Previously Unpublished Photos Of Leonard Cohen In Concert: Amsterdam 1988

Amsterdam 1988-2

Leonard Cohen – Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam April 19, 1988

Pete Purnell, who took these photos, writes:

This theatre is in fact the opera house and in 1988 it had been open for little more than a year. This was the first “pop” concert to be held there. The afternoon before the show I happened to walk past hoping for a glimpse of Leonard in the wild. All I saw was the tour-bus parked outside and in the window on the top deck of the bus was a poster with a portrait of Leonard as if he were actually sitting there.

Amsterdam 1988-3

Leonard Cohen In Concert 1974-1993: Photos By Pete Purnell: Pete Purnell contributed remarkable photos from the 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour. Consequently, when he mentioned photos he had taken at Cohen concerts in the 1970s and 1980s, I was eager to view them. And, when I saw these outstanding images, I was eager to post them for others to savor as well. Leonard Cohen In Concert 1974-1993: Photos By Pete Purnell comprises five photo sets, each typically containing four black and white shots, of Leonard Cohen concerts between 1974 and 1993. All posts in this series are listed at the Leonard Cohen In Concert 1974 To 1993: Photos By Pete Purnell. Amsterdam 1988-1Amsterdam 1988-4Note: These photos were unpublished until first posted Dec 15, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Goes Bananas: I’m Your (Banana-Munching) Man Cover Art, Banana Song Performance Video, & More


Note: Originally posted May 14, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen seems to have had an atypically high number (perhaps even a bunch) of banana connections, and where else, if not Cohencentric, are you likely to find them gathered in one place?1


The Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man Cover Has A Peel

And there is a story behind that cover art. In Various Positions, his biography of Cohen, Ira Nadel describes the scene:

At a Los Angles warehouse to watch the filming of the [Jennifer] Warnes’ video, “First We Take Manhattan,” Cohen was photographed by publicist Sharon Weisz in his dark glasses, charcoal gray pin-striped suit, and white T-shirt, eating a banana. For him, the image was precise and revealing:

Sharon showed it to me later and it seemed to sum up perfectly. “Here’s this guy looking cool,” I thought, “in shades and nice suit. He seems to have a grip on things, an idea of himself.

The only thing wrong, of course, is that he was caught holding a half eaten banana.

And it suddenly occurred to me that’s everyone’s dilemma: At the times we think we’re coolest, what everyone else sees is a guy with his mouth full of banana…”

He admired the photo so much that it became the signature image for his 1988 hit album I’m Your Man, and the poster image of his 1988 world tour.2

The same photo is shown to better advantage on the cover of the 7″ vinyl single of I’m Your Man.

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  1. Update: I’ve tracked down another banana reference or two since posting this which will be covered in future entries. All such posts can be found at Leonard Cohen – Bananas []
  2. Nadel, Ira.  Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen. Pantheon; 1st edition (October 8, 1996) 245-6 []

Photo: Leonard Cohen at Soundcheck – Athens 1988


Thanks to a B&W photo challenge, we have been gifted with this immaculate photo of “Leonard Cohen, Athens 1988, rehearsal before the concert” (Leonard Cohen performed in concert at the Lycabettus Theatre, Athens, Greece on June 19, 1988). Posted by Haris Papadimitrakopoulos

Note: Originally posted Nov 3, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Videos: Leonard Cohen Sung To, Danced With, Fondled By Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen On Swedish TV

swedtvNote: Originally posted Nov 26, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen + Swedish TV = Fun

Today, Cohencentric offers two confection from Swedish TV. These videos feature Leonard Cohen, aided and abetted – as well as fondled – by Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, performing  “I’m Your Man” and “Tower Of Song” on the June 29/30,1988 edition of Jacob’s Backstage (Med Noje Pa Dalaro) Stockholm, Sweden. Both videos are set, for reasons never made apparent, against the backdrop of a pleasant lake, replete with pleasure boats and swimmers.

I’m Your Man

While the obligatory flirtatious adoration by Cohen’s back-up singers associated with the salaciously provocative “I’m Your Man” is the primary stage business going on in this video, at least two other small gems adorn this production.

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The Marianne Variations: Leonard Cohen’s “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version Of So Long, Marianne


Leonard Cohen’s Recurring Revisions Of So Long, Marianne

This is the fourth of five entries in The Marianne Variations, a series of posts devoted to the major recurring variations of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” that significantly differ from the versions found on the Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Field Commander Cohen albums.  An introduction and links to all published posts in this series as well as the inclusion criteria and the original version of “So Long, Marianne” from the Songs Of Leonard Cohen album can be found at The Marianne Variations Summary Page.

The “Here Comes The Morning Boat” Version Of So Long Marianne

Often the variations in this classic Cohen song have been relatively minor, comprising, for example, the substitution of a single word for another or a verse being skipped. In 1988, however, an entire stanza, sung by backup vocalists, Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen, appeared de novo as the song’s final verse:

Here comes the morning boat,
Here comes the evening train,
Here comes Marianne now,
To wave goodbye again.

Note: At some point in the process of recording Songs Of Leonard Cohen, “So Long, Marianne” was titled “Come On, Marianne.”1 While the existence of the same verb in the title of that early iteration and in the third line of this verse added in 1988, “Here comes Marianne now,”  is certainly insufficient evidence of a connection between the two versions, the possibility exists that the 1988 line is a vestigial remnant of lyrics written twenty years earlier or that both lines share a common precursor. (See Was “Come On, Marianne” By The Four Seasons The Song Marianne Associated With Leonard Cohen’s “Come On, Marianne”?)

Leonard Cohen – So Long Marianne
San Sebastian: May 20, 1988
The video immediately below begins automatically at the start of So Long, Marianne; the pertinent verse begins at 1:52:50 (see second embedded video)

The video below begins automatically at the start of the pertinent verse

Note: Originally posted July 17, 2014 t, at predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Ecco: 2012 []