Thanks to Montse Coque of Barcelona, Spanish Cohen Brigade
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’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.
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.
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, 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.
Leonard Cohen was born, grew up, attended college, maintained a residence, and was buried in Montreal (see Leonard Cohen’s Montreal). 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.
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.
- Note: The first Leonard Cohen Field Guide was published in 2008. [↩]
- Leonard Cohen: A troubadour at Charles’s court by Neil Spencer. Guardian: May 21, 2006 [↩]
- “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 [↩]
- 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. [↩]
Seventy-eight year old Montreal troubadour Leonard Cohen also had a good weekend in the Saskatchewan capital, wresting his second Juno of the year — fifth of his career — for songwriter of the year after releasing his platinum-certified Old Ideas, a pitch-black rumination on mortality, aging and faith that topped the charts in Canada. The award was accepted by his son, singer Adam Cohen, who said his father considered Canada “the beating heart of his career.”
“I’d like to say I haven’t had much contact with my dad recently because he’s been on tour in Canada,” Cohen said of his father, who also won artist of the year. “He only called the other day to say, ‘What’s the user name and password at the house?’ But I know that he has deep, deep fondness for the love that Canada has always expressed to him.”
Happy Father’s Day!
Leonard sends Father’s Day greetings and this brilliant photo of himself reading to his children, Lorca & Adam (along with a kitten clutched by Adam) at their home in Hydra.
2018 Update: Leonard sent this Father’s Day photo and greeting my way at this time two years ago (2016). It immediately became one of my favorite shots of Leonard and his children. Now, the fact that he took the time and effort to search out and forward this photo when he was already in pain and all but incapacitated by the illness that led to his death renders this image all the more poignant and moving.
Also see Leonard Cohen As A Father