San Francisco Examiner Leonard Cohen Photo Archives #1: “Chaos Around Him”



Thanks to Maarten Massa, who graciously offers six specimens he obtained from the archives of the San Francisco Examiner, readers can not only view excellent photographs of Leonard Cohen taken early in his career but also garner insight into manual (i.e., sans software) image editing.

Maarten writes,

…When the back of a photograph is more telling than the front (even if it has LC on it)… aka The Days Before The Photoshop Era. I especially like photo #1 because of the way it has been manipulated with white paint to make a good shot for the newspaper… (front and back make a perfect “Before and After”). I always wanted to publish these 6 pics one way or another because I consider them one of the best series of pics in my collection…

This excerpt is from the blurb describing the Examiner Archives:

These photographs originate from the historic archive of William Randolph Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner newspaper. In addition to being the flagship of Hearst’s newspapers, it was his original paper which he took over in 1887, and was the basis for the 1941 Orson Welles film, Citizen Kane. Most of the photographs have editors notes and crop marks as these were the original photos used in the production of this prestigious newspaper. In essence, these photographs are original art. Also, most if not all have the Examiner date stamp on the verso and a clipping of the original article the photograph was used in.

The only changes made from the original scans of the photos in posting them here has been to reduce the size of the images to fit within the constraints of a web page and, in the case of the photo atop this post, to add a border. Otherwise, the markings, smudges, and scribbles are unaltered.

San Francisco Examiner Leonard Cohen Photo Archives Specimen #1

Photo Front (atop post): Dated 1970

Photo Back (below): The bottom line of the caption reads: Chaos around him

1970-11-16 San Francisco Examiner - Photo 3 (back)-900

Note: Originally posted Aug 22, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Five Photos: Leonard Cohen In Belgium 1972

lc-johnston-72-scaled1000All images are screen captures from a video of a 1972 televised interview with Leonard Cohen. Also shown in the top photo is Bob Johnston, producer and keyboardist for Leonard Cohen during the 1972 Tour.

Note: Originally posted Jan 6, 2015 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photos: A Solitary Leonard Cohen Gazes Out To Sea, Then Meets Admirers – Bournemouth 2008

Leonard Cohen Alone With His Thoughts1

The poignancy of these shots of Leonard Cohen alone on the Bournemouth coast on the day after his November 11, 2008 concert there compelled this posting. The shots were submitted by James Worrall, who explains the circumstances and forthrightly indicates who should be credited with the photos in this email:

…  my daughter took them [the photos]. I met him [Leonard Cohen]  in the car park the day after the concert in Bournemouth, he was just heading out for a stroll down to the beach and I had been to get some change for the car park when I bumped into him and he came over to the car to meet my daughter and her boyfriend, who we’re made up. My daughter’s name is Claire Worrall and she’s a bigger fan than me and she said she would be more than happy to take all the credit for those shots.

James, Claire, & Friend Greet Bournemouth Visitor

Note: Originally posted Jun 16, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Yes, I realize there is a certain irony, if not inconsistency, in posting descriptions of these photos of Leonard Cohen that focus on him being “solitary” and “alone” when the photos were made possible only because he met camera-equipped admirers. I’ve come to terms with it. []

Photos & “Who By Fire” Video: 2010 Leonard Cohen Dortmund Concert

dort1This videos posted here include a five minute solo played by Javier Mas as the introduction to “Who By Fire,” almost all of which appears to be different from his previous renditions. It is also gorgeous. The photos are by Marjan Doets, Netherlands.and C.Carle/R.Strugala.

Javier Mas – Who By Fire Intro
Dortmund: Sept 29, 2010
Video from golittlesong, aka Henning


Leonard Cohen – Who By Fire
Dortmund: Sept 29, 2010
Video from golittlesong, aka Henning 



Note: Originally posted Oct 4, 2010 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric