Kissing Cohen At 2012 PEN Awards: Shawn Colvin & Salman Rushdie Smooched By Leonard Cohen

The recent reposting of Leonard Cohen And The Duchess – Kissing & Telling referenced the “Kissing Cohen” photo category. Now, just a couple of days later, we are presented, via Instagram, with a shot of Leonard bussing Shawn Colvin at the 2012 PEN Awards, when Leonard and Chuck Berry won the first Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award.

And, that was not the only “Kissing Cohen” entrant who qualified by way of the PEN Awards. Leonard also smooched another avatar of gravitas, Salman Rushdie. (OK, if you must know, it’s not a bromance. The Cohen kisses were, one assumes, the followup to Rushdie’s remark during his introductory speech that a female friend demanded he kiss Leonard for her.) You can view that interaction at Video: Complete 2012 PEN Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award Ceremony: Leonard Cohen & Chuck Berry.

Sharon Weisz Talks About Her Photo Of Leonard Cohen Eating A Banana That Became The I’m Your Man Cover Art

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Q: Why did he eat a banana?
Sharon Weisz: I guess he was hungry.

 

How did you meet Leonard Cohen?

Sharon Weisz: I met Leonard Cohen in 1986 when I was hired to market Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat album, which was an album of Leonard Cohen songs.

Do you remember your first meeting?

Sharon Weisz: I had planned a filmed interview with Entertainment Tonight for Jennifer Warnes, and the producer asked if Leonard could also participate, which he agreed to do. Jennifer decided that the interview should take place in a recording studio in the San Fernando Valley where she had taken Leonard. I met them at the studio and it was the first time I met Leonard in person. I had spoken to her several times over the phone and we had noticed that we lived very close to each other. Therefore, at the end of the interview, Jennifer asked me to bring Leonard home. My first meeting with Leonard was in my car on Highway 405 during rush hour for over an hour.

Where was the photograph taken from the album cover?

Sharon Weisz: Jennifer Warnes’ record company had decided to make a video clip for her version of First We Take Manhattan. The location was the former assembly plant of Ford Motor Company in Los Angeles. It is a gigantic building on the water that has been used for many film and television shootings. The upper floor where cars were once assembled has large floor-to-ceiling windows that provide natural light, and there is a lift at the bottom large enough to accommodate a car. I was at the other end of the room taking pictures of the video shoot when I saw the elevator door open. Leonard emerged and began to walk slowly to where the shoot was taking place. I noticed that he was peeling a banana while walking and when it appeared fully, I turned and took a picture with the banana and went back to what I was doing.

DrHGuy Note: The Jennifer Warnes video referenced by Sharon Weisz can be viewed below.

Why did he eat a banana?

Sharon Weisz: I guess he was hungry. The road had been long …

It was an easy “session”?

Sharon Weisz: People are shocked when they discover that it was not a “session” at all. In fact, it was only an image. The rest of the pictures I took that day were from Jennifer or Jennifer and Leonard during the shoot. When I had the contact board, I laughed when I saw Leonard’s picture with the banana. I ordered an 8×10 print and sent it with a note explaining that I thought he would like this particular photo. He phoned me about a week later to ask if it would bother me  to put it on the front of his album. He later named it my most famous photograph. I think he was right.

Also see Leonard Cohen answers “Why do you have a banana in your hand on [I’m Your Man]?”

From [1988 – 2018] Everybody knows Leonard Cohen (Soul Kitchen: Aug 21, 2018). Via Google Translate.