Exclusive: Kezban Özcan’s Photos Of Leonard Cohen’s Pre-Concert Shoe Shining

IMG_0773 (Large)Kezban Özcan, Leonard Cohen’s personal assistant, was taken by her boss’s habit of shining his shoes prior to a concert and began photographing him at this task. This set of photos, graciously shared with this site and its viewers,will also appear on the insert sheet of the soon to be released [at time of original post] Popular Problems album. Update: See Leonard Cohen Shines Inside Popular Problems

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IMG_2548 (Large)Originally posted Sept 5, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

23 Replies to “Exclusive: Kezban Özcan’s Photos Of Leonard Cohen’s Pre-Concert Shoe Shining”

  1. Mary Bassi

    Such a personal share ! What an attribute to Leonard’s character.
    Shining his own shoes no less. Thank you for this.

  2. Wendy

    My goodness. Polishing black shoes on a white rug. Tut tut. Seriously though, what a fantastic insight into Leonard’s life on the road.

  3. Michele Prévost

    Polishing shoes and Poetry…. Appearing in 1966 CBC archives!!!
    “If you want shiny shoes….. If you want to polish other parts of yourself ,you do it with Poetry”. Great photos!

  4. Patricia Ann Murphy

    Love his legs but yes. You wouldn’t clean shoes on a white rug; but for god sake it’s Leonard Cohen.

  5. Jutta Thompson

    I would expect nothing less of Leonard, he is perfection. Everything has to be right from top to toe. I love these photos, thank you for sharing. He is just adorable.

  6. Caroline Bobby

    gosh… those picture are such a gift, and so touching… how very, very generous that they are being shared. For me, its not so astounding that Leonard would shine his own shoes. That seems very Leonard indeed. Its more, that they are so intimate and so tender… That Kezban has a lovely eye, and their journey is palpable. I think she’s caught a little bit of his naked soul, as well as his naked legs.

  7. MaryB

    Thank you Alan for this website. If it wasn’t for you, we may never have been fortunate enough to have had Kezban share these photos with us.
    Thank you Kezban for this gift. Goes to prove what my George always says, “He puts his shoe on one foot at a time like the rest of us.”. 🙂

  8. rike

    These photos remind me of an interview I read some years ago–I think it was with Nick Cave who told about being brought to LC’s house by Lorca Cohen. When he was introduced, LC was upstairs, in his underwear, trying to feed an injured bird. A little time later, LC came down impeccably dressed in a suit–LC as Cave, as we, know him.
    LC looks impeccably in his underwear, shining his shoes.

  9. rike

    Of course you are right! And I read it years ago at this site. Thanks for this and other morsels of LC’s work and life!

  10. Marie O

    I think these are Spanks. I love these pictures:-) This is the guy who carries his own guitar don’t forget.

  11. Ali Andrea-Wagemaker

    een prachtige begeleiding, van zijn nieuwe cd, nog nooit gedaan op deze manier, waarschijnlijk zichzelf afpellend als een ui of ander bolgewas.
    Zo mooi en zo echt. ik vermoed en hoop dat zijn gedichten dezelfde kant op gaan. in volle verwachting naar de muziek
    , alvast bedankt voor deze prachtige foto’ van deze grote maar ook eenvoudige man

  12. mel

    Yes, these are priceless photos for sure. Looking back at the previous days post with LC and Joni in 1967, his shoes were shining then!

  13. Karen Privett

    Thank you so much for the wonderful photos Kezban. Leonard reminds me so much of my Dad, same generation. My Dad used to clean his shoes each morning on the back steps before going to work. Never in the house and not on a white rug. Leonard obviously does not need paper down before polishing shoes. I noticed all the suits hanging behind him in one photo, so many to choose from. 🙂

  14. Anjisan

    ‘A sportsman living in a suit’ seems an accurate description – very beautiful limbs.
    Must be stress-reducing to do this so mindfully before the show. Thanks for sharing these special photos!