Leonard Cohen To Interviewer: “Do you have a scarf?”

Having recently published a couple of posts featuring Leonard Cohen in humorous conflict with interviewers (see Leonard Cohen’s Short Response To A Long Question About His Depression and “Let’s kill him” Leonard Cohen Plots With Anjani To Murder Interviewer), I thought it only fair to offer an anecdote or two displaying Leonard’s graciousness with reporters. Today, it’s Leonard forcing scarfs on interviewers. Tomorrow, it’ll be Leonard forcing cash on a temporarily destitute interviewer.

Leonard Cohen Not Only Gives Good Interview But Also Gives Good Scarves To Interviewers

Soon it was afternoon and I had to leave. Snow had started to flicker in Montreal, and I began packing my bag. ‘Do you have a scarf?’ Cohen asked. I said no, I hadn’t brought one, and he pulled out a long, thin scarf with a black-and-red checkered pattern, and handed it to me. I thanked him but said I couldn’t possibly take his scarf, but like a nice Jewish mother or father, he insisted, and I took it. The scarf remains in my closet. As rock-star interview mementos go, it’s admittedly mundane. But now, as we really do seem to be facing apocalyptic times, it’s a reminder of the comfort and wisdom he left behind, the kind that could always get anyone through good and bad weather, and good and bad times.quotedown2

David Browne


Leonard Cohen at Home in 1992: Singer-Songwriter on Pop Success, New Love by David Browne  (Rolling Stone: November 11, 2016). Photo atop post is a screenshot of Leonard Cohen with the scarf he wore at the July 11, 2009 Weybridge show/storm.

And… from Life Of A Ladies’ Man by Sarah Hampson. Globe and Mail: May. 25 2007.

Finally, when you insist you must leave, he worries if you are dressed warmly enough for the cold weather. He gives you one of his scarves, and goes upstairs to retrieve an old Gap sweater he wants you to wear. He calls you darling. He finds a pin for the Order of the Unified Heart and gives you one, and a ring, too, with the same design.quotedown2

Sarah Hampson

One Reply to “Leonard Cohen To Interviewer: “Do you have a scarf?””

  1. Joan King

    Amazing stories of the kindness shown by Leonard, what wonderful keepsakes to have in your possession and such a reminder of meeting and talking with him. Thanks for sharing this Allan.