Leonard Cohen Was Fan Of Comedian Tony Hancock

Gloomy Canadian singer Leonard Cohen has become a fan of the late comedian Tony Hancock, after discovering the man from East Cheam via a British member of his tour crew.

So enamored is he by the Sixties’ sitcom that Cohen, 76, recently sent Hancock’s scriptwriter, Ray Galton, a bottle of whiskey signed ‘Thanks for the laughs’, as a mark of his appreciation.

From Daily Mail column By Ephraim Hardcastle (August 4, 2011)

Tony Hancock – The Blood Donor

Tony Hancock… The Egg Commercials, 1965

Photo of Tony Hancock sculpture in Birmingham, England by OosoomOwn work. Transferred from en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Originally posted August 6, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Leonard Cohen] doesn’t do many covers, but his set-closing rendition of Save the Last Dance for Me almost makes you forget the Drifters version even exists.” Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Live Acts

26. Leonard Cohen
Cohen emerged from a fifteen-year hiatus in 2008 with marathon shows that showcase all of his best songs. His band is absolutely stunning, and, at 78, his deeper-than-deep voice is captivating. The three-and-a-half hour show seems to pass by in minutes.

Showstopper: He doesn’t do many covers, but his set-closing rendition of “Save the Last Dance for Me” almost makes you forget the Drifters version even exists.

From 50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now by Jo Lopez. Rolling Stone: July 31, 2013

Leonard Cohen – Save The Last Dance For Me
Ghent: Aug 12, 2012
Video by

Originally posted August 2, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Fans Reading The Sandusky Register 1970 Strawberry Fields Festival Article Were To Be Disappointed

Notwithstanding the rather detailed article from the July 25, 197 Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) displayed below [bolding mine], Leonard Cohen was not to perform at the Strawberry Fields Festival held August 7, 8, and 9, 1970 “in the Canadian Maritime Province of New Brunswick at Moncton” aka “lobster capital of the world.” For one thing, the Festival was moved to Mosport, Ontario. And, more to the point, Leonard Cohen (and Led Zeppelin), while scheduled, did not appear. For more information, see 1970 Leonard Cohen Shows That Weren’t.

Rock Festival Slated – Canada

Four hundred acres of wild berry bushes and unspoiled beaches mark the site for the First Annual AlterNation Rock Festival, “Strawberry Fields,” to take place in the Canadian Maritime Province of New Brunswick at Moncton, August 7-9.

Scheduled to feature such top acts as Eric Burdon & War, Cactus, Leonard Cohen, Delaney & Bonnie, Grand Funk Railroad, Procol Harum, Melanie, Mountain, Sly & the Family Stone, Youngbloods and Led Zeppelin, the three-day musical meeting will run each day from low to high tides. The bill will also include such Canadian talent as M a n i t o b a , C r o w b a r , Luke & the Apostles, and others.

NOTED AS the lobster capital of the world, this site is bordered by white beaches, wild strawberry fields, peach trees and contains salt and fresh-water spring rivers, and miles of pure white and untouched sands. Campers will have full access to clean, clear salt waters and a bay whose tide goes out for one and one half miles each day. Fresh water from n a t u r a l wells will be pumped for drinking purposes, e l i m i n a t i n g the casualties of broken pipes and rusty water.

Food concession  prices will be controlled in accordance with festival policy and fresh-caught lobster and fish from this primarily vegetarian state will be available in abundance. Free rice kitchens will be manned by Toronto’s Penny Farthing.

Medical staff and hospital tents will be located at each camping area and at all ends of the site. The Clinic, Canada’s equivalent of the Hog Farm, will patrol the site and provide special hospital facilities and rest areas. Traffic, information and services will be handled by tribal members under the direction of Clinic members.

Seating will be arranged amphitheater style on a graded slope. Adequate units of toilets and showers have been stationed throughout camping grounds, beaches and stage area.

Three-day festival tickets are available at $15, and may be purchased at all Ticketron outlets or by mail order to Strawberry Fields, Suite 700, 720 Filth Avenue, New York, N.Y

Originally posted August 27, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[As a teenager] I felt that Leonard Cohen was my friend. I felt that I understood him and he understood me.” Suzanne Vega

I felt that Leonard Cohen was my friend. I felt that I understood him and he understood me. [Music] was like a lifeline. It had messages of hope, of other people – you felt kindred to other people who liked the same music. It really was pretty much my whole world as a teenager.

Suzanne Vega

From ‘Music was like a lifeline,’ says Suzanne Vega by Kerrie O’Brien (Sydney Morning Herald: 20 July 2018). Photo by Richard Huber – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: The 1970 Leonard Cohen Saratoga Springs Concert That Wasn’t

This August 3, 1970 Schenectady Gazette newspaper advertisement promoted the August 10, 1970 Leonard Cohen Concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. That show never took place, making  it one of those 1970 Leonard Cohen Shows That Weren’t.

Why? This report from the August 7, 1970 Bennington Banner of Bennington, Vermont addresses the cancellation:

Cohen Concert at Saratoga Canceled

Saratoga Springs, N.Y. — Illness has forced cancellation of the Aug. 10 concert by Canadian poet-singer Leonard Cohen at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Cohen’s was hospitalized in Europe after he was severely chilled during a performance at a music festival in Aix-en- Provence, France, according to his management. Those holding tickets to the concert may exchange them or obtain refunds at the S.P.A.C. main box office on Route 50.

