Leonard Cohen Signs Sweater, Proposes Marriage; Denise Knowles Accepts

Original Caption: Leonard, just about to sign my sweater, after he admired it.

Autograph Three Years In The Making

Just over a year ago [at time of original posting], 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric published Unusual Surfaces Autographed By Leonard Cohen, an annotated list of atypical items Leonard Cohen has signed on the owner’s request: a license tag, a pink iPhone case, the inside of a fedora, seafood, a t-shirt concurrently worn by a young woman … While I only recently discovered today’s addition to this list, a sweater belonging to Denise Knowles, Leonard scribbled his name on that garment over twenty years ago – and  the initiating event that led to the Leonard Cohen monicker being thus affixed took place three years before that.

Oh, and that sweater signature came with a marriage proposal uttered with witnesses present by the Poet Laureate Of Commitophobes.1

Denise Knowles explains:

The story actually begins in 1970, when an old boyfriend played an LP of Songs of Leonard Cohen. I just fell for Leonard’s voice, and the rest is  history.

In 1990, I paid a visit to a very good friend of mine. It turned out that her fiancé’s sister, who was there when I visited,  worked in promotions at SONY.  After I brought up that CBS-SONY was Leonard Cohen’s record label, she told me that if Cohen  toured again … she would get me tickets.

Yeah, sure.

I knew better than to count on a promise made three years earlier by the sister of a fiancé of a friend, so when I discovered Leonard Cohen would be playing at Royal Albert Hall  on the 10th May 1993, I purchased my own ticket for the show.

Then, lo and behold, three days before the show, the  Gold Ticket arrived.

My friend Janet [on left in photo atop this post] and I watched  the concert from Box 025 with food and drink served throughout the performance. (If I had used the ticket I bought myself I would have been in seat 127 row Z1.)

At the start of  the encore, the woman who had arranged the box tickets told me I would also be going to the Elgar Room for after-concert drinks.

I thought I  had died and gone to heaven.

But it got even better.

Continue Reading →

  1. “Poet Laureate Of Commitophobes” is an early listing at Leonard Cohen, AKA … – The Nicknames []

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 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  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. []

Meeting Leonard Cohen, Or As Marc Altheim Puts It “Leonard Cohen & Me – OMG”

marc-altheimMarc Altheim emailed me (and, I suspect, everyone in his address book) about his Leonard Cohen encounter in Amsterdam, where he and his wife traveled to see, among other sights, the Sept 20, 2013  Leonard Cohen concert. Marc’s message also included these tidbits:

  • I was shaking when we first met.
  • He is such a gentleman.
  • Mystic!
  • Surreal.
  • When we took the picture he actually hugged tightly.  He was into it.   We had some brief chit chat.  We spoke of meditating and the synagogue in Amsterdam.  I wished him Happy Sukkah.  When I left he said Z’ gesundt (sic)!

Note: Originally posted Sept 19, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen, Rebecca De Mornay, & Lorraine Sexton In The Streets Of Glenside PA

Lorraine Sexton’s Friend Gets Grief From His Girlfriend, Signs Autographs Nonetheless

Leonard Cohen signed these autographs for Lorraine Sexton on July 15, 1993 while standing in the street in Glenside PA1 before his concert at Keswick Theatre (part of the “Future Tour).  Lorraine reports what took place:

He was with Rebecca De Mornay,2 who was much annoyed that he was spending time with fans. When I asked him to sign his poetry books and Future CD, she said

Leonard doesn’t have time…he hasn’t eaten yet and has to perform in an hour.

He kindly replied that he had time to do this for his ‘”friend” and was amazed I had brought his old poetry books, such as Energy of Slaves. I asked him to pick his favorite and he said he would sign all of them! (see photos above)

I even asked if I could shake his hand…just to touch him.

Lorraine’s And Leonard’s Shared Memory

I told him that the first time I saw him was in early 70’s in Bryn Mawr PA, at Main Point Cafe, a small venue with maybe 100 seats, and he remembered the place. Just him, his guitar, and two backup singers. Heaven.

