very peaceful moment on this silent night , under a black sky full of stars , by the beautiful Cohen tribute that hydra's island made ; almost like he was sitting there , watching us passing by to say hi . well done ! #leonardcohen #leonardcohenbench #tribute #greece #hydra #loveit #beautiful #hydraisland
In The Beginning …
2014 – Help Buy Leonard Cohen A New Bench For His 80th Birthday
In 2014, 1HeckOfAGuy.com (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 1HeckOfAGuy.com 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
- LeonardCohenForum: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench
- Speaking Cohen: Honouring Leonard Cohen On His 80th Birthday [post no longer online]
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
Russian 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
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.