“Just as is he – beautiful, both inside and out” Esther Park Meets Leonard Cohen: Oakland – March 3, 2013

Esther Park writes,

Since Leonard started touring in 2008, this is the third time that he has come to Oakland’s beautiful Paramount Theatre, and this was my third time seeing him there.  With each return, it seems like Leonard and his band are enjoying themselves even more, if that is possible, and it’s contagious!  The show on Sunday night was the best ever – the most passionate, the longest, and most FUN.  During Closing Time, people started dancing in the aisles and Leonard and the band seemed to love it – like it was contagious for them as well.  They came back for 3 encores, playing until just before midnight.

As for meeting Leonard, I feel so fortunate – and meeting this extraordinary man truly is an “experience.”  It’s hard to put into words.  The man is so gracious and kind and my extreme nervousness evaporated with his calming presence.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to thank him in person for everything – the music, the poetry, the tours.

He was so humble – and thanked me too.  Then he was kind enough to sign my denim jacket – while still on my back.  Imagine – a Sharpie-massage from Leonard Cohen – an experience I could have gladly “tolerated” for several more hours. 😉  He took notice and seemed to really enjoy that I had a patch from the 2009 tour on the back of my jacket, and then took his time to do a beautiful job of signing his name above.  [DrHGuy Note: Readers first saw that jacket in 2009: Esther Park’s DIY Leonard Cohen Tour Jacket]

I gave him a hug and his angel of an assistant, Kezban, took a photo of us. After we said goodbye, I watched the two of them leave and walk down the street.  This is the image I keep remembering and love the most – Leonard Cohen walking down a Berkeley street through the rush of students and homeless people.  Strolling along in his long black trench coat which is beautiful up close.  Just as is he – beautiful, both inside and out.

The photo atop this post was taken by Kezban Özcan. The shots of the Oakland Paramount Theatre marquee and of Leonard Cohen walking away with his assistant, Kezban Özcan, were taken by Esther Park.

Note: Originally posted Mar 9, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Returns To LA & Mama’s Secret Cafe – 2013

 

Leonard Cohen & his personal assistant, Kezban Özcan, at lunch – Sept 25, 2013

Thanks to Gwen Langford, who alerted me to this photo. Originally posted Sept 25, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

3 Years Ago: Leonard Cohen & DrHGuy – Hanging In The Hood

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On Aug 6, 2014, the Duchess & I spent a sunny afternoon with Leonard Cohen and his personal assistant, Kezban Özcan, at his home in Los Angeles. Read about that visit at

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Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post taken by Penny Showalter

2012 Leonard Cohen Austin Soundcheck: Viva Cohen Identifies Guy Singing Light As The Breeze – “Papou”

Duchess and I (in foreground of above photo) had been paying homage at the soundcheck prior to the Oct 31, 2012 Leonard Cohen Austin concert for a few minutes when Kezban Özcan, Cohen’s assistant, and Viva Cohen, his 20 month old granddaughter, joined us.  Noticing the man in the suit and hat on stage, Viva began excitedly pointing at him, gleefully announcing to us,”Papou, Papou.”  This small commotion, in turn, caused the Grocer Of Despair to flash the broadest of smiles and wave happily – all without missing a beat as he continued his rehearsal of these lines:

it don’t matter how you worship
as long as you’re
down on your knees.
So I knelt there at the delta,
at the alpha and the omega,
at the cradle of the river and the seas.

Yep, I suspect the Papou version of “Light As The Breeze” is going to be stuck in my head for a while.

Note: The latest entry on the Leonard Cohen Nicknames List is

227. Papou1

Credit Due Department: Photo of DrHGuy & Duchess by  Kezban Özcan. Originally posted Nov 15, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Viva Cohen, personal communication []