Up Close & Personal With Leonard Cohen 2005: The Lifestyle Of The Once Well Off & Kind Of Famous

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The Music Icon At Home

The primary story attached to the now famous, emblematic “Devastated” cover of the Aug 17, 2005 issue Maclean’s, A ‘Devastated’ Leonard Cohen by Katherine Macklem, explored the financial catastrophe that befell the Canadian singer-songwriter.

As the article put it:

He [Leonard Cohen] discovered last fall that his retirement funds, which he had thought amounted to more than $5 million (all figures U.S.), had been reduced to $150,000.

Today’s post, however, focuses on a supplemental story in that same issue of Maclean’s, Up Close And Personal by Brian D. Johnson, which affords an insight into Leonard Cohen’s day to day life at home.

The simplicity of Cohen’s digs and his personal preferences are striking, especially in contrast to the contemporary press references to his “extravagant ‘celebrity’ lifestyle.”

Credit Due Department: The scans from Maclean’s were contributed by Dominique BOILE. Photo of Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home by Lilian Graziani.

Originally posted February 21, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

2011 Photo: Leonard Cohen’s LA Home With His Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award In Window

In searching through material related to Leonard Cohen and the Grammys, I came across this photo taken in May 2011 by Shannon Burns.1 What’s the Grammy connection? Well, sharp-eyed Shannon noticed that Leonard’s Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award was visible in the second story window of the duplex (see blowup below).

Missing from the photo is Mr Cohen himself, who was seated to the right of the unidentified gentleman in the yard.

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  1. We didn’t post that photo then lest we publicize the location of Leonard’s home.That precaution has been obviated by the fact that several pictures of the house are now online. []

“It’s in what they call a slum, not a fashionable slum like Greenwich Village.” Leonard Cohen Talks About “Our House In Montreal”

How do you live now? What style and mode of luxury do you allow yourself?

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It would be hard to describe our house1 in Montréal without seeming that I was being pretentious, on the side of modesty. We live in an extremely small house… [The neighborhood] is one I always liked. It’s in the East End of town, on a Portuguese working class street. Our house is about the size of this room, I would say. There are one and a half levels. It’s very crowded, and I’ve just given my studio over to the babies. I’ll have to get a little apartment across the street. It’s really a beautiful place, and we have a garden. But you should come up and see it. It’s like living in the country in the middle of the city. It’s in what they call a slum, not a fashionable slum like Greenwich Village. But now there’s another writer on the street… [The neighborhood is] safe, that’s the thing. Like the little child Adam runs on the street and goes into the neighbors’ houses. The doors are open, and the children come into our house. You know, if you can stand that sort of thing, it’s extremely nice… I’ve always lived like that. My own personal style of living has changed very very little. I don’t know what I would do otherwise, what would one do?quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. Dec 5, 1974.

Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal: The best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks

Credit Due Department: This outstanding interview was discovered and contributed by Jugurtha Harchaoui. Photo taken by and posted with the permission of Lilian Graziani.
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  1. “Our” refers to Leonard and Suzanne Elrod along with their children, Adam & Lorca []

Google Earth Captures Leonard Cohen At Home – & Unidentified “Other Guy”

These photos fall within the “poorly kept secret” category. At least a dozen fans have forwarded these images, originally captured by Google Earth, my way. I was uncomfortable about posting these while Leonard lived at this address, but I did send him the photos late in March 2016, a time when we were exchanging items to amuse each other. In his next email, Leonard addressed the house photos in this excerpt:

Must have been a couple of years ago. Chairs have been changed. Can’t identify the other guy.

I came across that email today and realized that, since several photos of Leonard’s Los Angeles home have now been published online and since these are no longer the images displayed for Leonard’s address at Google Earth, there was little risk that posing these shots now, with the address information and links removed, would cause additional  problems – so, here they are.

Two Photos: Leonard Cohen In The Kitchens Of His Hydra & L.A. Homes

Leonard Cohen: Hydra, 1970s

Posted by Adam Cohen on Facebook

Update: Dominique BOILE offers the information that this photo was taken in 1981 by Bruce Brown.

Leonard Cohen: Los Angeles, 2001

Leonard_Cohen_PolaroidPhoto by Chris Buck: Photos – Chris Buck’s 2001 Leonard Cohen Shoot: Rosicrucians, Photographic Destiny, & Pastrami Sandwiches With A Side Of Chopped Liver

Leonard Cohen on the Suitability of Los Angeles For His Work

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Los Angeles is a great city – it’s falling apart on every level. Geologically it’s falling apart, politically it’s falling apart, the physical realm is also in deep fragmentation…a very suitable landscape for my dismal expression.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From “Hello, I Must Be Cohen” by Gavin Martin (New Musical Express, January 9, 1993). Originally posted August 25, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

See other Leonard Cohen geopolitical quotes at

 

Where Leonard Cohen Ordered “The Silence Of The Lamb Chops” And More – Exploring Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

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Mr. Cohen would always arrive at Moishes with company and greet its current owner, Leonard, one of Moishe’s sons, with the same jovial if mysterious hello: ‘They’re never gonna get us, Leonard. They’re never gonna get us.’ He would request lamb chops and a red Bordeaux. ‘He loved our lamb chops. He called them Silence of the Lamb chops. ‘I’ll have an order of the Silence of the Lamb chops.’ That was really his character,’ Mr. Lighter said.quotedown2

 

Exploring the Montreal That Leonard Cohen Loved by Rose Maura Lorre (New York Times: Feb. 10, 2017). The entire article, replete with beaucoup stories and photos, can be viewed at the link.

More Montreal

All Cohencentric posts dealing with Leonard Cohen’s Montreal connections can be accessed at . Other online articles on this topic can be found in the Leonard Cohen’s Montreal section of the Leonard Cohen Online Directory.

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post taken by and posted with the permission of Lilian Graziani.