Photos & Descriptions: Leonard Cohen Performs At Centennial Vineyards (Bowral) & Sydney Entertainment Center 2009

Following reports of the 2008-2009 Leonard Cohen World Tour has led me to consider the impact the venue has on the performer and, perhaps even more significantly, on the audience. I was  most recently made aware of this issue by reading Amanda’s posts at Flop Eared Mule (Update: no longer online. Fair Warning: Amanda does not write what one would define as “balanced reviews” of Leonard Cohen performances so much as – oh, let’s call them “appreciations.” Consider, for example, her description of the opening of the Sydney performance:

In fact, the first highlight came even before the song when Leonard (Leonard Freaking Cohen) bounded, literally bounded, on stage and was greeted by a standing ovation. Excited as I was, I may not have thought of that myself but there was a great release in going up with the masses and I evidently felt sufficiently unrestrained that I couldn’t help but tear up. And I squealed like I’d just seen a Bay City Roller.


Amanda compares the Leonard Cohen concerts she attended at the Sydney Entertainment Center, which is most frequently described as a “big box” although Amanda favors “barn,” with the show she attended at the Centennial Vineyards in Bowral.

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“The criticism that I am gloomy or dull or depressing tends to come from people who are hostile to my work.” Leonard Cohen. Photo: Anton Cermak

interview at the Sebel Townhouse, Sydney on May 20, 1985. Photo by Anton Cermak

5 Photos: Leonard Cohen & Rebecca De Mornay At 1993 Rock Am Ring Festival

Becky & Lenny – 1993

These five shots of Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay were taken backstage on May 29, 1993 at the Nürburgring Rock Am Ring Festival, Koblenz, Germany by Christof Graf.

While posting photos of a Canadian singer-songwriter and the co-star of Risky Business taken 25 years ago may not rise to the level of significance of, say, discovering a previously unknown Caravaggio, I maintain they offer an interesting and altogether pleasing divertissement. More posts about Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay can be found at Leonard and Rebecca.

Note the Leonard Cohen shirt worn by Rebecca De Mornay, visible under her jacket in the photos directly above and below.

Rebecca De Mornay (1993) photos by Christof Graf (taken from Christof`Graf`s Leonard Cohen book Zen & Poetry – The Cohenpedia Series Vol. 1). Thanks to Dominique BOILE, who first alerted me to these photos,

Celebrating The Leonard Cohen Food Files: Hot Dogs, Ice Cream, Chateau La Tour 1982, Tuna Salad, Lagavulin, Silence Of The Lamb Chops, Pastrami Sandwiches, Champagne, Cheetos…

Singer-Songwriter-Poet-Icon Buys Hot Dog From Street Vendor

I’m posting this photo of Leonard procuring nourishment (from On Tour With Leonard Cohen by Sharon Robinson) as today’s festive first course from the smorgasbord that is one of my favorite Cohencentric categories: .

Leonard proffering food is intimately linked link to his fervent graciousness. As I reported in What Leonard Cohen Told Me Backstage In Chicago, food was a major feature in my first meeting with him:

In fact, the next thing I recall is Leonard (note we’re on a first name basis now) urging me to have something to eat from the crew’s buffet. This is accomplished by him taking my arm to lead me through the line of covered dishes, opening each of the 6-8 main offerings, describing the contents, and adding his recommendations.

And that led me to conclude,

Should I ever awaken in a post-apocalyptic desert with starving mobs battling over any edible morsel, my plan is to track down Leonard Cohen. If there is food to be had, he will, I am certain, find it and insist that his guest, even if the status of guest is self-appointed, dine from the bounty.

From reading many, many of Leonard’s interviews  and exchanging experiences with others who have met him, I know his urging food upon visitors, including reporters, fans, visitors… who appear for one reason or another in his presence, is his modus operandi. Brendan Bernhard, for example, claims Leonard “plied me with pâté and gorgonzola, with red wine and aquavit.” Leonard certainly knows how to lay out a spread (see Lunch At Leonard’s In LA – Leonard Cohen & Kezban Özcan Host Nosh For Duchess & DrHGuy),

I am also taken with his catholic taste. I suspect the list of music icons throughout history who favored Chateau La Tour 1982, Lagavulin single malt Scotch, and various cognacs and also enjoyed a well prepared hot dog resolves to one entry; Leonard Cohen. But, at least four Cohencentric posts before this one attest to the Canadian singer-songwriter’s frankfurter fetish.

And, it’s not just hot dogs. While in Europe, he defends the American hamburger. He is fast food friendly, familiar with Krystal burgers, has a taste for McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, and employs Wendy’s “Where’s The Beef” slogan in Closing Time (although Leonard did, at least once, misidentify the source as a Burger King campaign).

Of course, there is a full menu of Montreal-specific foods, such as bagels, smoked meat sandwiches, and Silence of the Lamb chops.

Grocer Of Despair In The Snacks Aisle

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Leonard Cohen (& Rebecca De Mornay) At The 1993 Rock Am Ring Festival By Christof Graf

Introduction: Christof Graf has a long history of producing respected books, articles, photos, and online sites dealing with Leonard Cohen see Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of Christof Graf’s Online Leonard Cohen Resources). And Christof has been a generous and valued contributor to this site.1 Now, Christof offers the story behind his photo of Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay, taken at the 1993 Rock Am Ring Festival.

