Leonard Cohen Newsletter #5 (Sept 4, 1985): End of Tour, Planned USA-Japan Tour, Jurgen Jaensch, TV & Radio Appearances, and Starsound Collection LP

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Before Cohencentric, the official Leonard Cohen site, Facebook fan pages, LeonardCohenFiles, Instagram, etc., there was the Leonard Cohen Information Service Newsletter. For the story behind the Leonard Cohen Information Service Newsletter, see Ancient Texts From The Tower Of Song: Leonard Cohen Information Service Newsletter #1 – Dec 16, 1984. Click on images to enlarge

Thanks to James Finch, who unearthed his set of newsletters and made them available on this site. The image of Leonard’s computer generated self-portrait atop this post is from Newsletter #33. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

4 Years Ago: Leonard Cohen & DrHGuy – Hanging In The Hood

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On Aug 6, 2014, the Duchess & I spent a sunny afternoon with Leonard Cohen and his personal assistant, Kezban Özcan, at his home in Los Angeles. Read about that visit at

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Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post taken by Penny Showalter

An Example Of Leonard Cohen’s Graciousness & Generosity: Montreal 1960s

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When one of the girls that hung out on Stanley Street became pregnant by a guy who quickly left town when he heard the news, Leonard went around and dug the money out of whoever he thought had some, giving the largest amount himself to help her out. His generosity also included being loyal to old friends who had become bores, and loving to those who had no reason to expect it.quotedown2

Don Owens

 

From Cohen Remembered by Don Owens, Saturday Night, June 1969. Photo Credit: Henry Sotheran Ltd.

Note: Don Owens was familiar with Leonard Cohen when they both lived in Montreal in the 1960s.

“I believed in him. He had moved people in the right direction, toward gentleness. But then I became very alone—the proof of the poetry just wasn’t there.” Suzanne Elrod On Leonard Cohen

Though Cohen had given Suzanne [Suzanne Elrod, the mother Of Adam and Lorca Cohen] a filigreed Jewish wedding ring, the union had never been formalized. The relationship became strained and about the time his mother died, in 1978, they separated. Suzanne took the children to live near Avignon, France. “I believed in him,” she says. “He had moved people in the right direction, toward gentleness. But then I became very alone—the proof of the poetry just wasn’t there.” Suzanne claims he is not living up to a child-support agreement he signed when they broke up. For his part, Cohen complains about Florida-bred Suzanne’s “Miami consumer habits. My only luxuries are airplane tickets to go anywhere at any time. All I need is a table, chair and bed.”

From The Face May Not Be Familiar, but the Name Should Be: It’s Composer and Cult Hero Leonard Cohen by Pamela Andriotakis & Richard Oulahan. People: January 14, 1980. Originally posted Nov 15, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The 2018 Leonard Cohen Field Guide

The Legacy Of Leonard Cohen 2018: People, Places, & Projects

While Leonard Cohen died November 7, 2016, his work and memory live on. This chapter of the Leonard Cohen Primer identifies some of the individuals, locations, and potential projects that figure prominently in the legacy of Leonard Cohen in 2018.1

Robert Kory

Leonard Cohen & Robert Kory. Photo by Gwen Langford.

Robert Kory, Leonard Cohen’s business manager, lawyer, and friend, is now Trustee Of Leonard Cohen Family Trust and, pragmatically, the primary decision-maker for matters Cohen in 2018 (see Robert Kory, Trustee Of Leonard Cohen Family Trust, Talks About His Mandate To Expand Appreciation Of Cohen’s Work).

The Robert Kory Story: Leonard Cohen experienced a financial disaster that he discovered in 2004.

Leonard is broke, or to put it more properly, he’s been robbed. You may have followed this in the press, but the drift is, the songwriter was bilked out of millions due him by his former manager, Kelley Lynch. A true femme fatale, even though Cohen successfully sued Lynch (for $9 mil), she has ignored the suit.2

Within a short time, the legal pursuit of his financial losses depleted Leonard’s funds to the point that he would soon be unable to pay the professionals charged with protecting his interests. In the midst of these problems, Leonard Cohen, Anjani, and Lorca Cohen were discussing this looming and increasingly tempestuous financial maelstrom when Lorca experiences an epiphany expressed as an innocuous question addressed to Anjani: “Wasn’t your ex-husband a lawyer?” Anjani responds that yes, her ex was indeed a member of the legal profession – which is how Anjani came to be phoning the man she divorced 15 years earlier to ask his professional help. (More information about this event can be found at The Anjani Chronicles: Escape From New York Meets To Live & Die In LA Meets Back To The Future + The Robert Kory Story.) Cohen and Kory meet and agree to work together. The ensuing legal battles are brutal, ferociously antagonistic affairs, replete with suits, countersuits, threats, demands, and accusations of blackmail, conspiracy, and worse. As noted in the earlier quote from the Guardian, Leonard Cohen, represented by Robert Kory, prevailed in court although collection of the judgment remained a largely theoretical concept. That win led to Robert Kory’s ongoing role in the management of Cohen’s business interests,  including the 2008-2013 tours.

