Superb Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Partisan – Paris 2012

I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I’ve lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

The Partisan – Leonard Cohen
Olympia Theatre, Paris – Sept 29, 2012
Video: albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted Dec 11, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Drinking Scotch

At this point in the show I would have a cigarette here and drink some obscure scotch like Lagavulin…
– Leonard Cohen at the  Dec 5, 2012 Toronto Concert1

Leonard Cohen has been telling his 2012 concert audiences about his intent to start smoking again when he reaches 80.  At the Dec 5, 2012 Toronto concert, however, he upped the ante, adding the tippling of scotch to his anticipated 2014 onstage routine.

Consequently, to keep Cohen fans au courant with the Canadian singer-songwriter’s preferences and plans, Cohencentric offers this introduction to …

Lagavulin Scotch

Lagavulin, according to  Wikipedia, “is an Islay single malt Scotch whiskey produced at Lagavulin on the island of Islay, United Kingdom. The whiskey has a powerful, peat-smoke aroma, and is described as being robustly full-bodied, well balanced, and smooth, with a slight sweetness on the palate. The standard Lagavulin single malt is 16 years old (43%), though they regularly release a 12-year-old cask strength variety, a Distiller’s edition finished in Pedro Ximénez casks, and 25- and 30-year-old varieties.”

The lowest cost found in an online search this morning [at time of original posting: Dec 7, 2012] for the standard 750 ml bottle of Lagavulin Scotch 16 Year Single Malt was $59 (without shipping costs).

It should be noted that in the past, Leonard Cohen has also indicated, in addition to a taste for scotch, a predilection for cognac2  and Chateau La Tour 1982.3  He also concocted an alcoholic potable named Red Needles, consisting of “tequila and cranberry juice and Sprite and fresh cut fruit.”4

Update:  I can affirm that Leonard indeed partook of Lagavulin at least once in 2014.  See  Lunch At Leonard’s In LA – Leonard Cohen & Kezban Özcan Host Nosh For Duchess & DrHGuy

Note: Originally posted Dec 7, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Quoted in Point of View: Be Leonard Cohen by Samantha Swan (Ardent Pictures: Dec 6, 2012) []
  2. I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors by Nick Paton Walsh. The Observer, Sunday 14 October 2001 []
  3. The Q Magazine Questionnaire in Q Magazine, September 1994 []
  4. Readers who have not previously tried this cocktail are strongly advised to test a few sips before committing to its consumption in quantity []

Essential 2012 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert Videos: Sisters of Mercy, Closing Time & Save The Last Dance


How Good Are These Leonard Cohen Videos?

These Aug 22, 2012 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam performance videos by Albert Noonan are so good that you should

  • Wake the children, prop them in front of the computer, and compel them to watch these videos to embed within their minds and hearts a gold standard for great musical presentations.
  • Beg/pressure/trick your friends and family who think they don’t like Leonard Cohen’s music into viewing these videos. They could well begin appreciating his work, which would enhance their lives and bring world peace just that much closer to reality. And, if they still don’t care for Leonard Cohen’s music, at least you can give up the notion of ever winning them over, realizing that they are incapable of grasping Leonard’s work, most likely because of a profound psychological flaw or a severe neurological deficit, and thus deserve our compassion.
  • Watch them yourself a dozen times or so today – both for the sheer indulgent pleasure and to remind yourself precisely why you love Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen – Sisters of Mercy
Amsterdam: Aug 22, 2012
Video by


Leonard Cohen – Closing Time & Save The Last Dance
Amsterdam: Aug 22, 2012
Video by

Note: Originally posted Aug 25, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

What Leonard Cohen Taught Me Backstage After The 2012 Austin Show

Leonard’s Lessons, The Austin Edition

At the Oct 31, 2012 Leonard Cohen Austin show, Duchess and I were invited backstage for post-concert refreshments and conversation with Leonard, his musicians, and tour crew members. Amidst the casual banter and chatting, I picked up a couple of Cohenesque concepts.

1. It turns out that The Show Must Go On isn’t just a cliche

The following description of the Oct 31, 2012 Leonard Cohen Austin Concert is from the aptly titled Leonard Cohen Kicks Off His Last Tour With Uncommon Flair by Dan Solomon:

The set, which included a 20-minute intermission and ran for three and a half hours, was vital and full of energy. Cohen sprinted to the mic at the beginning of the evening, and skipped offstage at the end, and in between, delivered a reminder of everything that has made him the icon and legend that he is.

Backstage after that same high-energy show, [Warning Be alert for dropping names ahead] Roscoe Beck called out a farewell to his boss that included “Feel better soon.”  Cleverly grasping the implications of this well-wishing, I drew upon my years of medical training and experience, to ask Leonard, “So, were you sick?”1 This brief dialog followed:

Leonard Cohen: I was under the weather

DrHGuy: But you went on anyway, of course and then went full speed for the entire show.

Leonard Cohen: [shrugging] Well, I can’t say  ‘Tell the audience I’m not going on tonight – but maybe tomorrow if I’m better’ just because I’m not feeling great.

Then, Leonard Cohen, the 78 year old veteran performer, shook his head, silently chortling over the far-fetched notion that he could do any less than “give [concert-goers] everything we got” – regardless of his health, worries, obligations, …2

 2. Clean Up After Yourself (My mom would have loved Leonard)

While it was precisely in character with everything I know about Leonard Cohen’s behavioral style, I was nonetheless taken aback – and simultaneously impressed and charmed – by the sight of the Canadian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist-icon and winner of multiple music and literature honors, who had just finished a 3 hour+ sold-out concert, after two months of similar concerts in Europe, placing his membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in jeopardy by tidying up the place, carefully picking up the trash from his own post-concert snack (he recommended the egg salad on which he chowed down) and depositing it into the waste and recycling bins.

Other Stuff I Learned Backstage From Leonard Cohen: What Leonard Cohen Told Me Backstage In Chicago

Credit Due Department: The photo of Mr Cohen, The Duchess aka Penny Showalter, and DrHGuy was taken at the Oct 31, 2012 Leonard Cohen Austin soundcheck by J.S. Carenza III, the Road Manager of the Leonard Cohen Tour. Originally posted Nov 3, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. There is no combination of words that convey the information “I was in face to face communication with Leonard Cohen” that  doesn’t come off as boasting. I know; I’ve tried them all.  (This may have something to do with the fact that I am boasting, but still …) []
  2. In fairness, I should note that my father adhered to the same principle of working despite suffering significant illness, but somehow “The used car sales must go on” doesn’t scan as heroically. []

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Amen – Ghent 2012

Tell me again
When I’ve been to the river
And I’ve taken the edge off my thirst
Tell me again
We’re alone & I’m listening
I’m listening so hard that it hurts
Tell me again
When I’m clean and I’m sober
Tell me again
When I’ve seen through the horror
Tell me again
Tell me over and over
Tell me you want me then

Amen is a track from Cohen’s new album, Old Ideas.  The 2012 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour is what is conventionally called “a tour in support of the new album.” Given the shift in the economic model of music industry, a more accurate phrasing might well be “an album issued in support of the forthcoming tour.” Regardless, I am surprised to find myself much more appreciative of this song after watching a recording of a live performance than when I simply heard it on my iPhone.

Leonard Cohen – Amen
Ghent: Aug 14, 2012
Video by

Note: Originally posted Aug 19, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric