Although [Leonard Cohen] had to mortgage his duplex in Los Angeles to cover his legal costs [dealing with 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). Photo of Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home by Lilian Graziani.