Adam Cohen

Leonard Cohen, Adam Cohen, & Adam’s son, Cassius. Photo from Adam Cohen Facebook Page.

Leonard Cohen has two grown children. His son, Adam (born 1972), is, like his father, a singer-songwriter. Adam played a major role in the creation of his father’s final album, You Want It Darker, and the Nov 6, 2017 Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert.

Lorca Cohen

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Leonard’s daughter, Lorca (born 1974), was named after the poet, Federico García Lorca. (Of course, mention of Federico García Lorca at this point is an instance of Chekov’s gun3 so there will be more about him later. For now, however, just keep Lorca’s namesake4 in mind for future reference.)

Lorca has two children, Lyon and Viva. Viva is the child of Rufus Wainwright. Lorca has run an antique store, has assisted her father on tour, and is a skilled photographer. Many of the photos of Leonard Cohen that appear in published materials, CD cover art, etc. are her work.

The photo of Leonard Cohen and a 16 year old Lorca at his L.A. home was taken May 16, 1991 by Paul Harris.

Patrick Leonard

 

Patrick Leonard, who collaborated with Leonard Cohen on his final three albums, Old Ideas, Popular Problems, and You Want It Darker, revealed that the last time he visited Leonard Cohen, the two “were in talks to work on an R&B album.” There are other indications of work produced by The Two Leonards stashed away at the time before Leonard Cohen’s death have sparked hopes of future releases of original material.

Montreal

Leonard Cohen mural on Crescent St, Montreal. Photo by Michael Loftus

Leonard Cohen was born, grew up, attended college, maintained a residence, and was buried in Montreal (see ). Montreal scenes were featured in some of Leonard’s songs (see Leonard Cohen on Suzanne “It was never about a particular woman…it was more about the beginning of a different life for me. My life in Montreal”), and he was also a member of Montreal’s Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the synagogue Lazarus Cohen (Leonard Cohen’s great-grandfather) and Lyon Cohen (Leonard’s grandfather) each served as president. Leonard Cohen’s gravesite is located in the Shaar Hashomayim Cemetery.

Photo by Maarten Massa

Montreal was the site of Nov 6, 2017 Leonard Cohen Tribute.

The Flame – Leonard Cohen’s Final Book

The only confirmed, impending official Leonard Cohen project is Leonard’s final book, The Flame, due to be published Oct 2, 2018,. The volume will offer lyrics from his final three albums, poems, prose, illustrations, & selections from his notebooks.

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  1. Note: The first Leonard Cohen Field Guide was published in 2008. []
  2. Leonard Cohen: A troubadour at Charles’s court by Neil Spencer. Guardian: May 21, 2006 []
  3. “Chekov’s gun” references the playwright’s notion that “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.” From Gurlyand’s Reminiscences of A. P. Chekhov, in Teatr i iskusstvo 1904, No. 28, 11 July, p. 521. Preceding primary reference is from Wikipedia []
  4. One suspects that Lorca Cohen, however admirable she may find the poet for whom she was named, may well have grown less enthusiastic about inevitably being introduced in published material as “Lorca Cohen, who was named after the … .” If so, I apologize for perpetuating the trend; it’s the kind of thing newbies need to know. []

Leonard Cohen’s Reading List For Beautiful Losers: Kateri of the Mohawks, Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha, Blue Beetle, Jesuits in North America, Farmer’s Almanac, & More

Cohen … based his novel [“Beautiful Losers”] on several core readings: P. Edouard Lecompte’s Une vierge iroquoise: Catherine Tekakwitha, le lis de bords de la Mohawk et du St. Laurent (1656-1680) (1927); Kateri of the Mohawks by Marie Cecilia Buehrle;1 a volume entitled Jesuits in North America; an American comic book from 1943, Blue Beetle; a farmer’s almanac; a passage from Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols; and Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha.

Excerpted from Various Positions by Ira Nadel

The Leonard Cohen Reading List

This is the latest entry to the Leonard Cohen Reading List, a compilation of books commended by the Canadian singer-songwriter.

Originally posted October 23, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Kateri of the Mohawks by Marie Cecilia Buehrle was published by Bruce Pub. Co  (1954) []

“[Blue Alert’s music is] often sad, but by shaking off the melodic restrictions of those lugubrious vocals, Anjani has arguably done more for her man [Leonard Cohen] than any previous muse or collaborator.” Kitty Empire

Of all pop’s poets, Cohen understands the contradictions of romance: ‘I had to go crazy to love you/ You who were never the one/ Whom I chased through the souvenir heartache …’ is not a line you’ll find on a Robbie Williams record. Sin and salvation are, for once, not on the agenda. Instead, the songs focus on goodbyes (‘You won’t hear my voice till it’s far, far away’) and fidelity (‘I taught the Kama Sutra but I never loved before’). It’s often sad, but by shaking off the melodic restrictions of those lugubrious vocals, Anjani has arguably done more for her man than any previous muse or collaborator.

From Songs for small-hours lovers by Kitty Empire. The Guardian: April 28, 2007). Originally posted Oct 12, 2008 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Is The Leonard Cohen Online Unified Heart In Danger Of Flatlining?

I’ll never forget you, you know!

From Take This Waltz
By Leonard Cohen

One of the prime perks of being a lame duck blogger (see Cohencentric: The Farewell Tour) is feckless pontification. So…

Keeping Leonard Cohen’s Songs & Memory Alive Online

As I elaborated in a previous post, I am convinced that Leonard Cohen’s online presence has played an essential role in maintaining his music, poetry, prose, contemplations, and life in the public’s consciousness over the past quarter-century and especially in supporting his remarkable renaissance since 2008. And, Leonard appears to have felt the same way. At the September 2, 2012 Helsinki concert, Leonard Cohen publicly thanked Jarkko Arjatsalo, webmaster of LeonardCohenFiles and LeonardCohenForum:

Through his efforts, my work was kept alive for all these years

I am also convinced that, currently, Leonard Cohen’s online presence is diminishing.

The Online Leonard Cohen Downtrend

As time winds down until Cohencentric goes dark, I have grown increasingly concerned that advocacy of Leonard Cohen on the internet is deteriorating. (And yes, I do realize that the impending termination of Cohencentric, the most popular Leonard Cohen website,1 is a factor in the very problem I am describing; more about that later.)

Over the past decade, I have meticulously monitored online references to Leonard Cohen. While I cannot proffer scientifically verifiable proof, I am confident (i.e., my lifelong history of assiduously avoiding gambling notwithstanding, I would wager large sums of money on the accuracy of these observations) that internet mentions of the Canadian singer-songwriter in general have decreased significantly over the past several months.2

For some time – certainly since the close of the MAC Leonard Cohen exhibition in April 2018 – activity at LeonardCohenForum, entries at LeonardCohen.com, responses to the official Leonard Cohen Facebook Page, and posts about Leonard Cohen on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter… have declined.

The following example is illustrative: As part of my daily internet rounds, I run a Google search for items containing the term “Leonard Cohen” posted over the “past 24 hours.” From 2008 to 2016, that search routinely brought up more than a hundred pages of 10 items each. At this time (6:30 AM, Aug 2, 2018) this search offered up only four pages with a total of 38 hits, six of which (a little more than 15%) were Cohencentric entries. (See screen capture of page 4 below)

And, were it not for shots of the Leonard Cohen Montreal mural posted on Instagram, that once rich and dynamic source would hardly be worth checking daily.

The Leonard Cohen Facebook Fan Groups: The nexus of day-to-day online discussion of Leonard Cohen over the past year or two has been and continues to be the Leonard Cohen Facebook fan pages. Recently, however, the quantity of posts and responses have dampened and, by my subjective judgement, the proportion of disparaging  comments has increased. While the official number of members in a given fan group may be growing, that may be misleading since most individuals who withdraw do so de facto rather than formally terminating their membership. Consequently, the population of active participants can decrease even if the membership roll enlarges. Further, some folks with long histories of contributing original material to these pages have decreased or ended their involvement.

So What?

Well, the best case scenario is that I’m wrong. Persuade me that my assessment is inaccurate, i.e., that Leonard Cohen’s online presence is growing or remaining stable rather than diminishing, and I will happily publish a celebratory acknowledgment. Really – this isn’t a rhetorical flourish; if you believe all is well online, send your reasoning to me at the email address listed at the “DrHGuy Info” tab on the top right of every Cohencentric page. And, if it’s a convincing argument, I’ll post it.

If, on the other hand, the online downtrend does exist, we are in danger of losing a vital element of Leonard Cohen’s legacy – and I haven’t detected evidence of an impending rescue.

Next: Waiting For The Miracle – Finding Solutions, Including Cohencentric’s Role

Update: The Redemptive Role Of The Unified Heart Seal & The Blessing To End Disunity

Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post of Leonard Cohen singing the line, “I’ll Never Forget You, You Know” from Take This Waltz, performed at the 2013 Vienna concert, is by Uwe Schrade.

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  1. Alexa.com Rankings: July 31, 2018

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  2. Of course, one might assume that the death of an entertainment icon would naturally lead to a decrease in his popularity, but fan interest in Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, and Bob Marley, for example, has continued since these stars left this vale of tears. []