Photos: Leonard Cohen Ascendant, “A Flying Kangaroo Singing Waltzing Matilda,” & More – Brisbane 2010

Leonard Cohen Concert: Brisbane: Nov 6, 2010

The above photo was taken by J.S. Carenza III. Those below photos are by B4real (aka Bev) who posted them at LeonardCohenForum and shared them here as well.

Displayed In the photo directly above are the hind paws of what I am reliably informed is “a flying kangaroo singing Waltzing Matilda,” flung onto the stage by the aforementioned B4real (aka Bev).

The nifty location-specific lanyard IDs were created and distributed by dce.


Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Leonard Cohen Tell All Koan – Matters Of Vital Interest By Eric Lerner

Butch And Sundance Meet Buddha On The Road

Eric Lerner, a novelist, screenwriter, and film producer, first met Leonard Cohen at a Zen retreat led by Roshi in 1977, an encounter which later led to an abiding friendship that lasted until Leonard’s death. Their intimate, idiosyncratic connection as BBBFs (Best Buddhist Buddies Forever) provides a unique perspective on the non-public life of the Canadian singer-songwriter. Where else, for example, are you likely to read about someone spending the night with Leonard and his children in New York while Suzanne goes out on a date?

For readers, that intimate, idiosyncratic connection is not an unmixed blessing. The BBBF mode entails its own jargon, rituals, and metaphysics, and supplemented by unsignaled time shifts, this structure makes for an intriguing but not always comprehensible experience for visitors to the realm. Lerner writes that “somehow, [Leonard] determined that I could understand him without explanation.” After finishing Matters Of Vital Interest, I now know how Lerner must have felt.

And, while there it never rises to the level of authorial arrogance, a certain smugness, especially evident in the repeated emphasis on the personal nicknames, inside jokes, and Zen-dependent allusions, pervades the pages. There is also a proclivity for unsubstantiated absolute pronouncements (e.g., Dominique Issermann was “the best woman [Leonard] would ever encounter” and no visitors, other than Carla Bruni in Paris and the author in Boston, were ever allowed backstage during the final tour).

Yet, these issues notwithstanding, Matters Of Vital Interest is a fast, entertaining, and informative read.

It must be a zen thing.

“I almost called last night to tell you to put it off.”
“I’m glad you didn’t.”
“Yeah. Me, too.”
We watched the cab from the airport pull away.
Our last visit, September 2015.
(Caption & Photo by Eric Lerner)

In addition, the data in these pages are a treasure trove for Cohen fans. A few examples of the new information proffered, some trivial and some fundamental, follow:

  • The multiple meanings of “darling” employed by Leonard
  • Leonard’s relationship with Suzanne Elrod, including details of his first sighting of her at that Scientology meeting and a description of the court battle after they separated
  • Details about the ownership, decor, and habitation of the Tremaine house in Los Angeles
  • The origin of Leonard’s fascination with hot dogs
  • An account of Leonard in a sauna at the Ithaca Zen Center
  • Descriptions of Roshi’s interactions and discussions Leonard and the author had about Roshi
  • The accusations of sexual misbehavior leveled against Roshi and Leonard’s take on the matter, including his revision of the story of his spiritual life to minimize Roshi’s impact
  • Roshi’s final illness, including Leonard taking charge of Roshi’s medical care
  • The bass player Leonard claimed was “intent on sabotaging my efforts”
  • Leonard’s drinking habits and preferences
  • Leonard’s terminal illness and its treatment, including his consideration of assisted suicide

Matters Of Vital Interest by Eric Lerner (October 16, 2018). Photo by Eric Lerner.

Emily Bindiger’s Leonard Cohen Headstand Story Was Classic – Now It’s Classics Illustrated

In the Emily Bindiger Q&A first posted June 8, 2012, one of the stories about life on tour with Leonard Cohen recounted by Emily Bindiger (Emily is best known to Cohencentric readers as Leonard Cohen’s backup singer, along with Erin Dickins, during the 1974 and 1975 Tours) involved a Cohen acrobatic inversion:

There was a very funny day in England when our bus broke down – of course this was way before cell phones or car phones – and Leonard thought we had to get the attention of motorists who were just driving by. So he stood on his head in the middle of the road. It kinda worked.

Emily subsequently searched her own photo stash and was rewarded with the image atop this post.

