How do you live now? What style and mode of luxury do you allow yourself?
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?
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.
- “Our” refers to Leonard and Suzanne Elrod along with their children, Adam & Lorca [↩]
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.
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
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.
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 Leonard Cohen On Location
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.
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.
All Cohencentric posts dealing with Leonard Cohen’s Montreal connections can be accessed at Leonard Cohen’s Montreal. 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.