First Professional Appearance Of Leonard & Adam Cohen Together In A Music Video – Montreal 1985

termsunxOK, we think it’s Adam in the video (when asked, Adam responded “Looks like me but I really don’t remember!”). And, OK, the duration of the Cohen duo on screen is a bit less than 3 seconds. And, yes, the professional fee was one cool pair of sunglasses. Still, …

The video in which the Cohens appear showcases a band called Terminal Sunglasses performing Psycho Rail. Terminal Sunglasses, according to the group’s web site,

were part of the Montreal punk/new wave/alternative music scene from 1983 to 1985. Labelled an “avant-garage” band, they updated 60’s garage band influences and Velvet Underground avant-guard tendencies with 1980’s punk sensibilities.

That site is administered by Lawrence Joseph, a band member whose musical role is described as “twisted lead and spastic rhythm guitars, background mumbles and Latin percussion.” From his account., the video was filmed on Montreal’s St Laurent Blvd, “near the old location of the Montreal Pool Room, a bit north of Dorchester on the west side of St Laurent.”

To my query asking if Leonard Cohen materializing in the middle of the Terminal Sunglasses video was serendipitous, Lawrence replied

Yes, Cohen was just walking by and we were kind of taking up a lot of space on the sidewalk and drawing a crowd of weirdo gawkers. He stopped to ask us what was going on. His girlfriend saw we were all wearing cool sunglasses, so we made a deal with him: We would give his girlfriend a free pair of cool sunglasses, and in exchange he would appear in the video. So it was with his permission and we sort of paid him a “fee,”1 but it was otherwise just lucky that he was walking by that day. At the very least he was with his girlfriend, and quite possibly his son was there too, but I do not have a specific memory of that. His son did not come to speak to us, and many people were crowding around.

I did ask Lawrence if he knew the identity of the girlfriend:

Unfortunately, after 30 years, no and no. Maybe longish brown hair, I have a vague recollection about that, but I would not swear to it. Not very helpful, sorry.

The Michael Jackson Cameo

By the way, Michael Jackson also appears at the end of the video. Again, Lawrence provides some detail:

Same thing with Michael Jackson at the end of the video. He just happened to be out driving around the corn fields of Ste Anne-de-Bellevue where we were filming that day. Unlike Cohen he did not stop to talk with us, and instead littered the roadway with a Pepsi can. Two completely different personalities.

The Video: Terminal Sunglasses – Psycho Rail

The Cohens arrive at 2:15

Credit Due Department: Esther Park alerted me to this Cohen cameo and was the one who contacted Adam Cohen to ask if he recalled the incident. Esther found out about the video from a LeonardCohenForum post by Helen Ketcham.

Note: Originally posted Sept 28, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. DrHGuy Note: Given the loss of song rights, the lackluster promotion by record companies, and the fiscal problems that marked all but the last five years of Leonard Cohen’s career, a strong argument can be made that scoring a pair of sunglasses for a mini-cameo was one of the better deals the Canadian singer-songwriter struck at that point.On the other hand, he didn’t get to keep the sunglasses himself, so … []

Father’s Day Photo & Greeting From Leonard Cohen – 2016


Happy Father’s Day!quotedown2


Leonard sends Father’s Day greetings and this brilliant photo of himself reading to his children, Lorca & Adam (along with a kitten clutched by Adam) at their home in Hydra.

2017 Update: Leonard sent this Father’s Day photo and greeting my way at this time last year (2016). It immediately became one of my favorite shots of Leonard and his children. Now, the fact that he took the time and effort to search out and forward this photo when he was already in pain and all but incapacitated by the illness that led to his death renders this image all the more poignant and moving.

Also see Leonard Cohen As A Father

Video: Adam Cohen Talks About Working With His “Old Man” On Leonard Cohen’s Final Album

From Video Interview: “Riding high, on some kind of mysterious wind” – SOCAN Website:

In an interview with SOCAN, Adam Cohen comments on his late father Leonard Cohen’s 2017 JUNO Award for Album of the Year (for You Want It Darker); his memories of working with his dad as he produced the record — an experience he calls “jubliant, delicious, eerie, stirring, wonderful”; and his decision to follow in his father’s singer-songwriter footsteps.