The Main Point

Lorraine on The Main Point:

Lots of performers got their start there.3  I saw Leonard Cohen there twice or three times. It was small store where you bought fresh baked goods and went through a curtain into big room to sit at old fashioned wooden school desks with the stage was right in front of you. I could have reached out and touched him. He was so humble and kind. I fell in love with him when I saw Songs Of Love And Hate at the store and bought it because of the album cover and notes. That was all it took to get me hooked for life.

For more about the Main Point, see Remembering the Main Point, 1964 – 1981

 Back To Glenside

Rebecca held onto him as if he were gold that night. I knew immediately it was her, knowing he was seeing her. I think she was pissed because the fans – and there really weren’t that many, I was maybe the third or fourth to approach him – didn’t pay any attention to her. This was not too long after she made “The Hand That Rocked The Cradle.” After they continued walking down the street, I met the guy I was going to the concert with. As we walked past a Chinese restaurant…..there was Leonard Cohen and & Rebecca De Mornay having dinner.

fedoradivider

Note: Originally posted Jan 13, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. Glenside is a suburb of Philadelphia []
  2. At the time, Leonard Cohenand Rebecca De Mornay were dating.  Cohen, in fact, has reported that this, among all of his relationships, was the one that brought him a closest to taking wedding vows. For more information, see Picture Leonard Cohen With Rebecca De Mornay []
  3. Performers included Springsteen, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Son House, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley, Velvet Underground, … See long, long list at Main Point Performers []

During Dinner In Lisbon Leonard Cohen Draws A Self-Portrait For A Swedish Neuroradiologist Practicing In Riyadh

selfportrait-3With An International Cast: Kari-Anita Larsson (Norway), Kezban Özcan (Istanbul), & Bruce Brown (“A Beekeeper From Arizona”)

Sven G. Larsson, the titular Swedish Neuroradiologist, writes:

It was a joyful evening in Lisbon. I had flown in from Riyadh via Istanbul for a MRI conference that weekend and since Leonard Cohen was having a concert the following Monday, my wife and I had extended our stay. As we sat down for dinner at a sidewalk seafood restaurant, I saw Leonard walking down the street looking for a place to eat. I got up and said: “Welcome, Mr Cohen, please have a seat.” He accepted the invitation and sat down together with Kezban and Billy Mitchell. Later Bruce Brown, a beekeeper from Arizona whom Leonard seemed to know, joined us. Because my wife and I had lived and worked in the Middle East for the past 25 years, we all came to talk about the unruly situation in Syria and Turkey. I explained that a proxy war was starting in Syria, which Leonard seemed to take to heart.

After some happier small talk (we did not talk at all about music) and after Leonard had finished an extra serving of tiramisu we bid farewell. During the dinner Leonard had drawn a self-portrait on the table cloth after having signed a few CDs that the restaurant staff had brought to the table. As we were about to leave he signed the dedication on the table cloth and drew the contour of his own hand and of the hands of the people around the table (left to right: Billy Mitchell, my wife Kari-Anita, and Kezban) and gave it to me. It was a pinnacle moment of my life.

hand2f

This is my story about Leonard’s hand which now has a more somber meaning to my wife and me.

Best regards,

Sven

Glen Hansard Meets Leonard Cohen: “Something was transferred in that moment and I knew exactly where I wanted to be”

glen_hansard_-_lucca_comics__games_2015_2

Glen Hansard tells how his cousin’s epileptic seizure during a concert on the Various Positions tour led to a brief meeting with Leonard Cohen that crystallized his (Hansard’s) conviction to become a singer-songwriter.

quoteup2
He [Leonard Cohen] shook my cousin’s hand, asked him if he was okay, and shook my hand. I guess in a way that was really, for me, the moment where I just knew that this was what I wanted to follow. Meeting Leonard and his big, soft, paddy hand. This artist, this writer. Something was transferred in that moment and I knew exactly where I wanted to be.quotedown2

Glen Hansard

 

This excerpt is the conclusion of the story which can be found in its entirety at How meeting Leonard Cohen changed Glen Hansard’s life by Double J (Double J:Oct 7, 2016)

Credit Due Department: Photo by Niccolò Caranti – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikipedia