Leonard Cohen To Interviewer: “Do you have a scarf?”

Having recently published a couple of posts featuring Leonard Cohen in humorous conflict with interviewers (see Leonard Cohen’s Short Response To A Long Question About His Depression and “Let’s kill him” Leonard Cohen Plots With Anjani To Murder Interviewer), I thought it only fair to offer an anecdote or two displaying Leonard’s graciousness with reporters. Today, it’s Leonard forcing scarfs on interviewers. Tomorrow, it’ll be Leonard forcing cash on a temporarily destitute interviewer.

Leonard Cohen Not Only Gives Good Interview But Also Gives Good Scarves To Interviewers

Soon it was afternoon and I had to leave. Snow had started to flicker in Montreal, and I began packing my bag. ‘Do you have a scarf?’ Cohen asked. I said no, I hadn’t brought one, and he pulled out a long, thin scarf with a black-and-red checkered pattern, and handed it to me. I thanked him but said I couldn’t possibly take his scarf, but like a nice Jewish mother or father, he insisted, and I took it. The scarf remains in my closet. As rock-star interview mementos go, it’s admittedly mundane. But now, as we really do seem to be facing apocalyptic times, it’s a reminder of the comfort and wisdom he left behind, the kind that could always get anyone through good and bad weather, and good and bad times.quotedown2

David Browne


Leonard Cohen at Home in 1992: Singer-Songwriter on Pop Success, New Love by David Browne  (Rolling Stone: November 11, 2016). Photo atop post is a screenshot of Leonard Cohen with the scarf he wore at the July 11, 2009 Weybridge show/storm.

And… from Life Of A Ladies’ Man by Sarah Hampson. Globe and Mail: May. 25 2007.

Finally, when you insist you must leave, he worries if you are dressed warmly enough for the cold weather. He gives you one of his scarves, and goes upstairs to retrieve an old Gap sweater he wants you to wear. He calls you darling. He finds a pin for the Order of the Unified Heart and gives you one, and a ring, too, with the same design.quotedown2

Sarah Hampson

The Cars Of Leonard Cohen: 1995 Nissan Pathfinder


You Will Drive Your Car
Here And There
Delivering And Fetching
And Neither The Traffic
Nor The Weather
Will Bother You
In The Least.

From A Life Of Errands
Book Of Longing By Leonard Cohen


When Gerrit Terstiege interviewed Leonard Cohen in July 2001, circumstances were such that, instead of the 20 minutes scheduled, he spent more than an hour with the Lord Byron Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, much of it in casual conversation about a wide range of topics, one of which was the kind of car Leonard drove. Because II was interested in what kind of car Leonard Cohen drove and thought that other fans might be interested as well, I decided to put together a series of posts about Leonard Cohen’s actual automobiles, those metaphorical cars he employed in his songs, and his thoughts about cars.

The first of these entries focuses, appropriately, on this except from the referenced Gerrit Terstiege’s interview with Leonard Cohen (July 2001):

I’ve had the same car for 7 or 8 years now. I had to get a 4-wheel-drive because of the mountain road which is covered with snow for a few months of every year and it’s quite a steep road with a lot of switchbacks. I drive a Nissan Pathfinder 95.

The image atop this post, a screenshot from a 1996 video, shows Leonard (in his monk’s robe) walking to his Pathfinder while the graphic directly above fom the same video pictures him driving the Pathfinder. The two photos below, taken by Lorca Cohen in 2014, show him with the same car. (I’m confident it is the same car because when the Duchess and I visited Leonard in Aug 2014, he wrote that we could identify his home by the 1995 Nissan Pathfinder parked in the driveway.)


All posts in this series will be collected at when they go online.

“This is a song for a girl named Nancy who was a real girl” Leonard Cohen – The Real Life Story Behind Seems So Long Ago, Nancy By Nancy’s Nephew

Over the years I have had a fascination with this song [So Long Ago, Nancy]. It is an awful song, in many ways, leaving Nancy a legacy that few would want—a legacy of promiscuity and self-loathing. I have often felt such pity for Nancy as I can almost feel her sadness and pain through the song. I have wished that someone could reach through the sadness and bring her some measure of peace.

But the peace never came. Lost in her despair, Nancy took her own life.

How do I know this? Nancy was my aunt.

From Seems So Long Ago, Nancy by Tim Challies (@Challies: January 17, 2011). The entire well-written, insightful piece is available at the link.

Image atop post contributed by Dominique BOILE.

“I first heard [Leonard Cohen] when I was 10. My mother was going out on a date & wanted me to go to sleep, so she … said, ‘I’ll put a record on that’ll put you right to sleep.’ That’s when I first heard Leonard.” Rebecca De Mornay

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Read this charming account of a reporter’s unexpected encounter with Rebecca De Mornay during an interview with Leonard Cohen at his home in Montreal:

Suddenly I heard the sound of footsteps descending from the stairs from an upper floor. Turning around, I saw it was Rebecca De Mornay. The two had been a rumored item for a while at that point, but the sight was still shocking: of De Mornay, at the peak of her The Hand That Rocks the Cradle phase, blond, lithesome and wearing one of Cohen’s sweatshirts.

“I never laid a hand on her,” Cohen deadpanned.

As gracious as Cohen was, she joined us at the table. A bottle of red wine sat there, although I can’t recall if either of them had any at that moment. She was about 25 years younger than Cohen. He called her sweetheart and she rubbed his arm. They’d met each over five years before. “Solid-gold artists would kill for this kind of anguish,” he said to me, followed by a smile.

“I first heard you when I was 10,” De Mornay said to me as Cohen listened. “My mother was going out on a date and wanted me to go to sleep, so she lit a candle – for a child alone in a house – and said, ‘I’ll put a record on that’ll put you right to sleep.’ And that’s when I first heard Leonard. And I remember it did put me to sleep. But it was comforting.” Cohen smiled bemusedly, the slightest roll of an eye.

Leonard Cohen at Home in 1992: Singer-Songwriter on Pop Success, New Love by David Browne  (Rolling Stone: November 11, 2016)

Posts featuring Leonard Cohen & Rebecca De Mornay can be accessed at

Feb 26, 2013 – Leonard Cohen Tour Prep Status: “Leonard called the day early…confident he and the band were in a strong position”

Today’s rehearsal is pretty laid back, spent on polishing a few numbers and having fun with some well practiced songs, ad-libbing. They played Passing Through, a song I haven’t heard since I don’t know when. Leonard called the day early, around 6pm, confident he and the band were in a strong position.

From Feb 26: LA, Rehearsals by Leif Bodnarchuk. posted Feb 2013 at No Ideas: The Life Of A Leonard Cohen Roadie

Anjani On “If Leonard Cohen Were A Vegetable, Which Vegetable Would He Be?” What Kind Of Cake She Would Be & Her Recipe For Kickass Shortbread

Introduction:In late 2007 and early 2008, Anjani Thomas (Leonard Cohen’s backup singer, collaborator, and romantic partner) and I exchanged many emails, most dealing with serious matters such as her life and career, her relationship with Leonard, music, meditation, cosmos emanations… and others focusing on — well, let’s go with goofy stuff.  The following falls into the latter category.


DrHGuy: A blogger who is both a serious cook and a big fan of Leonard Cohen inevitably asked,

If Leonard Cohen were a vegetable, which vegetable would he be?

I’m thinking something on the lines of an eggplant, but you, no doubt, have a more interesting response.

Anjani: Definitely a cabbage. First of all, it looks like a brain. Second, it’s got substantial weight, and when you cut it open it has those labyrinthine channels and layers tightly packed together. His mind is like that, his work is like that. And third, coleslaw is his favorite salad.

DrHGuy: Extrapolating from the veggie quandary, my next question is, of course, “If Anjani were a candy bar, which candy bar would she be?”

Anjani: Can I be a piece of cake instead? Because I’m not much of a candy eater but I am very big on cake. All kinds, as long as it is great. I won’t sully my love for it by eating less than great cake. I’d have a tough time choosing between fresh strawberry shortcake with whipped crème or the classic chocolate layer with an ice cold glass of milk. And another thing: I had to give up refined white sugar recently, (and this is more information than you asked for, I know) so ideally it should be made with half the amount of Rapadura sugar and with organic ingredients. But in a pinch, if someone’s mother has made it, I’ll just say a prayer and indulge.

I happen to have the easiest recipe for a shortbread that is so divine I had to stop baking it because I will eat half a batch before I can even think of sharing it. So if I were a cookie it would be this one. And just so you don’t wonder the rest of your life what it is, here ya go:

Kickass Shortbread
2 c. room temperature butter
2 c. sifted powdered sugar (I cut this to 1 1/4 cup)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2c flour

Cream butter and sugar.
Sift other dry ingredients and add to mixture.
Roll into 1” balls and flatten.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10 min.
Sift powdered sugar over them if you like.

And don’t blame me if you eat them all.

Credit Due Department: Photo by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Leonard Cohen] said in his last interview that he was ready to die, and he said in his last public outing that he would live forever. Both are true. There was no one like him, and there never will be.” Rebecca de Mornay

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Leonard Cohen was one of the greatest poets, but for me, he was also one of the most important people in my life, and losing him is like losing a limb. He was my ground, he was my aerial, as he wrote in his song ‘Treaty.’ I really cannot fathom what life will be like without him in it. At least I was able to spend time with him in his last year. He faced death as he faced life: straight on, with honesty, grace, and breathtaking depth of perception. He enjoyed the quiet, simple moments with friends, and being immersed in working on songs. He said in his last interview that he was ready to die, and he said in his last public outing that he would live forever. Both are true. There was no one like him, and there never will be.quotedown2

Rebecca de Mornay


Rebecca de Mornay Remembers Ex-Fiancé Leonard Cohen: ‘There Was No One Like Him, and There Never Will Be’ by Alex Heigl (People: November 11, 2016)