“A keen interest in the profane – in sex & drugs, if not exactly rock’n’roll – has made [Leonard Cohen], instead [of a rabbi], one of popular music’s most unflinching sages.”

This notorious ladies’ man, Leonard Cohen biographer Sylvie Simmons concludes more than once in her enthralling, meticulously researched account, would have made a very good rabbi. Never mind that Cohen – poet, singer, 78 – is also an ordained Buddhist; had attained the grade of Senior Dianetic, Grade IV Release in the Church of Scientology in 1969 before falling out with the organisation; and knows a hell of a lot about scripture. A grandson of a rabbi, Cohen was born into a priestly class in Montreal’s old, thriving Jewish community. But a keen interest in the profane – in sex and drugs, if not exactly rock’n’roll – has made him, instead, one of popular music’s most unflinching sages. Fans of long-standing will know Cohen as the singer-songwriter’s singer-songwriter, whose devastating verses have the tensile strength of haikus. Those of us in his thrall, Simmons included, have no trouble claiming that he leaves Dylan in the dust for skewering the human condition.

From I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons – review by Kitty Empire. The Observer: Nov 24, 2012

Note: Originally posted March 10, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Sylvie Simmons Presentation – San Francisco

Note: While any Sylvie Simmons presentation inevitably turns to talk of Leonard Cohen, this event focuses on Bruce Springsteen.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum and Litquake join forces with an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” which launched him into the stratosphere and earned him the reputation as the poet laureate of rock. San Francisco celebrities including Sylvie Simmons, Ben Fong-Torres, Beth Lisick, Joel Selvin and more will tell stories, read lyrics, and in Sylvie’s case also perform a song from the album on her ukulele.   More info here: http://www.thecjm.org/programs/performance/863-born-to-read-celebrating-the-lyrics-of-springsteen

Sylvie Simmons, Author of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, Appears In Aarhus, Denmark Aug 31, Sept 2, & Sept 3, 2015

Sylvie Simmons interviews Leonard Cohen

Sylvie Simmons interviews Leonard Cohen


31st August, Aarhus, Denmark

A book reading, signing and songs! The bookshop will have both the English and Danish language versions of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen and copies of the album Sylvie.

Kristian F Møller book shop. Store Torv 5, 8000 Arhus C. 6.3opm/ 18:30  Free


2nd September, Aarhus, Denmark

Sylvie interviews music business legend Jac Holzman- the founder of Elektra Records and the man who signed the Doors, Love, Queen etc – onstage as part of the Aarhus festival.

ARoS Auditoriet, Aros Alle 2, Aarhus C         5pm-6.30pm/ 17:00-18:30

Tickets and information


3rd September, Aarhus, Denmark

As part of the Aarhus festival, Sylvie Simmons performs with her album producer Howe Gelb/ Giant Sand  in ‘Way Too Much Light’ , a very special night of music. Featuring Howe Gelb,  M. Ward, Grant-Lee Phillips, Yasmine Hamdan, Allan Olsen, Steve Shelley and Sylvie Simmons.

VoxHall, Vester Alle 15, Aarhus C     9.30-11.45pm/ 21:30-23:45

Tickets and information: http://tinyurl.com/ojb7vkh

Sylvie Simmons Performs at Songs Of Leonard Cohen…. and more – Oslo

Songs Of Leonard Cohen…. and more! This unique Sunday evening concert in Oslo features a triple bill of Norwegian, American and British singer-writers who will perform songs by the man who is their common passion: Leonard Cohen. Sylvie Simmons (UK), Luke Elliot (US) and Rem & Rem (Norway) will also sing some of their own original songs. Sylvie and Havard Rem met at a Leonard Cohen event in Oslo last September – Rem, a noted poet as well as a musician, translated the Norwegian edition of her book I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen and has also translated Cohen’s own work.