Marilyn Ambach, a Production Assistant for Leonard Cohen for two years, is featured in Tegen Leonard Cohen zeg je niet nee [Google Translate: By Leonard Cohen you do not say no] by Inge Schelstraete in the Dec 29, 2012 issue of De Standaard.
Translation issues notwithstanding, the entire article is a worthwhile read for its insight into the behind the scenes operations and an insider’s view of Leonard Cohen. (Those interested in this perspective might also find Kezban Özcan Talks About What It’s Like To Be Leonard Cohen’s Assistant interesting.) Excerpts via Google Translate follow:
“On July 1, 2010, I received phone Cohens people: go you on our next tour? It was not my ambition to travel around the world – when I saw roadies, I always thought: for months in a suitcase life, that’s not for me. But my shows in Tel Aviv were finished and I work freelance. If there are no concerts, I organize events. “
“So I thought … No, I thought not. You do not say no to Leonard Cohen, especially if you are from around the world are chosen. His performance in Tel Aviv … indescribable. In Belgium we are in terms of concert offerings spoiled. This is not so. The people know that you are not in Israel occurs because you happen to be in the neighborhood. Israel is not loved, it’s hard to get here. “
“The concert of Cohen had an extra dimension. He sang in Hebrew prayer of the Kohanim, the caste which its name is derived. He might be a Buddhist, but he remains Jewish. Anyway, there was something mystical about that concert. “
… “Now, if you would do a survey in showbiz Cohen is top of the top of people without pretense. With us there was no difference between the star and the people. Leonard Cohen wears his guitar itself. As a Buddhist, he is totally unattached to material things: he does not suites. He will never say, “That person is working for me.” He says: “This is my colleague ‘.’
“This creates a kind of … gratitude. The feeling that we are working for someone who is intrinsically good. Camp Cohen, as we called it. His zen radiates from the entire team, from the technicians to managers. With Cohen, I have the deepest conversations, about Freud, about life … He is the ideal grandfather, psychoanalyst and rabbi. And it is perhaps not so young, but still the most beautiful man in the world. I will not forget how hard I had on that tour and how much I missed my comfort zone, but it is an experience which I am very grateful.”
Marilyn Ambach’s story in her own words as well several photos (see sample above) can be found at Marilyn & Camp Cohen, [Update: This post is now marked private and is inaccessible to the public] posted at Marilyn & Josephine: August 28, 2012.
Credit Due Department: Both photos in this post were taken by Joey Carenza. Originally posted Dec 29, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric