Leonard Cohen Allusions In Adam Cohen’s “Like A Man” Promotional Video

Leonard Cohen – In Person and In Spirit

Introduction: Searching through the archives, I found this followup to Leonard Cohen With Son & Grandson In Adam Cohen’s “Like A Man” Video.

In Adam Cohen’s video promoting his new album, “Like A Man” he talks about finding his place as part of his father’s heritage rather than rebelling against that notion. Leonard Cohen appears often in this brief video. (Adam’s son, Cassius, and Rufus Wainwright, father of Leonard Cohen’s granddaughter, also make appearances.) A collection of these scenes can be found at Leonard Cohen With Son & Grandson In Adam Cohen’s “Like A Man” Video.

The video also, however, invokes Leonard Cohen even when he is not on the screen. Three examples follow:

Leonard and Adam Cohen Play Guitar On Hydra Home Terrace

The image atop this post is a screen capture of the end credits of the “Like A Man” video showing Adam Cohen playing the guitar on the terrace of the family home on Hydra. The well known photo below, taken by Dominique Issermann, depicts Leonard Cohen playing guitar on that same terrace.

Leonard and Adam Cohen Are Interviewed At Leonard Cohen’s Montreal Home

The image below is a screen capture from the “Like A Man” video showing Adam Cohen pondering the dialog he is delivering.

The image below is from a 2006 Norwegian TV interview of Leonard Cohen. Both screen captures show the interviewees seated at the same table in Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home.

The Bird On A Wire Allusion

The image below is a screen capture from the “Like A Man” video showing birds wheeling across the sky over Hydra.

The image below is a screen capture of the scene in the “Like A Man” video that directly follows  the shot of the birds in the sky and shows Adam Cohen walking in front of the same kind of telephone/power lines that, when first installed on Hydra, inspired Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On The Wire.”

Adam Cohen – “Like A Man” Promotional Video



Originally posted Aug 25, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“This was one of the most generous, attentive, nourishing characters I’d ever met.” Adam Cohen On Acknowledging The Influence Of His Father, Leonard Cohen

You grew up with your father’s voice. You grew up with him writing. You grew up with him reading to you. You watched him backstage as he performed. Was it hard for you to find, like, your own voice, to recognize that his voice was a part of you, that it influenced you in the way that people have a right to be influenced by the people who they take in as they’re going through their formative years? Was it hard to acknowledge that influence in the same – and at the same time figure out who you were as a singer and songwriter?

You know, I’m triggered to answer that in two ways. I mean, the first is to look at it statistically, you know? Statistically, I think in humanity, you know, Napoleon’s son, Frank Sinatra’s son – you know, it’s very, very difficult to capture people’s imaginations in the same way as one would if your name was Joe Smith – you know? – and you had no provenance. Statistically, the heirs of people who do great things can often not do great things as remarkably and in such a beloved way. There’s that. And then there’s the idea that – you know, that I grew up perhaps under this tyrannical shadow, this oppressive, tyrannical shadow. And it’s quite the contrary. I mean, this was one of the most generous, attentive, nourishing characters I’d ever met. He encouraged me up to the upper-sunniest branches of the family tree. And as I say, you know, I really do believe my story is far more of a success story, not just the instruction I got from a master, not just having his attention and encouragement and the example of his own life and work. But the great privilege of being invited – again, you know, having started in the mailroom of the family business, the great privilege that it was to end up at the penthouse, you know, making boardroom decisions with my boss.quotedown2

Adam Cohen


New Collection Showcases Leonard Cohen’s ‘Obsession With Imperfection’

Leonard Cohen: “Indulgent Father” – 1980s

There are still a number of [Leonard Cohen’s] classmates around, as well as his former babysitters [in 2012]. I only ever saw him twice in Westmount, once eating a banana outside of a fruit shop. The other time was at a bead emporium 25 years ago, where teenage girls gathered every Saturday to buy beads. Leonard was standing there as an indulgent father and Westmounters, being so polite, we pretended not to notice. I worked as a men’s clothing salesman in high school selling the Freedman line, which was the Cohen family’s topcoat and cashmere overcoat brand. Leonard came back here to raise his children and in the local alternative high school, you had Adam Cohen, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright in the same class. You didn’t want to say much if you knew Leonard. The line went: If you were a friend of Leonard Cohen and told people you were friend of Leonard Cohen, you were no longer a friend of Leonard Cohen.

Terry Rigelhof

From Leonard Cohen: Portrait of the artist as an older man Ben Kaplan National Post: January 31, 2012. Terry (T. F.) Rigelhof is a Canadian novelist and academic. Photos by Johann Agust Hansen.

Homes Of Leonard Cohen: The Caravan In The South Of France

Cohencentric has long offered a category of posts focused on the Homes Of Leonard Cohen in Montreal, Los Angeles, and Hydra. Today marks the addition of his caravan (what we Yanks would call a “house trailer”) in the south of France (what we Yanks would call “the south of France”).

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Leonard Cohen repeatedly traveled from his homes in Montreal, Los Angeles and Hydra to live in a trailer he installed at the bottom of a path leading to the home in the south of France near Avignon,1 where Suzanne Elrod had moved with their children following their breakup.2 (Note: The photo atop this post is representative of the genre but does not depict Leonard’s actual caravan. Photo by KotivaloOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

Adam Cohen described the scene in a 2018 NPR interview:3

I remember my mother moved my sister and I all the way to the south of France where we lived – and there was a long dirt road. And he bought one of these sort of caravan jet-stream type things. And he put it at the T where the road met the dirt road. And he just lived there (laughter). And my mother didn’t want him on the property. So, you know, every day after school, the bus would drop us off. And we’d see Dad in his caravan.

Adam elaborates in a 2012 article:4

One of the chief occupations of my father is to divine what somebody needs and give it to them before they ask. He remained in his children’s lives despite incredible obstacles. There was a moment, when we were living in the south of France, that my father wasn’t allowed on the property. So he bought a caravan and lived at the end of our road. Despite the distances my mother placed before him, he was always present with instruction and humour. To many, he was lugubrious because of his poetry, but to us, he was the most hysterical guy. We still get together every Friday when we’re in town for a family meal and he’s a constant source of counsel, advice, support and encouragement. I feel loved. I’ve always felt seen. I was between five and eight when he lived in that caravan. He was parked right at the T, where the public street met the private road. It’s hard on a kid, when you see your makers at pointed odds, especially when you understand that financially, your father’s floating the whole scene and living in a caravan at the end of a dirt road. In retrospect, every visit was an education. He was there to protect values. It would be lighting the Sabbath candles and learning Hebrew prayers, singing songs, reading the bible. In the Jewish tradition, “Cohen” is the high-priest. It’s no accident my father has a ministerial quality. As a father, he still continues to feel like a shepherd imparting an ancient understanding.”

The caravan was also where Leonard did much of his work on Book of Mercy:5

Continue Reading →

  1. The Face May Not Be Familiar, but the Name Should Be: It’s Composer and Cult Hero Leonard Cohen by Pamela Andriotakis & Richard Oulahan. People: January 14, 1980. []
  2. I’m Your Man – The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Ecco: 2012. P 327. []
  3. New Collection Showcases Leonard Cohen’s ‘Obsession With Imperfection’. Terry Gross Interviews Adam Cohen (NPR: October 8, 2018 []
  4. Leonard Cohen: Portrait of the artist as an older man Ben Kaplan. National Post: January 31, 2012 []
  5. Vicki Gabereau Interview with Leonard Cohen (CBC:  September 6, 1984 []

That Jewish Chronicle Story About 1HeckOfAGuy/Cohencentric – And Adam Cohen & His Dad, Leonard

OK, 1HeckOfAGuy.com Is Only Part Of The Intro; Still…

A piece on Adam Cohen, Being Leonard Cohen’s Son – It’s Not All Hallelujahs, by Brigit Grant posted March 29, 2012 in The Jewish Chronicle Online, begins

There is a quiz on the internet that lets Leonard Cohen fans measure the intensity of their admiration for the musician and poet. The site, cohencentric.wpengine.com, is ironic (one hopes), but for a high score a “serious fan” should have considered converting to Judaism; played unlikely Cohen songs at a barmitzvah or wedding; and carried a photograph in their wallet of Leonard’s children, Lorca and Adam. As weird as this all sounds, Adam Cohen would never dismiss any of it as beyond the realms of possibility.

The article then segues into its central topic, how being the son of Leonard Cohen has impacted the life and career of Adam Cohen.

From Ambivalence To Acceptance

As webmaster of 1HeckOfAGuy.com (a Cohencentric predecessor), my first reactions to those sentences that open the article were ambivalent. The posts to which I assume Ms Grant alludes, You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If… and Cohenphilic Personality Disorder, are not quizzes and do not serve as a means of qualifying one as a “serious fan.” And as for “The site, 1heckofaguy.com, is ironic (one hopes),” those posts are more accurately characterized as comic metaphors than generic irony, but venturing into the especially boggy portion of the rhetorical device swamp reserved for debates about irony would put the original intent of this post at risk.

On the other hand, “1HeckOfAGuy.com” does appear in the first paragraph of the article while “Adam Cohen,” the putative subject of the piece, isn’t introduced until the second paragraph. So, it’s got that going for it.

Consequently, I’ve determined that the appropriate response is (1) to categorize any misinterpretations of my posts as specimens of those cracks through which the light gets in about which one has heard so many good things and (2) to be grateful for the author’s all too atypical listing of this site’s URL.

And, I can also, in good faith, recommend Being Leonard Cohen’s Son – It’s Not All Hallelujahs – including but not limited to a wonderful first paragraph – as a worthwhile, interesting read.

Originally posted Oct 18, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video Teaser For Adam Cohen Documentary: “The Family Business”

The video, featuring footage from Adam Cohen’s European Tour in support of his “Like A Man” album and scenes with his father, Leonard Cohen, and his son, Cassius, is promoted as an early glimpse of a full length documentary that showcases Adam’s music as he first comes to terms with and finally embraces the family business.

Video by

Originally posted Oct 5, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric