How To Win Friends And Impress Strangers With A Little Help From Lorca & Leonard Cohen


Allan Showalter (AKA DrHGuy) and Leonard Cohen hanging out backstage as they are wont to do whenever The Leonard Cohen World Tour plays the Rosemont Theatre. (Leonard is the one wearing the hat and the apparently wonderful scarf.)

Leonard Cohen invited me to the soundcheck and backstage buffet before the October 29, 2009 Chicago Rosemont Theatre concert and to the Green Room get-together afterward.

Let me tell you more about it.

Note: This material was originally posted Nov 9, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric as the sequel to What Leonard Cohen Told Me Backstage In Chicago

Creating The Illusion Among A Group Of Leonard Cohen Fans That You Are A Person Of Significance In 5 Steps

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1. Attend a Leonard Cohen concert.

2. A few minutes prior to the start of the performance, rush to the crowded merchandise booth to purchase a Unified Heart signet ring (mid-size, silver) for a European fan (whom you know only by email) who was disappointed to find that signet rings were unavailable at the Leonard Cohen concert she attended.


3. While waiting your turn to purchase concert loot, check your email with at least one person looking over your shoulder to also check your email.1

4. Open the email from Lorca Cohen with this attachment:


5. Modestly accept the sense of awe instantly created as the email snoop starts a wave of recognition, asking aloud “Is that Leonard Cohen – and you?” Reluctantly admit that, indeed, Lorca Cohen took that photo of the two of you backstage only an hour or so ago – after you attended soundcheck.Go on to humbly acknowledge your close, long-standing, and mutually respectful relationship with Leonard. To suffuse the scene with that sense of authenticity associated with disdain, consider adding, with a well accentuated sniff or two, that no one truly close to the man calls him “Lenny.”

The Mechanics Of The Illusion

Some preparatory work is required for this trick.

Write a blog for two or three years that regularly makes fun of Leonard Cohen. Claim, for example, that “Take This Waltz” was originally an embittered bit of doggerel called “Take This Waltz and Shove It” that Cohen wrote in response to taunts about his difficulty in learning to dance. Suggest that an ideal 75th birthday gift for him would be significant helpings of crack and anal sex. Or how about this – write a post confessing that Leonard Cohen himself is only a hoax you dreamed up as a lark:

I am the first to admit that it never occurred to me that anyone would fall for a story about a Canadian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist-icon in his 70s whose concerts all over the world routinely sell out with tickets going for $100-500 (and multiples of that once the scalpers come into play), who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and who has had and continues to have a reputation as a ladies’ man.

Then wait for this blog to inevitably generate an invitation to visit Leonard Cohen backstage.

Once there, respond “Yes” (Also acceptable, it turns out, is “What? Uh, well. Sure, OK.”) when an especially attractive young woman introduces herself with “My name is Lorca” and asks if she can take your picture with Leonard Cohen.

An optional but ultimately moment-enhancing step at this point is first calculating just how many women named “Lorca” one knows personally and then, upon realizing that the result is zero, contemplating why that name nonetheless sounds familiar. When the epiphany of recognition (finally) arrives, the way cool move to make is pointing out to the young woman that she is Lorca Cohen. While she will prove already cognizant of her name, she will be gratifyingly gracious (maybe it’s genetic) and cause you to feel rather astute – until your head clears the next morning.

Leonard Cohen will spontaneously explain that Lorca is his daughter. He will also smile when you respond “Oh, that Lorca Cohen” – just as though your comment were funny.

When Leonard Cohen gracefully moves close to your side for the photo and embraces you by wrapping his arm around your shoulder, you will see how fragile he looks up close (when you see him on stage that night, only slightly farther away from your seats than when you met him backstage, you will be astounded at the powerhouse he has become in the two hours since you stood next to him). You will, in fact, repeatedly remind yourself

For goodness sake, do not turn around and break him,
you huge, clumsy lummox, you.

Lorca, who magically knows your email address, will send the photo to you just in time to pull off the trick.


Posts About Meeting Leonard Cohen In Chicago


  1. I have experienced little difficulty finding unsolicited volunteers to assist me in reading my email or performing any other activity on my phone. The trick in this situation is enlisting someone to fulfill this role who is a Leonard Cohen fan but not someone jaded by extensive contact with him. The crowd around the Leonard Cohen merchandise booth is an ideal source for such candidates. It is difficult to imagine a non-fan purchasing Cohen goodies, and one rarely finds, for example, Anjani or Jarkko elbowing other customers aside to snarf up “Leonard Cohen Winter Lady Snow Globes” or a “Leonard Cohen Action Figure” (wind it up and every 15 years, it goes on tour). []

6 Replies to “How To Win Friends And Impress Strangers With A Little Help From Lorca & Leonard Cohen”

  1. Naomi Siemens

    I like how the ticket says no photos or Videos! I know LC is so generous because he is definitely aware of Albert Noonan (I hope Albert met LC too). Reminds me of Red Skelton; he would go into audience and grab kids and pose for pics for the astonished parents. Two class acts if I say so myself!

    I would love to buy one of those rings, is there any way a poor fan could get a ring who cannot get to a concert???