Unexpected Benefits Of Being A Leonard Cohen-1HeckOfAGuy Fan

One of the greatest perks of publishing Cohencentric (and its predecessor, 1HeckOfAGuy.com) has been coming across – and reposting, of course – unsolicited testimonials, such as the one submitted in 2010 by the eminently perspicacious and very kind brightnow (aka Avi Elkoni) to LeonardCohenForum

The Unexpected Benefits Of Being A 1Heckofaguy Fan

(The story is real, took me a little while to actually get to writing it down)

May 29, 2009 was one of the best days of my life. I woke up that morning, the proud owner of a plane ticket to Boston and a fifth-row ticket to Leonard Cohen’s concert at the Wang theater that night. I landed at Logan International without incident and took the T downtown. My room was booked at the Courtyard across the street from the Wang. The rain had stopped and it was a pleasant walk from the Boston Common down to the hotel. One block away from the hotel I stopped to admire the theater’s marquee sporting a portrait of The Man and announcing the two upcoming concerts, I took out my camera and snapped a picture. “That would be a great picture to start the concert report thread with” I thought, and a few minutes later, from the desk in my hotel room, I did just that.

The concert was marvelous, that’s to be expected. What I did not expect was the message I received a few days later from Allan Showalter (AKA DrHeck) asking for permission to use my photo on his site 1heckofaguy.com. I’ve been a fan of 1heckofaguy for quite some time as every Leonard Cohen fan should be; it is extremely informative and incredibly funny. Honored, I thanked the good doctor for noticing my work and equipped him with a high-resolution version of the picture. To this day, having contributed to 1heckofaguy .com is something I am very proud of.

Fast forward five months to the morning of November 3rd, when I arrived at the box office of the Durham Performing Arts Center to pick up a pair of front row tickets (!) for what was to be my last Leonard Cohen concert of the year. Not many people pick up tickets at 11:00am so the scene was relaxed and pleasant. The man behind the counter gave me my tickets and asked if I needed anything else. I thanked him and turned to leave, but then a thought crossed my mind: the marquee photo worked so well for me in Boston, why not try to repeat it? the lobby was lined with posters for many upcoming shows so I asked the man behind the counter (who turned out to be the venue’s manager) to point me in the direction of tonight’s show poster. He asked me to wait and went back to ask his staff. A few minutes later he came out of a side door holding the poster. “Here” he said “it turns out that we never put it up, I’m sorry about that. You can have it”. I wasn’t sure what to say, a few seconds of stunned astonishment went by and then I thanked him and took my free poster!

So take note guys: 1heckofaguy .com — it’s the place to go for rare Leonard Cohen recordings, exclusive interviews, hilarious puns and… free posters.

Originally posted Jan 26, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Heck Of A Guy Hawaiian Honeymoon Hiatus + Honeymoon Edition Of You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If …

Update Dec 5, 2017 – Baby, We’ve Been There Before: The entry below was originally posted Jan 20, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric. Its republication marks our departure for a vacation in the same Pacific paradise. Consequently, posting at Cohencentric will be much attenuated, if not absent altogether, until the new year (Full Disclosure: Cohencentric has far too many legacy Christmas posts for me to ignore; there will be a few posts).


Here Today – Gone To Maui

DrHGuy and The Duchess are departing for the sun-drenched shores of Kaanapali Beach to celebrate their nuptials.1 One consequence of this event is that both the Heck Of A Guy and DrHGuy sites will be dormant until our return in February.2 While The Duchess and DrHGuy are wild for Leonard Cohen, it is, as they say in  those post-calculus math courses, intuitively apparent that the marriage would be best served by DrHGuy attending to the business at hand (make your own joke) rather than pounding out posts.

That does not, however, mean that matters Cohen will be entirely forgotten. In fact, this occasion had led to another installment of  Cohenphilic Personality Disorder symptoms. That’s right, …

You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If …

When packing for your your honeymoon in Maui, you find yourself thinking

  • Is it enough to take two iPods filled with every song Leonard Cohen has performed plus all the songs recorded by his backup singers as well as a significant fraction of the 2000+ covers of Cohen’s music – or do we also pack the Complete Columbia Album Collection CD set, just in case?
  • How likely is it that there is a hula danced to “Sisters Of Mercy?”
  • If Leonard had been raised in Lahaina instead of Montreal, would his imagery and tone have been different? Instead of “You see I’m just another snowman / Standing in the rain and sleet.,” would it have been “You see I’m just another surfer / Catching a few rays and waves?” Instead of “Avalanche,” would he have written a song called “Brief Period Of Showers This Morning With Sunshine Returning By Noon?” Instead of “The Guests,” would it have been “The Tourists?” Would there have been a song about his “Famous Blue Swim Trunks?”  Would those audiences in Dublin have sung along with “Aloha, Marianne?” How about “First We Take Koolaupoko?”
  • What sort of lei goes best with a black suit and fedora?

  • How would Anjani’s family on Oahu feel about fans dropping in to say Thanks For The Dance?
  • Is there any bad karma left from the cancelled 2010 concert?

  • What are the chances that an Hawaiian slack key guitar band taking requests will know “Do I Have To Dance All Night?”
  • What size t-shirt does Leonard wear?



All published You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … entries can be found at the You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … Page


  1. For DrHGuy, this is a case of third marriage, first honeymoon. []
  2. Yes, that means Heck Of A Guy will be closed when the Old Ideas album is released in the US. By the time the release dates were made public, the airline and hotel reservations had been made. Once again, we all suffer when NOBODY TELLS DRHGUY NOTHIN’. []

New York Times Op-Ed Names Leonard Cohen “King Of Pop” With Assist From DrHGuy


“Leonard Cohen Hits Charts” To Become “King Of Pop”

Displayed above is the opening of Who’s King Of Pop Now? by Jesse Kornbluth, an op-ed that appeared in the February 12, 2012 New York Times Sunday Review.  It is a noteworthy essay and well worth reading in its entirety.

I have added Mr Kornbluth’s entry to Cohencentric’s Must-Read list because of its quality (i.e., his views are congruent with my own) and his immaculate taste in references.

The astute reader may notice the only link in this excerpt and, in fact, the only link in the piece, is the one in the following sentence:

And yet Mr. Cohen not only vaulted to the top of Amazon music last week …

Were one to click on that link – and Cohen willing, that will happen many, many times today – one would find oneself at a  post titled, “Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits The Charts – And Why That Matters (Maybe),” which happens to reside on – yep, this very site. (Update: Because the link in the original NY Times piece goes to an inaccessible location on the late, great 1HeckOfAGuy.com site, I’ve reset the above link to take one to the same post, now transplanted to Cohencentric).

So, thanks Leonard, for releasing an album so popular that it resulted in my site being referenced by a hot-shot New York Times op-ed.1

Originally posted Feb 12, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. This reminds me of the opening game of the 1992 NBA Finals when Michael Jordan and I combined to score 35 points in the first half. (OK, Michael scored 35 of those 35 points, but I was there in support.) []