Video: Growing Up Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen Westmount Childhood Home (Montreal)

 

A Graphic Orientation To Leonard Cohen’s Childhood

This brief video comprises photos and video clips pertinent to Leonard Cohen’s childhood and adolescent years spent in Montreal, set to a Leonard Cohen  performance of of “Passing Through.”

Note: Originally posted Aug 17, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Explore Leonard Cohen’s Montreal Online

Interactive Map: Leonard Cohen Montreal Landmarks


Leonard Cohen’s Montreal
by Charlotte Fillmore-Handlon (posted on Prezi 15 December 2012) is an interactive map with Montreal landmarks associated with Leonard Cohen marked and described. The sample screenshot below displays part of the Westmount neighborhood where Cohen grew up. Viewers can use the embedded map atop this post or the map on the Prezi site.

westmfNote: Originally posted Jan 7, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Kateri Tekakwitha Representations In Leonard Cohen’s Home

interviewnikckLong before Kateri Tekakwitha, an Algonquin–Mohawk woman, was canonized this week,1 Leonard Cohen was fascinated with her story, featuring her in his 1966 novel, “Beautiful Losers.” She also appears in at least three representations in his Montreal home.

In the image atop this post, Leonard Cohen is seen beside a figurine of  Kateri Tekakwitha, which stands on a shelf in a bookcase. The image is a screen capture from a 2006 NRK Montreal Interview with Leonard Cohen: Leonard Cohen On His Poems, Zen, Hallelujah, His 6 Good Songs, Money, America, And The Squirrel.

In the image below, another screen capture from the same interview video, Cohen is shown beside a color picture of  Kateri Tekakwitha (upper right corner).

lc-kateri-homeThat same picture of Kateri Tekakwitha can be seen below in a screen capture from a portion of  Adam Cohen’s “Like A Man”  EPK filmed in the same room of his father’s Montreal home.  In addition, a second picture of Kateri Tekakwitha can be seen hanging on the wall over Adam’s right shoulder.

Related Post: Leonard Cohen And The Duchess Admire Each Other’s Unified Heart & Saint Kateri Jewelry

adamandkateriNote: Originally posted Oct 23, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. “This week” refers to date of posting; Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized October 21, 2012 in Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI []

Leonard Cohen’s Lifestyle, circa 2006

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Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home. Photo by Lilian Graziani

Although he [Leonard Cohen] had to mortgage his duplex in Los Angeles to cover his legal costs [re the loss of his retirement savings] and although the suits and countersuits could grind through the courts for years, Cohen says he’s back in the black through royalties. And emotionally, “I haven’t suffered,” he says. Cohen feels he weathered his financial crisis because he has always lived modestly, even monastically. His Montreal duplex, which he bought for $7,000 in the early ’70s, has its wooden storm windows still in place. Painted white throughout, it is graciously but sparely furnished with old pieces, some from his parents’ home in Westmount. He especially likes his ancient kitchen stove because it includes a small built-in gas heater that keeps the whole room warm in winter. An upstairs bedroom with a laptop and small keyboard serves as his studio; his sound equipment amounts to an old CD player. In Montreal, he has no car; in L.A., he drives a ’95 Nissan. When he discovered his money was gone, “I didn’t have to sell the yacht,” he says with a grin.

From Cohen’s Age Of Reason by Christine Langlois (Zoomer: Sept 6, 2006)

Also see Cat Stevens Visits Leonard Cohen’s Montreal Home; He Is Not Impressed

In 1959, Leonard Cohen moved into Stella Pullman’s boardinghouse at 19b Hampstead High Street, London

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This Is How 19b Hampstead High Street Looks In 2015

In December 1959, Leonard Cohen moved into a London boarding house at 19b Hampstead High Street. His long-time friend, Morty Rosengarten, had lived there previously. Another childhood friend, Nancy Bacal, was a resident there at the same time as Cohen.  The house was presided over by Jake and Stella Pullman (along with the Pullmans’ cat, David).1

I lived at the corner of Gayton Road and Hampstead High Street in 1959. I lived with my landlady, Mrs Stella Pullman. I had a bed in the sitting room and I had some jobs to do, like bringing up the coal to start the fire every morning. She said to me, ‘What do you do in life?’ and I said ‘I’m a writer.’ She said, ‘How much do you write?’ and I said, ‘Three pages a day.’ She said, ‘I’m going to check at the end of every day. If you haven’t written your three pages and you don’t bring up the coal, you can’t stay here.’ She did that, Stella Pullman, and it was under her fierce and compassionate surveillance that I wrote my first novel, The Favourite Game.

From The Wisdom Of Leonard Cohen by Kevin Perry. GQ: Jan 19, 2012

The King Of Bohemia and William IV welcomed Leonard Cohen to London on a dreary December day in 1959. The two pubs stood adjacent to 19B Hampstead High Street, a small, three-story boardinghouse which, despite its address, was actually tucked around the corner on Gayton Road.

From Various Positions A Life Of Leonard Cohen by Ira B. Nadel (1996)

Photos taken 2015 by Ruth Pietroni

20150807_130901Update 25 November 2016:  Daniel Saunders offers this photo of the same address, pointing out that “19b is round the back of the shop.”

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  1. Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life by Anthony Reynolds (2012) []

Calling On Leonard Cohen & Kezban: The Cat, The Cane, The Conversation

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A couple of days before this posting, the Duchess & I spent a sunny Los Angeles afternoon with Leonard Cohen and his personal assistant, Kezban Özcan. While the conversation covered many topics, I suspect that readers may be less acutely fascinated by some issues, say, the comparison of the exercise programs favored by Leonard Cohen and the Duchess, than others.

For example, what about the …

The Cat Without The Hat

Kezban confirms that our favorite Canadian singer-songwriter-icon & long-time canine lover is now the primary caregiver for a cat (see photo atop this post and the shot at Leonard Cohen & DrHGuy – Hanging In The Hood) who roamed the neighborhood and “got himself adopted” by Leonard Cohen. Asked the name of the cat, Kezban writes,

The cat’s name is Jackson. (but I like pronouncing it with a French accent, I have a feeling he likes that:)

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Left to right: Duchess, DrHGuy, & Kezban Özcan. Photo by Leonard Cohen

The Walking Stick

That rattan walking stick originally came into play because of a gout attack. At the time of our visit, Leonard didn’t appear to rely on it and its function may well have transformed from mobility aid to fashion accoutrement. And, yes, there was talk of adding a soft shoe routine to his stage act.

What’s Leonard Cohen Up To Next?

At one point, Leonard responded to a comment I made about the wonders of his doing concerts lasting more than three hours with “We’ll have to do that again.”

Being the intrepid blogger I am, I prompted “So, there’s going to be another tour?”

Without hesitation, Leonard Cohen leaned forward, flashed his grandest smile, and immediately replied in a firm, clear voice, “Maybe.”

Not satisfied with that equivocation, I pushed forward with “Is that a definite maybe?”

Leonard smiled again, answering “A tour is a definite maybe.”

I countered with “Well, you have to do something. Your retirements haven’t been very successful.”

Leonard came back with “Or maybe I’ll write a book.”

That conversational thread ended with my offer to ghostwrite his autobiography.

Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post was taken by Kezban Özcan via a selfie app.

Other Posts About The 2014 Visit:

Note: Originally posted Aug 8, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric