Video: Treaty By Leonard Cohen – Quintessential Puzzle Of Longing, Love And Faith

Oana Maria Cajal.writes:

Here is our new Cohenesque Art Video, in anticipation of Leonard’s celebration in November, here in Montreal.

More Cohencentric posts featuring work by this artist can be found at Oana Maria Cajal. She also maintains a website at and a Twitter account at

Leonard Cohen Munching Healthy Snacks (No Cheetos In Sight)

Leonard Cohen, who has a penchant for sweets such as chocolate bars and a now well-known penchant for Cheetos (see below), is shown here grazing on a health-conscious selection of fruits in the studio.

Photo atop post found at the official Leonard Cohen site. This photo was originally posted Nov 19, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Recommended Reading: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal: Refuge And Escape


Of all the articles featuring sites in Montreal with links to Leonard Cohen I’ve reviewed thus far, Leonard Cohen’s Montreal: refuge and escape by Robert Everett-Green (The Globe and Mail: Oct. 14, 2016) offers the best blend of geographical data, background information,and maps. The only disappointment is the lack of photos of the locations. I’ve excerpted a couple of paragraphs to give a sense of the article, which is available in full at the link:

Cohen discovered the romance of Westmount, and its sadness, too, as his friend Irving Layton pointed out. He mythologized the chic women who “float into dress shops or walk their rich dogs in front of the Ritz.” He was of that world; but as a Jew and a poet, was also separate enough to remark that “Westmount is a collection of large stone houses and lush trees arranged on the top of the mountain especially to humiliate the underprivileged.”

There are a couple of large churches on the route Cohen would have walked to the Shaar. He went to school with kids from those churches, at Roslyn Elementary and Westmount High, both imposing buildings where anglophone Christians and Jews mingled as they no longer do in the borough’s more diversified school structure. Cohen biographer Sylvie Simmons says that between one-quarter and one-third of Westmount High students in Cohen’s day were Jewish. He was exposed to Christian pageants at school, and had even gone to church with his Irish Catholic nanny, laying the basis for a lifelong fascination with Christian imagery and rhetoric.

Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

Leonard Cohen’s Montreal: refuge and escape is part of Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal, a collection of the best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks.

Leonard Cohen’s 1988 Halloween Austin City Limits Show – Scary Concept, Eh?

The impending holiday prompted me to re-publish this Halloween tidbit as a reminder that an official version of Leonard Cohen’s 1988 appearance on Austin City Limits is now available online.

Halloween In Austin

In 2013, I pondered the sight displayed above in the screen capture and posted this plea:

Would someone (maybe someone like Roscoe Beck or Mitch Watkins who understands how Austin operates) explain to me why the gentleman in the middle of this screenshot, taken when the camera pans the audience just prior to the start of Take This Waltz during the 1988 Leonard Cohen Austin City Limits Show, seems to be wearing a watermelon helmet on his head? I realize there are some odd images in Take This Waltz (you’ve got your “chair with a dead magazine” and that “bed where the moon has been sweating,” for example) but I don’t recall “I’ll applaud with a watermelon for a hat” in the lyrics.

And, sure enough, a reader wise in the ways of Austin, Leorstef, responded:

So, why is the guy wearing a Watermelon Hat? Why is one lady dressed as a Nun? I asked that question myself the first time I saw the concert 24 years ago.

That concert was actually filmed on Halloween night in 1988, then aired on PBS in April 1989. So simply, many of the folks were just in Halloween costumes. Since Austin has always been a good place to party, I assume they were just getting ready ahead of time for the rest of the night.

Here’s the sad part: I was at the Leonard Cohen concert in Austin on Oct 31, 2012, and I recall seeing only one person that might have been wearing a Halloween costume (and I suspect it could have been the sort of thing she wore every day). So, is Austin getting less weird?

Note: More Halloween-related Leonard Cohen posts can be found at

Leonard Cohen On The Air In Austin

Leonard Cohen’s performance on the October 31, 1988 episode of Austin City Limits, which has become routinely designated as his “first major performance on American television,” is strong musically and a treat to watch. As ongoing readers know, this show has been intermittently available on various sites and then lost to copyright restrictions.

Now, however, it’s back – in an official version uploaded by AustinCityLimitsTV

The Intros

The 1988 Austin City Limits show1 is notable for Leonard Cohen’s idiosyncratic preludes to certain songs, including a description of the crucifixion of Christ that invokes the application of shaving lotion as an introduction to “Ain’t No Cure For Love” and a lead-in to “If It Be Your Will” that consists of Cohen’s complaint that his “hands are all sweaty with Tequila juice. It’s an impermeable oil that seeps through the membrane,” a scientifically baffling declaration that nonetheless seems to work in context as suggestive language to set the mood.2

Video: Leonard Cohen – Austin City Limits 1988


Set List

Continue Reading →

  1. Cohen also performed on Austin City Limits in 1993 []
  2. For a poet-novelist-sing-songwriter-icon, one supposes, poetic license trumps scientific principle. Still, “an impermeable oil that seeps through the membrane” does dispel the Leonard Cohen is a Renaissance Man cliche. []

Leonard Cohen Explains Why “I’ve been very reluctant to domesticate myself”

I’ve been very reluctant to domesticate myself. I found it very hard, and I don’t know if it’s a man’s real nature. I think once we move into a household, we enter a female universe, and I’ve had great reluctance to do that. There are people who simply must protect themselves from the implications of that domestic merging.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Originally posted Oct 15, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photo: Leonard Cohen With Turtleneck, Blazer, and Deuter – Munich, Early 1970s

Leslie PY Wener forwards the above photo and this description:

This photo of Leonard and Deuter was taken in Munich in the early 70’s. It is backstage at one of Leonard’s concerts.

I love the photo of both of them. I spoke to Deuter (also known as Chaitanya) on the telephone before Christmas and he gave me permission to post this photo. He says he thinks it was 1970 or a couple years later. I thought everyone would love to see this one.

I know Deuter (Chaitanya) from a spiritual community in India we used to live in during the late 70’s and early 80’s. He said he had more photos but has lost them over the years and this is the only one remaining. Deuter (Chaitanya) told me at the time he was working for a newspaper in Munich and he interviewed Leonard. He told him he was also a musician. After the interview they played together backstage in a playful way. He told me he remembers a lot of laughing. He said how kind Leonard was. Deuter (Chaitanya), who has been acclaimed as the founder of New Age music, has put out over 70 albums in his genre and still loves Leonard’s music.

Note: Originally posted Jan 20, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric