Leonard Cohen Covers Up On Back Cover Of Korean Death Of A Ladies’ Man LP

The cover and record labels of Leonard Cohen’s Death Of A Ladies’ Man LP released in South Korea in 1991 feature different art than the version released in Nov 1977 in the US, including a photo of Leonard Cohen in a similar but even more withdrawn pose (on the back of the album, natch) than the well known Terry O’Neill shot displayed below.

 

Also note that that the labels on the LP itself list the album by its Korean subtitle, “The World Of Leonard Cohen.” The South Korean Death Of A Ladies’ Man LP is from the private collection of Dominique BOILE.
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Baby, I’ve Been Here Before: Leonard Cohen Is Back On Crescent Street – Revisited

 

When Cohencentric published Baby, I’ve Been Here Before – Leonard Cohen Is Back On Crescent Street six months ago, the primary goal was to spotlight Marie M’s discovery that Crescent Street, the site of Montreal’s (second, then in process) Leonard Cohen mural, was also featured in the cover art for the Field Commander Cohen album. In other words, that entry was a premier example of the How About That? kind of post for which Cohencentric is notorious. The secondary agenda, however, was to counter the disparaging remarks from a few critics implying that Crescent Street was an inappropriate setting for the mural because that avenue is not the sort of place Leonard would have frequented. Consider, for example, this excerpt from Leonard Cohen and a tale of two Montreal murals by Robert Everett-Green (Globe and Mail: September 29, 2017):

The residential tower receiving this image is right across Crescent Street from a Hooter’s restaurant, in the midst of a strip of pubs, clubs and restaurants. Cohen’s gaze seems to rest on the Sir Winston Churchill Pub and the Copacabana Discothèque, neither of which seems particularly germane to his legend… It succeeds mainly in making Cohen look out of place, as he seldom did in life.

Now that the mural is complete, it’s time to revisit the Leonard Cohen On Crescent Street issue in order to make three points:

1. If the social media is any indicator, the Crescent Street mural is incredibly popular.

2. No one has challenged the assertion that Crescent Street, the site of the mural, appears on the cover of the Field Commander Cohen album. In fact, at least one other group has taken note of this – albeit without crediting either Marie M or Cohencentric (see Leonard Cohen Montreal Crescent St Mural – The Big Finish: Inauguration, Facts, Field Commander Cohen, & More).

The Le Fuzz Factor

3. Re the question, would Leonard Cohen have visited places like the Sir Winston Churchill Pub or the Copacabana Discothèque? Well, I don’t know about Copacabana Discothèque, a dance club which opened in 1999, some time after Leonard’s era of nightly club tours had passed. On the other hand, according to Poetry and Poppyseed by Tim Elliott (Taveller: Oct 22, 2011), Leonard frequented The Sir Winston Churchill:

The Sir Winston Churchill, a pub where Cohen drank so often that they put a plaque on his favourite chair, is no longer a hang-out for bohos but homesick Brits. When I ask the manager about Cohen, he says they removed the plaque five years ago in a renovation

Given that “front-row seats at the [Sir Winston Churchill] bar … were most frequently occupied by the likes of Nick Auf der Maur, Mordecai Richler and his friend/sparring partner Richard Holden, the latter’s former political comrade-turned-foil Gordon Atkinson, and radio icons George Balcan and Ted Blackman, among other local luminaries,”1 it would hardly be surprising to discover that Leonard showed up on occasion.

Now, there is credible evidence that Leonard did indeed hang out on Crescent Street. The following excerpt from Remembering Leonard Cohen: Close Friends, Collaborators & Critics on How He Changed Music Forever by Sasha Frere-Jones (Billboard: November 17, 2016) is Stephen Lack’s account of meeting his cousin, Leonard Cohen, at an “upscale hipster restaurant” on Crescent Street [underlining mine].

quoteup2
When I started to manifest artistic leanings in that upper-middle-class Montreal environment, the family kept saying, ‘If you’re going to be such an artist, you have to go downtown and meet your cousin Leonard.’ We’re 12 years apart, and I didn’t meet him until I was about 20. We were actually both members of the same fraternity, but I quit it and he was the president back in the day. Right at the beginning of my downtown existence, there were Leonard sightings in the distance. At first I just didn’t feel comfortable imposing myself on him. Then one day, I was at this place Le Fuzz on Crescent Street—the first upscale hipster restaurant I had ever been in. I remember the hamburger: It was thick, and $3.50! This was a huge commitment for a meal. All the downtown folks who were somewhere in between intelligentsia and outlaws went there—Leonard, writer Mordecai Richler, the film producer Derek Lamb. The day I met Leonard, I was sitting there right next to him as he was being interviewed. I leaned over and gave him a handshake and said, ‘I’m your cousin Stephen.’ And he looked over and said, ‘Oh, yes,’ meaning he had heard of me. That was it.quotedown2

Stephen Lack

 

Yep, Crescent Street wasn’t the kind of place Leonard Cohen would visit – except he did.

Credit Due Department: Mural photo by Michael Loftus.

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  1. Sir Winston Churchill Pub marks 50th anniversary — minus some characters who made it a landmark by Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette: February 14, 2017 []

Leonard Cohen Explains Why His Hair Is Close-Cropped On The Live Songs Cover

 

Why the hell did you shave off all your hair for the “Live” LP album?

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Life just got to be too much for me at that time. I just couldn’t handle anything at all – so I went to a monastery to live. And I guess I just went over the wall.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Life On The Ledge With Leonard Cohen by Jon Marlowe. The Miami News: Nov 9, 1977.

Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony With Third Wing Cover Art On Eight-Track Cartridge

This specimen is a personal favorite because (1) as noted before, the 8-track format reminds DrHGuy of the 1970s, which in turn makes him feel all warm and, not unlike the dice that hung from the mirror of DrHGuy’s 1957 Chevy, fuzzy and (2) the cover art for Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony was once thought erotic enough to generate several coverup versions based on local cultural standards and remains delightfully esoteric (see Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony: The Cover Art Cover-Up). In this case, the cover features the UK’s preferred solution – an unbelievably large and even more unbelievably silly third wing was added to one of the angels to enshroud possible intimations of hanky-panky. The 8-track of New Skin For The Old Ceremony featuring a somewhat less outrageous coverup cover art can be viewed at Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony 8-Track

This treat is an offering from the personal collection of Dominique BOILE.

Note: Originally posted Nov 21, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

New & Improved: A 21st Century Modesty Cover For Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony

An Immediate Collector’s Item

Since publshing Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony: The Cover Art Cover-Up, the definitive examination of alternative cover art used in various countries to protect the public from the (nonexistent) genitals of the angelic figures adorning the front of Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony album, this site has posted actual modesty covers featuring third wings, surgically adjusted limbs, and photos of Leonard Cohen to hide the nasty bits of the original image shown below.

DrHGuy, in his never-ending quest to bring New & Improved versions of Mr Cohen’s merchandise to market, now contributes the updated (2008 to present) Cohenesque modesty cover on view atop this post for the next re-release of this album (click on images for best viewing).

The pertinent alteration is more easily seen in the closeup below.

You’re welcome.

For other New & Improved merchandise (shirts, caps, clocks, bobbleheads, & more), lyrics, concert formats … see Leonard Cohen – New & Improved

Note: Originally posted Apr 1, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Own Proposal For The You Want It Darker Album Cover

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In an interview with De Standaard,1 Sammy Slabbinck, who designed the cover art for the You Want It Darker album, explained Leonard Cohen’s proposal for eliminating the cigarette in the photo to meet French advertising restrictions:

Everything was ready when the greatest alarm sounded: in France you cannot display cigarettes on posters. Leonard’s proposal was to replace [the cigarette] with a yo-yo. (Laughs) I tried, but it did not work. A pocket watch worked well, but that was then so symbolic … Eventually we Photoshopped it away.
[Excerpt via computer translating program]

Well, Leonard’s suggestion may not have worked in the world of cutting edge design, but it is a perfect fit for Cohencentric. Consequently, the image atop this post features the Canadian singer-songwriter casually performing the classic Around The World yo-yo trick.  And, with all respect for Mr Slabbinck’s expertise, it works.

For more about the You Want It Darker cover art, see

Credit Due Department: Francis Mus alerted me to the interview with Sammy Slabbinck

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  1. De man die Leonard Cohen surrealistisch maakte (De Standaard: Oct 22, 2016) []

Video: Sammy Slabbinck On His Cover Design Of Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker

sam0Belg ontwerpt cd-hoes voor nieuwe plaat Leonard Cohen is a video news feature on Sammy Slabbinck’s design of the cover of Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker.  Note: The video is broadcast in Dutch. The video, which cannot be embedded, can be viewed at the link.

More Information About You Want It Darker

Information about You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen is collected and updated at Info & Updates: Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker

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You Want It Darker Isn’t Leonard Cohen’s First Smoking Album Cover

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The cigarette held by Leonard Cohen on the cover of his new album, You Want It Darker, has drawn a surprising amount of interest and has become the latest  chapter in the complex and captivating story of Leonard’s tobacco use, a history I have sometimes labeled The (Formerly) Smokey Life Of Leonard Cohen.  Cohencentric has, in fact, long maintained a tag for posts dealing with this issue.

The responses of fans thus far to the cigarette displayed on the You Want It Darker cover can be divided into four categories:

  • Leonard is over 80 so I wish he wouldn’t smoke – it’s not healthy for him and it’s the wrong message to send to fans
  • Leonard is over 80 so he can enjoy a cigarette if he wants
  • The cigarette is an essential element in a great conceptual cover image
  • Who cares?

It’s noteworthy that, in addition to the many comments by fans, the album’s producer, Adam Cohen has weighed in on the cigarette as has Leonard Cohen himself.

True to its mission as provocateur, Cohencentric has offered alternatives to the official You Want It Darker album cover:

Cigarettes & Album Covers

vanLeonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker coffin nail is not the only example of a cigarette on an album cover causing controversy.

The best known of several example is the angelic baby’s cigarette on the cover of Van Halen’s 1984 album, which was, by official UK fiat, covered by a sticker.1

Leonard Cohen Was Smoking – On These Album Covers

As far as I can determine, there was no controversy or even much notice given to the cigarettes on the Death Of A Ladies’ Man and Live Songs albums.

And neither the cover on the Everybody Knows single nor the back of the Greatest Hits album caused a kerfuffle.

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  1. This ban is no longer in effect. []