Video: 1985 Backstage Banter Starring Anjani, Directed By Dominique Issermann – Leonard Cohen, Cameraman


Musical Of Backstage Lives Of Artists On Tour Opens Off-Broadway To Mixed Reviews

This teaser features Leonard Cohen as videographer, Anjani Thomas in pseudo-rant, and Dominique Issermann directing. An unrecognized (by me) cast member provides comic relief. The scene deteriorates when, in  a room full of musicians, no one knows the words to “Dominique.”

From German Documentary ‘Halleluja in Moll’ (1985)
Video from messalina79

An alternative version of “Dominique” follows:

Soeur Sourire Plays And Sings Dominique (1963)
Video from riccardobruero

Video: 1985 Leonard Cohen Soundcheck – Rehearsing, Toasting, Mopping

moll2There’s a lot to like in this two minute video segment from the German Documentary ‘Halleluja in Moll,’ including a rehearsal of Tonight Will Be Fine and If It Be Your Will, the latter featuring Anjani Thomas and a post-rehearsal meeting of the musicians . But, for me, nothing beats the few seconds of mopping going on in front of the stage by folks oblivious to the musical labors going on a few feet away.

Leonard Cohen And Band – Rehearsal
From German Documentary ‘Halleluja in Moll’
Munich: March 9, 1985
Video from messalina79

Note: Originally posted Oct 5, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

A Valentine’s Day Gift: Leonard Cohen & Anjani Perform Never Got To Love You & Whither Thou Goest – 2007

For as in that story long ago,
The same sweet love story now is so.
Thy people shall be my people, my love.
Whither thou goest I will go.

Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas Perform Never Got to Love You and Whither Thou Goest at Joe’s Pub in New York – 2007

Note: Originally posted Feb 8, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

3 Photos Of Leonard Cohen & Anjani On Pico Blvd L.A. 2007

leonard_cohen_on_pico_boulevard-scaled1000Paul Zollo captured these images of Leonard Cohen and Anjani at a cafe on Pico Boulevard on February 26, 2007 and graciously agreed to the shots being reposted here.


Paul Zollo also wrote From Songwriters On Songwriting, an insightful book which includes a section on Leonard Cohen (available at Leonard Cohen Los Angeles 1992). Over the years, I’ve posted several Leonard Cohen quotes from this piece. One of my favorites follows:

… After a while, if you stick with a song long enough it will yield. But long enough is way beyond any reasonable estimation of what you think long enough may be. In fact, long enough is way beyond. It’s abandoning, it’s abandoning that idea of what you think long enough may be.

Because if you think it’s a week, that’s not long enough. If you think it’s a month, it’s not long enough. If you think it’s a year, it’s not long enough. If you think it’s a decade, it’s not long enough.


Note: Originally posted December 29, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

How DrHGuy First Connected With Leonard Cohen: 4. The Less Dramatic, More Remarkable Aftermath


Update (2017): Introduction

This is the fourth in a set of entries that I am posting (or reposting) in response to questions about how l first became involved with Leonard Cohen:



How Did You Get That Leonard Cohen Autograph?

Ongoing readers may recall that within the titular letter referenced in Anjani Writes Dear DrHGuy Letter included this offering:

the poet would like to send you his latest literary offering Book Of Longing, just to show there are no hard feelings over your reckless communiqué.

“The Poet,” it turns out, was Leonard Cohen (lucky guess, eh?).  And, sure enough, a few days later I received a copy of Book Of Longing with the above autographed title page. And, it made for a dandy anecdote:

Five or six years ago, I posted the above image in a LeonardCohenForum thread about Leonard Cohen autographs. I was then asked something along the lines of “How did you get that Leonard Cohen autograph?”1 My account of the process follows:

Ah, it’s the age-old story … Boy (that would be me) finds girl (Anjani) via composing a review of girl’s album (Blue Alert). Boy, coming across a comparison of girl to Holly Cole and Tanita Tikaram, makes the obvious move, interjecting into the review the suggestion for a four-way comprising him and the three female vocalists. Girl leaves a positive comment on the post, thanking boy for the positive review. Boy publishes next post interpreting girl’s comment as an indication that girl is torn between running to him and staying with her boyfriend – Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lenny Kravitz, Leonard Bernstein … Lennie somebody, Negotiations ensue re four-way Vs three-way and consequent permutations of participants. Eventually, however, girl sends a Dear John letter (technically, a Dear DrHGuy letter), and it’s splitsville (aka boy loses girl). Boy gets autographed Blue Alert album from girl and autographed poetry volume from boyfriend/poet/singer-songwriter/icon as consolation prize.

Happens every day.

Actually, the inscription on this page is the last time I recall receiving a message from Leonard that used my full name. In person and in his emails, I was most often “Dr Heck” and, less often, “Allan.” (He inevitably and invariably referred to Penny, who became my spouse three years later, as “The Duchess” in keeping with her blogonym.)

Real Life Intervenes

After that mid-August 2007 exchange of messages with Anjani, I heard from her with some frequency.  I also began hearing from Leonard occasionally. A few months later, however, my son was the victim of a car accident and went into coma. I immediately received an endearing, compassionate message from Anjani and Leonard, including Leonard’s recounting of the head trauma incurred by his own son Adam and Adam’s recovery thereafter.

For the next few months, I was focused on my son’s neurological problems and his subsequent treatment.

Then, early in 2008, the woman in my life had a recurrence of breast cancer (the same disease that ended the life of my wife, Julie). Over the next months, she slowly withered and, in June 2008, not long after Leonard Cohen began his 2008 tour in Newfoundland, died. My interest in blogging waned although it didn’t dissolve altogether. I stumbled along with posting about not only Leonard and Anjani but also such matters as my family, county seals, the local weather and wildlife, broomcorn, … (The site was a tad less focused in those days.)

Then came the 2009 Leonard Cohen Beacon Theatre concert.

But that’s for the next post.


  1. OK, the response was actually, “You really must tell us more about this. And we expect a detailed, witty recollection in your inimitable style,” but “How did you get that Leonard Cohen autograph?” makes for a pithier heading []