Photo: Leonard Cohen With Marianne’s Son, Axel, On Hydra – 1962


Via Google Translate:

Leonard Cohen on the Greek island of Hydra in 1962 along with his stepson Axel and his mother Marianne. Cohen wrote love song So Long Marianne to the Norwegian woman he was dating for 10 years.

Video: Leonard Cohen, George Johnston, Charmian Clift & Marianne On Hydra


Leonard Cohen & Marianne – Hydra

Australian Encounters: George Johnston and Leonard Cohen 1960

George Johnston and Leonard Cohen 19601 tells the story of Leonard Cohen moving to Hydra where he met Australian writers George Johnston and Charmian Clift – and, of course, Marianne. According to the Australian Encounters web site,

Presented with humour and verve, Australian Encounters celebrates ten historic encounters, each between a renowned Australian and an international mover and shaker.

In the backroom bar of the Katsikas brothers’ grocery store, amid tins of olive oil and sacks of flour, a young unknown Canadian poet met an Australian expatriate named George Johnston.

Leonard Cohen – Australian Encounters

More About Leonard Cohen & George Johnston


A succinct account of the connection between Cohen & Johnston by the same author and illustrator responsible for the Australian Encounters series can be found at George Johnston & Leonard Cohen by Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz (The Monthly: November 2005, No. 7)

A more extensive account, along with many photos, can be accessed at  Leonard Cohen, George Johnston, Charmian Clift  On Hydra.

For more information about the Australian Encounters show, see the Australian Encounters web site and the Australian Encounters Facebook Page

Credit Due Department: Thanks go to Anja Deelen, who alerted me to availability of this video and to Roman Gavrilin aka Hermitage Prisoner, who made the video accessible.

Note: Originally posted Oct 10, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. George Johnston and Leonard Cohen 1960 – Series 1: Episode 7 of Australian Encounters – originally aired Oct 8, 2013 on ABC1. []

Leonard Cohen Unfolds, Sings "My Gypsy Wife"


Leonard Cohen On The Heart Of “The Gypsy’s Wife”

This excerpt from the Harry Rasky documentary, The Song of Leonard Cohen,1 contains an especially explicit discussion by Cohen of the portion of his life that is captured in the song.

Leonard Cohen and Suzanne Elrod

In 1969, Cohen and Suzanne Elrod, a photographer and artist, began a relationship that resulted in the birth of two children, Adam in 1972 and Lorca in 1974, both of whom are pictured in the video clip and in the screenshot below.


The relationship between Cohen and Elrod ended by 1979, when the documentary was filmed. That final disruption is the focus of “The Gypsy’s Wife.”

The Video Of Leonard Cohen’s “The Gypsy’s Wife”

In addition to the explication and a solid performance of the song, Cohen also reads his poem, “Slowly I Married Her.”

Leonard Cohen – The Gypsy’s Wife

Note: Originally posted Mar 19, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. For those interested in learning more about The Song of Leonard Cohen, I recommend the concise, well written Review by Dick Straub. []

Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Marianne, Hydra, His Career, Drinking, Touring, Love, & Whose Dogs Are Barking


This program, which also includes a recitation of “Days of Kindness” and a rendition of “If It Be Your Will,” is based on interviews by Kari Hesthamar over three autumn days in 2005 at Cohen’s Los Angeles home can be accessed at If It Be Your Will; A Man Built of Moments and Melody (The Unobserved).

An unedited transcript of the interview can be found at Leonard Looks Back On The Past (LeonardCohenFiles)

Photo: Leonard Cohen, Marianne, And Quite Possibly, The Famous Blue Raincoat

I have previously pointed out that a 1972 photo taken in Amsterdam did not as claimed in “Leonard Cohen – Almost Young” (Schirmer/Mosel), depict Leonard Cohen wearing his “Famous Blue Raincoat” after which the song is named (see similar photo below). It turns out, as Marianne Ihlen confirmed, the coat had disappeared by the time that photo was taken.  Also, the coat in that photo – well, it isn’t blue; it’s tan.


It is much more likely that Leonard Cohen is wearing the titular Famous Blue Raincoat  in this shot (found at the program site). While the color cannot be discerned in this black and white photo, the presence of Marianne indicates the photo was taken after the coat was purchased (shortly before Cohen left London for Hydra) and the ages of both Leonard Cohen and Marianne are consistent with the period in which the pertinent raincoat was in use.  And, given that Leonard was not financially flush at the time, the chances he would own two or more such coats are slim.

Note: Originally posted July 13, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Online Directory Adds Travel Section: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal, Hydra, & L.A.-Mt Baldy

la-montreal-hydra900Leonard Cohen has lived for significant periods in his hometown of Montreal, the Greek island of Hydra, and Los Angeles (and the Zen monastery on nearby Mount Baldy). Because of the interest in these places, the Leonard Cohen Online Directory has now added sections featuring descriptions, photos, and maps of these areas:


  1. Currently limited to Mt Baldy Zen Center []

Now Online: Six Galleries Of Photos Taken At The 2015 Leonard Cohen Hydra Event

IMG_4840Eija and Jarkko Arjatsalo have uploaded some 600 photos of the 2015 Hydra gathering to Hydra 2015 Galleries by Eija and Jarkko Arjatsalo. This set, many of which are gorgeous and some of which are annotated, includes six sub-galleries:

Links to all videos, photos, reviews, and posts pertaining to the Event, including these shots by Eija and Jarkko Arjatsalo can be found at

2015 Hydra Leonard Cohen Tribute: Index Of Videos, Photos, & Posts

Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post is from the Hydra Views sub-gallery and was taken by Eija and Jarkko Arjatsalo