My most lasting memory of Leonard Cohen is of a night we spent together at a Tom Waits concert at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. The headliner was in fine form that evening, croaking out his psychedelic sea shanties and forging ironies by the half-ton. But I must confess that my greatest joy was sitting next to the rumpled genius as he warmly greeted a steady parade of fans and admirers before and after the show. His humility was unforced—he’d learned to reduce his ego to a mere shadow after many years at the Mount Baldy Zen Center… Leonard Cohen was the hippest Jewish uncle I never had growing up, a capacious and compassionate spirit, and rock and roll’s most literate and sensitive bard of the last half-century. The world has rarely seen a sweeter, humbler tenant in the glorious Tower of Song.
Note: David Weiss aka David Was founded, along with his stage-brother Don Was, the pop group Was (Not Was). See Video: Elvis’s Rolls Royce Featuring Leonard Cohen By Was (Not Was) – “I Really Love It!” Don Was.
Leonard Cohen Smiles Down on Us From the ‘Tower of Song’ by David Weiss (Newsweek: Nov 11, 2016). Photo by Mandy MacLeod.