Originally posted Sep 30, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

What Makes Leonard Cohen Run (And Skip)?

The Cohen Credibility Crisis

Introduction: Back in Jan 2009, after Leonard Cohen had performed shows in Canada and Europe and it was announced that the tour would come to the USA, this site took on the investigation of the rumors that Leonard was, at 74, running, skipping, and otherwise performing in a way belying his age and presumed infirmities.

The news that the Leonard Cohen Tour is coming to the US has precipitated a moral crisis for the 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric management.

While steadfast in my admiration of Mr Cohen, I cannot perpetuate the patently absurd premise that – now think about this – a 74 year old entertainer with a self-admitted history of significant tobacco, alcohol, and illicit pharmaceutical use allegedly maintained a tour schedule through 2008 that began with 22 concerts in 30 days and, then, after a 4 day break for travel, resumed on June 13th in Europe with 7 concerts in 8 days. Oh, and from September 21-November 30, Leonard Cohen supposedly performed 34 concerts in 28 cities across 15 countries.1

Sure he did

Nor are these purported concerts described as easy-going, ritualistic affairs, the purpose of which is no more than to allow fans to pay homage to a once-great entertainer. The newspaper reports portray an entirely different kind of event.

… Leonard Cohen surprised and delighted his audience at the BIC last night (Tuesday) by literally sprinting onto the stage and performing a three hour show. ((Cohen’s three-hour set masterpiece by Jeremy Miles. Daily Echo 12 November 2008))

Like a surreal gangster in double-breasted suit and trademark Fedora, Leonard Cohen skipped on to the stage to a deafening and reverential welcome at the Brighton Centre.2

After a seemingly endless string of encores (with Cohen skipping on and off stage between each) it’s obvious that Leonard Cohen has finally come to enjoy life and the songs that he has written that have touched so many.3

And it’s not just newspapers that are in on the scam. The animation below is from a Nett-TV News Clip, Oslo, Norway 2008.

And, check out this representative concert video, set to begin just before the pertinent athletics.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Venice: August 3, 2009
Video by AintNoCureForLove


Does that look to you like a 74 year old guy who just gave a 3+ hour show?

I don’t think so.

Miracle Or Potemkin Performance?

Come on, now. Rigorous schedule? Three hour shows? Running? Skipping?

Give me a break

Clearly, Cohen’s management is attempting to hoodwink fans, but in doing so has clumsily concocted a scenario that is so far beyond the believable that – well, it’s unbelievable is what it is.

It is now necessary to ask the awkward question – What really makes Leonard Cohen run? Stay tuned to find out what the 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric investigative staff has uncovered.

Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by J..S. Carenza III.

Originally posted Jan 15, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric. The original video and photo, which have disappeared, have been replaced with similar versions.

  1. Counting the UK as one country. []
  2. Leonard Cohen at the Brighton Centre By Charlotte Taylor. Crawley Observer 22 December 2008 []
  3. Friday 14/11/08 Leonard Cohen @ The O2 Arena, London by Jon Bye. Gigwise. November 19, 2008 []

Leonard Cohen 2010 Katowice Concert Through The Lens Of Joseph Carenza III

Photos of the Oct 4, 2010 Leonard Cohen Katowice show by J.S. Carenza III

That’s intermission and it’s a race back to the greenroom. One thing that failed to be mentioned in any of the advance work, this venue doesn’t have heating. Seriously. What do they do in the winter? In Poland! Second set in twenty.


Just off stage left, producer Ed Sanders is bunkered down in video village calling the shots for the screens.

Photos: The Passion That Was The 2010 Leonard Cohen Katowice Concert

Leonard Cohen And The Rose Of Katowice

If there were a competition among Leonard Cohen concerts for Most Compellingly Romantic Photograph, this shot of the 76 year old Canadian singer-songwriter,holding a long stem rose while performing in Katowice Poland would surely be the prohibitive favorite. This iconic photo and those below were taken by Gwen Langford, webmaster of Gwen’s Leonard Cohen Journey.

Note: While some of these photos have been published previously, I’ve posted the collection as a whole because it offers provides a valuable perspective on this amazing show.

“At many moments during the concert I felt my eyes well up at the beauty of it all.”

Gwen Langford

Originally posted Oct 7, 2010 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric