Two Photos: Leonard Cohen In The Kitchens Of His Hydra & L.A. Homes

Leonard Cohen: Hydra, 1970s

Posted by Adam Cohen on Facebook

Update: Dominique BOILE offers the information that this photo was taken in 1981 by Bruce Brown.

Leonard Cohen: Los Angeles, 2001

Leonard_Cohen_PolaroidPhoto by Chris Buck: Photos – Chris Buck’s 2001 Leonard Cohen Shoot: Rosicrucians, Photographic Destiny, & Pastrami Sandwiches With A Side Of Chopped Liver

Finale Of Three-Year Saga: The Leonard Cohen 80th Birthday Bench On Hydra

In The Beginning …

2014 – Help Buy Leonard Cohen A New Bench For His 80th Birthday

In 2014, (Cohencentric’s predecessor) joined with LeonardCohenForum and Speaking Cohen in a campaign to commemorate Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday by gathering funds for a bench on Hydra, the Greek island that was home to Leonard (and Marianne) for most of the 1960s (see Fans Celebrating Leonard Cohen’s 80th Birthday – Pledges For Bench On Hydra). At that time, the pertinent post pointed out that

An appropriate site has been selected and architectural plans drawn up. Now, the fundraising has begun.


The means by which to make a contribution as well as a description of the project, photos and videos of the site, a rundown on the costs, and an explanation of the significance of Hydra to Leonard Cohen can be found at

Of course, there is always the risk that the fundraising campaign will fall short. Consequently, DrHGuy devised a fallback plan, should that dire fate befall the project.

It turns out that raising the money was the easy step. The goal was quickly met and exceeded. Since then, however, the local and national bureaucracies responsible for monuments on Hydra have stymied the construction of the bench.

June 2015: The Stealth Bench

bench2Russian Intelligence (in the person of Roman Gavrilin aka Hermitage Prisoner) reports from Hydra that recently arrived Dutch and Irish agents have surreptitiously deployed this stealth bench, constructed of exotic materials and embedded with sophisticated cloaking technology to create the illusion to the naked eye and in photographs that the massive facility is little more than a board and a couple of stones. For the full story, check out

June 2017: Bench Construction

This photo, taken June 4, 2017 by Caren & Hans Kloss, of the Leonard Cohen bench under construction preceded official notification that the governmental hassles had been resolved.

Happily, the commemorative bench was completed just prior to the 2017 Hydra Meet-Up.


Credit Due Department: The iconic photo of Leonard on a park bench was taken by Dominique Issermann. Thanks to Roman Gavrilin, who shot the stealth bench photo and to Caren & Hans Kloss, who shot the photo of the Leonard Cohen bench under construction.

Hydra Names Street After, Dedicates Bench To Leonard Cohen

More information at Διήμερο εκδηλώσεων στη μνήμη του Λέοναρντ Κοέν and Οδός Leonard Cohen ονομάζεται πλέον ο δρόμος του σπιτιού του αξέχαστου καλλιτέχνη στην Ύδρα (both articles are in Greek but can be easily read via computer translation).

Thanks to Dominique BOILE, who alerted me to these articles and to Sandra Zémor, who originally alerted him to those articles.

Video – Leonard Cohen Talks About His Life On Hydra: Why He Came, How He Met Marianne, Writing Books & Songs There …

I met a girl and I stayed for eight or ten years.
Yeah, that’s the way it was in those days.

Leonard Cohen

“This was the laboratory of my youth”

In this video, excerpted from the 1988 film Songs From The Life Of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen, accompanied by his backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, revisits the home in Hydra that he shared with Marianne of So Long Marianne  In addition to a discussion of his life on Hydra, this clip includes performances  of Who By Fire, Bird On The Wire, So Long Marianne, Partisan, and Famous Blue Raincoat.

Video: Leonard Cohen Summarizes His Introduction To Hydra, Greece

These excerpts from the BBC documentary offer a succinct view of Leonard’s embrace of Hydra