Watching Sharon Robinson’s Show Over Leonard Cohen’s Shoulder – 2013

Shannon Burns (on right – behind the guy with the fedora): “Sharon Robinson was brilliant”

This excerpt about the Oct 19, 2013 Sharon Robinson Los Angeles, show is from Shannon Burns Facebook Page 

OK, this should be about Sharon Robinson, but when I was standing in front of  [the table reserved for Leonard Cohen], the whole scene changed. I spent the next hour standing directly behind Leonard Cohen, then Lori Nebenzahl snapped photo [atop this post] when the show ended. Notwithstanding this very huge aside, Sharon was brilliant.


Note: Originally posted Oct 20, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Immutable Law of Business #3 – Illustrated


Leonard Cohen’s Immutable Law of Business #3: There’s nothing you can do behind your desk that can’t be more effectively accomplished with a beautiful, long-haired, chain-smoking woman lying naked next to you in bed.

 I’ve previously posted both Leonard Cohen’s Seven Immutable Laws of Business1 (the article from which Law #3 is drawn) and the above photo2 but only today realized  how serendipitously they fit together.

Note: Originally posted Oct 20, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Leonard Cohen’s Seven Immutable Laws Of Business By Ken Krimstein. McSweeney’s: Oct 21, 2005 []
  2. From Various Positions by Ira Nadel []

Photo: Leonard Cohen At Family Wedding – 1956

In 1950, Masha, Leonard’s mother, married Harry Ostrow,a pharmacist, who was described by David Cohen, Leonard’s cousin, as “a very sweet, ineffectual man, a nice guy.”1 The relationship between Leonard and his stepfather was characterized as “pleasant but distant.”2 Shortly after the marriage, Harry Ostrow was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,3 a discovery that seemed to dishearten Masha, who had nursed Nathan, her first husband through his debilitating illnesses. By 1957, Harry and Masha had separated with Harry moving to Florida.

Update: See “He was extremely charismatic with a wonderfully clever and quick sense of humour.” Roz Van Zaig, Leonard Cohen’s Stepsister, Talks About Leonard, Esther, & Masha

The above photo  was taken at the wedding of Roz Ostrow Van Zaig and Eddie Van Zaig,

Back row, from left to right: Harry Ostrow (Leonard’s stepfather), Freda Guttman, Roz Ostrow (Leonard’s stepsister), Eddie Van Zaig, Leonard Cohen, Victor Cohen (brother-in-law). Front row, from left to right: Masha Cohen Ostrow (Leonard’s mother ), Esther Cohen (Leonard’s sister)

Photo found at Various Positions by Ira Nadel. Originally posted Oct 12, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. I’m Your Man by Sylvie Simmons []
  2. I’m Your Man by Sylvie Simmons []
  3. Various Positions by Ira Nadel []

Photos: Leonard Cohen & The Wellington Waterfront Busker – Jan 16, 2009

Leonard Cohen & The Wellington Waterfront Busker

Leonard Cohen’s 2009 Pacific Tour began with a January 20, 2009 show in Wellington, New Zealand. Photographer Des Pitfield at CVC Studios took these shots of the singer-songwriter taking in the Wellington, New Zealand waterfront on January 16, 2009 and described what he saw:

I watched as Leonard wandered along the Wellington waterfront that day. He was in New Zealand for a concert tour.. There was a busker [seen at the top right quadrant of the 2nd photo] right playing guitar and mouth organ using a small amp. Leonard put some money into his guitar case and I said to my friend I bet that guy has no idea who just gave him a dollar.. he nodded a thank you but kept playing …

Note: Please do not re-post the images without the photographer’s permission.

Note: Originally posted Dec 1, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photos: Leonard Cohen – “A Real Gentleman” At Ease In London Ontario 2009

These photos were taken May 23, 2009 in London, Ontario by Bill Birtch, who writes about the event:

Leonard Cohen was playing the John Labatt Centre that evening. I was on my way downtown for a coffee and passed by Scotts Corner, a small bar on the main street, and as I rolled by (I use a power wheelchair to get around) I realized that I’d just passed within a few inches of Leonard Cohen.

My first thought was of my camera which I’d neglected to grab on my way out the door. I stopped down the street a ways and called my daughter, also an avid photographer, to tell her of my find but she was unable to get away to take advantage of this opportunity. So, I continued on, had my coffee and headed home after an hour or so. Much to my surprise Mr. Cohen was still sitting on the patio of the bar.

I stopped briefly, said “Welcome to London.” He thanked me, at which point I decided to rush home, grab my camera and come back, a 20 minute round trip, in the hopes that he would still be there.

Obviously, and much to my delight, he was. I caught the eye of one of his companions, a band member I believe, and held up my camera with a questioning look on my face – my way of asking permission to take some shots. He nodded so I snapped a dozen or so shots from a distance of a three of four meters.

At one point Leonard looked at me and removed his glasses to accommodate my picture taking. When I was done I nodded, mouthed the words “Thank you” and returned home to process my images.

I should add that he was most gracious and accommodating to people who stopped to talk, a real gentleman.

Note: The description of the first shot in the above series (the photo of Cohen with his glasses in hand) included this explanation: “The lighting was less than ideal so it took some serious photoshopping to come up with this.”

Note: Originally posted Jan 6, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric