Cohen, then a 50-year-old singer-songwriter whose sales were steadily fading, would not have been a priority.
‘‘At the time, they were just trying to print up enough copies of ‘Born in the USA’ to keep up with demand,’’ Light said.
One of Light’s key interviews came late, when Bono agreed to speak about U2’s little-known version. Light had just finished a draft of the book where he talks about the recording not being particularly good.
‘‘What if he says how proud of it he is and I have to rework the whole thing?’’ he said.
That quickly proved not a problem: ‘‘The first thing he said on the phone was ‘I forgot what I said when I agreed to do this interview and then I remembered. It was to apologize to everybody.'’’
Cohen gave Light his blessing to write the book, which helped open the door for some interviews, but didn’t participate himself. He rarely does interviews anyway and has already spoken publicly a few times about the song’s creation, and Light isn’t sure how much more he'd have to say.
The author may be as mystified as anyone about the song’s journey and not interested in disturbing the mystique.
David Bauder can be reached at dbauder(at)ap.org or on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dbauder.