“It is only when you have children that you’re truly forced to give up looking only at yourself and start worrying about some other lives” Leonard Cohen

It is only when you have children that you’re truly forced to give up looking only at yourself and start worrying about some other lives. If you attempt to respond to a child, you can never think of yourself in the same way again. You stop being the center of your drama, which becomes very secondary in light of your children’s needs, of their urgency. I understood right away that the trap had slammed shut (laughs)… There are many marvelous aspects of course; the beauty is indisputable. But the destruction of your self image is inevitable. There were many things that I didn’t like about myself. I was very selfish, I was only concerned with myself. I wouldn’t admit that other beings were legitimately worth my attention.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Throat Culture magazine, 1992). Photo contributed by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Revisiting Billboard’s 1998 Tribute To Leonard Cohen

Billboard’s 30th Anniversary Tribute To Leonard Cohen – November 28, 1998

The November 28, 1998 issue of Billboard contains a 14 page celebration of Leonard Cohen:

The tribute is a 14 page appendix in the middle of the magazine. A recent interview with Leonard written by with Susan Nunziata was also posted on Billboard’s own website, but there is more in the magazine – we can read comments from his co-workers and friends, like Phil Spector, Jennifer Warnes, and Steve Lindsey. Dylan Siegler writes about Leonard’s career. There are numerous stylish advertisements showing great photos of Leonard and his family. For instance the staff at Stranger Management, his promoters, record companies, financial advisors, music publisher, and TV/radio channels greet him. A touching ad is on page LC-12: photos from Leonard’s family album are presented with the text “With love from your family; Suzanne, Lorca, Adam and Esther”.1

The Nunziata interview is studded with gems, including  Cohen’s acknowledgment of  his debt to Jennifer Warnes:

Jennifer Warnes practically revived me from the dead in America by putting out Famous Blue Raincoat.… She’s been an invaluable help in my life.

And there is also a discussion of Cohen’s project with Phil Spector:

Of note was Cohen’s collaboration with Phil Spector on the album “Death of a Ladies’ Man”. The almost unimaginable combination of Spector and Cohen has been well documented. Spector’s obsession with guns, his heavy drinking, his tendency to surround himself with menacing henchmen, and his penchant to threaten musicians. The now infamous stories of Spector holding a gun to Cohen’s neck as a sign of his unswerving affection and his obsessive possessiveness of the master tapes, to the extent that Cohen was prevented from hearing the mixes before the album was released, are now legendary. The sound and style of Ladies’ Man were in such contrast to Cohen’s previous work that it came as a great disappointment to him.

However, with the intervention of time, Cohen has mellowed and warmed toward the album and has now developed a great affection for it, even to the extent that he has entertained the possibility of working with Spector again. Spector, for his part, expressed great admiration for Cohen, and warmly cherished the honor of working with Cohen and of sharing in the writing and production of “Death of a Ladies’ Man”. [emphasis mine]

The Cohen Cover Photo

The intriguing qualities of the interview notwithstanding, I am more taken with the ads placed in the Cohen tribute section by his business associates and family (seen in the following sections) and the spectacularly cluttered cover (seen atop this post).

While I understand the significance of the Cohen-authored books and albums comprising the border of the cover and the fact that no periodical is likely to sacrifice its own logo to highlight a cover photo, I am convinced the simple image of Leonard Cohen, freed of the clunky icons surrounding the image’s perimeter, is far more striking.

The Leonard Cohen Family Ad

Clearly the highlight of the ads is the touching collection of family photos with the inscription

With love from your family;
Suzanne, Lorca, Adam and Esther

Ad From Moses Znaimer

Moses Znaimer was the head of several Canadian specialty channels, including  Much Music, MusiquePlus, MusiMAX, and MuchmoreMusic. His ad places Cohen on a background filled with images of music, Hebrew script, a rose, a statue emblematic of Eastern thought, and a list of Cohen’s roles: Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Rabbinical Student, Buddhist Adept, and Lover Of Women.

Ad From European Promoters

I first award this ad the prize for Funniest Tribute Ad because of its legend,

First we take Manhattan
Then we take a break

… and the accompanying pseudo-Polaroid of Cohen collapsed on the floor.

It also wins the award for Most Sincere Tribute Ad because of the openly self-serving signature lines:

Dear Leonard,
We can’t wait to see you back on the road.
Love, Fleming, Steen, & your European promoters.

Ad From Greenberg & Associates Financial Advisors

Things change. In 2005, Cohen and his legal team would accuse Greenberg of failing to warn Cohen about his dangerous financial situation. 2

Ad From Stranger Music

Some things really change. The text reads,

“Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free”

Dearest Leonard,
With great love and affection,
from Kelley [Lynch], Joan [Lynch], Jack [Lynch], and all your friends at Stranger Management, and from Steve Lindsey [arranger & producer]

The ad shows Leonard Cohen playing  at University Of Rome in 1974  (see Rare Photos: Leonard Cohen’s 1974 Appearance At The University Of Rome – Performance & Book Promo).

View The Original Tribute

The entire Tribute section can be found at Google Books
Note: Originally posted Mar 24, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Source: LeonardCohenFiles []
  2. Leonard Cohen’s Troubles May Be a Theme Come True By Marc Weingarten.  New York Times October 6, 2005. []

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Son Adam & Grandson Cassius Accept His 2017 Juno Album Of The Year Award


Other Leonard Cohen-Juno Awards Posts