“SPAC Poet-Singer Concert Canceled Due to Illness,” a short article in the August 8, 1970 Glen Falls, NY Post-Star provided the same information in almost exactly the same words, adding that “Mr Cohen’s management had sent word that the singer was currently hospitalized in Europe and would be unable to fulfill his next three weeks of scheduled engagements.”

Happily, the Canadian singer-songwriter was healthy enough by August 14, 1970 to perform on French TV.

Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Suzanne Elrod… mother of Leonard Cohen’s two children and a female of conspicuously sultry beauty and appetites, was on the phone [to Leonard] from the Greek island of Hydra making the one telephone call the police would permit her.”

Suzanne Elrod, 29, better known since meeting the Canadian poet in 1969 as Mrs. Leonard Cohen (though they’ve never been legally married), mother of Cohen’s two children and a female of conspicuously sultry beauty and appetites, was on the phone from the Greek island of Hydra making the one telephone call the police would permit her. Separated from Cohen, 44, for the past six months, Suzanne’s enjoyment of younger men and their rituals had become something of a sore point with her tradition-bound village neighbours on Hydra who loved Leonard and were protective of him—according to their own lights. There on the white-washed walls of Leonard’s old house, Suzanne had hung erotic woodcuts beside religious icons. Next to pictures of the saints, prints of Eastern rituals involving exaggerated and enthusiastic phalluses decorated the walls. “I warned Suzanne,” explained Cohen later, “the local cleaning lady would be offended.” The combination of an illustrated Kama sutra on the wall and the absence of the appropriate patriarch in bed was too much for the community. Suzanne and her young boy-friend-of-the-moment were arrested for drug possession after aggrieved villagers complained about “commotions” at the villa. Though all charges were dismissed against Suzanne when the case was investigated, the cost of lawyers, Greek justice and bail for the young man took close to $25,000 out of Cohen’s pocket. “These days I work to support my wife, my children and my responsibilities,” says Cohen.

From Leonard Cohen Says That to All the Girls by Barbara Amiel. Maclean’s: Sept 18, 1978. Now available at From the archives: Leonard Cohen and the Casanova paradox

Sew Me The Place: How To Get An Interview With Leonard Cohen And Get Into His Hotel Room… And Get Him Out Of His Pants – But “No Hanky-Panky”

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring reveals how she garnered an interview with Leonard Cohen, not because she was a “native speaker [of Greek],” not because she had “two degrees in American Lit [and] all Cohen’s books and records, had been a student of poet Coleman Barks, the great translator of Rumi, and was a published poet” nor because she “could quote Leonard’s lyrics back to him . . . and make sense of them.” Nope, she got the interview because she was packing a needle and thread – and wasn’t afraid to use them.

Alone among the hacks there that day, I was a native speaker. Alone among them, I had two degrees in American Lit, all Cohen’s books and records, had been a student of poet Coleman Barks, the great translator of Rumi, and was a published poet, myself. Alone among them, I could quote Leonard’s lyrics back to him . . . and make sense of them. I could parse him.

But that’s not what got me my exclusive, three-day-long interview with Leonard Cohen.

Instead, it was the fact that, alone among those talking-all-over-one-another scribes, I had a needle and thread in my purse . . . and Leonard’s brand-new suit pants were split (they’d never been sewn, in fact) right up the seat. After he spoke to the crowd, I made my way through the throng, needle and black thread proffered.

“You’re going to want to talk to me.”

“Oh?”

“Mr. Cohen, your pants are split right up the back seam.”

“Can you come up to my room? Now?”

“Of course. With my tape recorder? And, I know you: no hanky-panky?”

A weary smile.

And so, it began. The interview that went on for three days, and certain innocent intervals of three nights. Plus one mega-concert at Athens’s Lycabettus Theater.

From My Long-Overdue Love Letter to Leonard Cohen by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring (Huffington Post, July 2, 2012)

What’s the greatest challenge of [being Leonard Cohen’s musical director & bassist]? Roscoe Beck: “Remaining vigilant! No matter how many times we may have played a particular song, anything about that song could change, at any time—and probably will!”

Roscoe Beck and Leonard Cohen

What’s the greatest challenge of the gig [serving as musical director and bassist for Leonard Cohen] for you?

quoteup2
Remaining vigilant! No matter how many times we may have played a particular song, anything about that song could change, at any time—and probably will! Remaining focused and in the moment is always important, but on this gig, it is absolutely essential. Another challenge is singing background vocals. In the role of bassist I’m usually comfortable and confident, so onstage I often focus more on the challenge of my vocal parts, doing my best to ensure they’re in pitch and blending well. Overall, if my performance never stands out in a particularly obvious way, I’m probably doing my job well.quotedown2

Roscoe Beck

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From Roscoe Beck: Words and Music with Leonard Cohen by Chris Jisi. BassPlayer: July 1, 2013. The entire article, an intriguing read, can be accessed at the link. Photo atop post by Maarten Massa. Second photo by Mandy MacLeod. Thanks to Linda Sturgess, who alerted me to this article.