I Remember You Well At The Rock Am Ring Festival

Leonard Cohen live at Germany`s biggest Rock Festival – 1993

On May 29, 1993, Leonard Cohen performed at the Rock am Ring Festival, Germany`s biggest Rock Festival, held at the Nürburgring Formula One Race Course. Because of the festival schedule, the set comprised only ten songs, beginning with Dance Me To The End Of Love and ending with Democracy.2 I was on stage taking photos.

Leonard`s gig in front of 50.000 people was amazing, but it was not his best fit with an audience. He played after Brian May of Queen and before Melissa Etheridge. On same weekend program were Led Zeppelin`s Robert Plant, Def Leppard, The Black Crowes, Danzig, Ugly Kid Joe and other heavy rock musicians. Because of the Festival’s rockesque atmosphere, Leonard was forced to play and sing somewhat louder and faster than usual. He did a great job, but it was clear that the audience had come for and preferred the heavy rock performers.

After my live shots, I was invited by Festival promoter Marek Lieberberg to join Leonard Cohen backstage. That was when I took the shot him with Rebecca De Mornay, who accompanied Leonard on most of that European Tour. During his Rock Am Ring gig, she was on stage and I saw her at each concert of the 1993 Germany Tour, which I covered. I published the account, first as newspaper-articles and, in 1996, in the book “Leonard Cohen – Un Hommage – A Leonard Cohen Tour Documentation in Germany 1993.”

After Leonard left the stage about 6.30 p.m. he was relaxing backstage with Rebecca when: the late Michael Hutchence from Australian rock band INXS joined Leonard in conversation. I took also a shot of that moment. In the background was Melissa Etheridge, who told me in an interview years later that she “did not dare to disturb that holy moment.” After 15 minutes of talk, coffee, and cigarettes, Mr. Hutchence left to prepare for his show that evening.

The same time the next day, Led Zeppelin founder Robert Plant was backstage looking for Leonard Cohen. He was quite disappointed, when he discovered that “the great Leonard Cohen,: as he called him, one of his favorite singer-songwriters, had performed the day before. .

Photo Key For Image Atop This Post
From Top To Down & Left To Right:

  • Cozy Powell (Drummer for Brian May Band)
  • Christof Graf On Stage Photographing Leonard Cohen
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Melissa Etheridge
  • Leonard Cohen On Keyboards
  • Julie Christensen, Leonard Cohen, & Perla Batalla
  • Leonard Cohen (Fish Eye Lens)
  • Rock am Ring Promoter Marek Lieberberg (left) backstage with Rebecca De Mornay, Leonard Cohen and Michael Hutchence (INXS)

Source: Der Cohenpedia – Christof Graf`s Leonard Cohen Blog. All photos: Christof Graf.

Note: The story about the entire Festival, including Leonard`s show, is published in my 2015 book: Rock am Ring – 30 Jahre sind nicht genug: Alle Bands, alle Skandale, alle Fotos.


  1. See, for example, Christof Graf’s Multi-Media Walk Through The Montreal MAC Leonard Cohen Exhibition With Curator John Zeppetelli and Montreal After – Celebrating Leonard Cohen On The Eve Of The First Anniversary Of His Passing By Christof Graf []
  2. The full setlist follows:
    Dance Me to the End of Love
    The Future
    Ain’t No Cure for Love
    Bird on the Wire
    Everybody Knows
    First We Take Manhattan
    Sisters of Mercy
    There Is a War
    Democracy []

Thanks To Photo Of Leonard Cohen & Friend, 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric Big In Romania

Romanian Page Views Surge

When this site’s stats showed an impressive increase in page views for a three year old post, I investigated, only to find  that the surge of interest originated almost exclusively from a handful of sites in Romania. Now, 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric has long had loyal readers in Romania, but it has never been what one would call BIG in Romania. Why the spike in Romanian viewers? Well…

It turns out all of the Romanian sites have one common element – the image atop this post.  That graphic varied only in that some had one  superimposed label or another (see below) while others were unmarked.

The Back Story
Featuring Leonard Cohen, Mihaela, Ira Nadel, & DrHGuy

All of the Romanian sites had taken the photo directly from a June 22, 2009 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric entry. [Update: That post is not currently online]

And how was the photo used? This is a screen capture showing the first part of the article (in Google English translation) on Nefiltrat, which is representative of the stories on the other sites: and the other sites claim that, in the words of the headline (again according to Google English translation),

The source quoted is Various Positions by Ira Nadel:

Cohen said in Nadel’s biography that Romanian woman was the only woman in his life was a bust artist that impressive, the rest of his life with all women small breasts.Interestingly, all Nadel said about Cohen that has been a lifetime love women with small breasts, the only exception being Romanian, owner of a prominent bust, as can be seen in the photo.1

One of the sites tried to find Leonard Cohen’s friend: reporters tried to track Romanian, but details about it are quite a few. It seems that this is called Mihaela N. (Cohen Michelle told him, because he could not pronounce Mihaela), that comes from a family of teachers, that is born in a village near Slatina and she emigrated to Greece the mid 70s. She lived in Hydra until the 90s, after which nobody has ever seen. Do not know how she met Cohen, but it is pretty obvious that it was not too hard to conquer, especially because they say it was the absolute irresistible.2

Leonard Cohen: Sexy Women!  Sexy Songs!

As for me, I’m thinking that those Romanians know how to write a headline.

Originally posted Oct 10, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


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