelle, so Glenn is kind of my partner on the road these days. So sometimes I'm a trio and other times it's just Glenn and me.
It's a very loose evening. You'll basically hear the songs the way they sounded when they were written. I'm constantly changing the arrangements of things and taking requests from the audience. And because it's not a big band or a big production, I can kind of go with the flow of any particular night. That to me is what a live show is all about. That's what I want to go see. It feels like something that's in the moment, and that's what my shows typically are.
Marc Cohn performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30 to $85. Call 954-462-0222, or visit browardcenter.org.