In response to Share Your Home’s Leonard Cohen Display, David Small forwards photos of Leonard Cohen mementos on exhibit in his home, including his shot of his personal Leonard Cohen sighting – Leonard and Kezban Özcan, his personal assistant, buying movie tickets at the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles – Sept. 7, 2014.
When The Duchess aka Penny Showalter – after plotting a number of conspiracies with Kezban Özcan aka Leonard Cohen’s Personal Assistant – found herself scheduled to fly to LAX to attend a conference, a meeting of the two became inevitable. And thus it was that they got together last night [at time of original posting] in Los Angeles. The topics of their conversation are, somewhat disconcertingly, unknown.
For more about Kezban, check out her outstanding interview at Kezban Özcan Talks About Being Leonard Cohen’s Assistant. For more about Penny Showalter, see Duchess. For an example of their previous nefarious activities, see Thank You Leonard Cohen and Duchess Of Durham For The Wedding Gifts.
Originally posted May 24, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Introduction: This entry was originally published seven years ago, Aug 26, 2011, at 1HeckOfAGuy.com and was then lost when that site was terminated.1 The anniversary the Duchess & I will celebrate tomorrow warrants its reappearance online.
I guess they won’t exchange the gifts
That you were meant to keep.
From A Thousand Kisses Deep
By Leonard Cohen
The Leonard Cohen Wedding Theme
It’s an amazing thing – the Duchess not only persists in her claim that she will marry me tomorrow but has also arranged for me to receive a couple of especially endearing and impressive gifts in celebration of the impending nuptials. Atop this post is a photo that may well be recognized by readers, friends, family, casual acquaintances, Leonard Cohen fans, that Indiana State Police officer who stopped me to chat about my predilection for traveling at a velocity considerably in excess of the posted speed limit…
Now, the photo of Leonard Cohen and me isn’t new. It was taken backstage by Lorca Cohen before the October 29, 2009 Leonard Cohen Chicago Rosemont Theatre concert (see How To Impress Fans At A Leonard Cohen Concert – With A Little Help From Lorca & Leonard Cohen). What is new, however, is that inscription on the photo (dated August 27, 2011, when our wedding is scheduled).
Similarly, I already owned the record sleeve of Do I Have To Dance All Night, a 1976 Leonard Cohen song never released on an album but published as a 45 rpm record for sale in central Europe, the propagation of which throughout the cosmos has become my primary moral imperative (see The Best Leonard Cohen Song You’ve Never Heard – Probably ). It’s the note from Leonard that has been added.
Bonus: Book Of Mercy By Leonard Cohen
The word on Boogie Street is that Leonard Cohen is a gracious fellow.
He has, in fact, previously written a brief note to me, employing the title page of his Book Of Longing as stationery.2
Consequently, one supposes it should be no surprise that, in addition to autographing the photo and record sleeve as requested by the Duchess, this blog’s favorite and featured Canadian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist-icon also included in the return mailing a copy of his Book Of Mercy with another note and autograph.
Nonetheless, the Duchess informs me that she is a tad overwhelmed by this wondrous lagniappe from the man whose music and poetry played no minor role in the courtship that led to tomorrow’s wedding.
Credit Due Department: Special thanks and gratitude are owed and hereby proffered to Kezban Özcan, Leonard Cohen’s Assistant, who went far beyond her job description in colluding with the Duchess to assure that these autographs were executed, prepared, packaged, and shipped in timely fashion, extending in the process courtesy and warmth.
- 1HeckOfAGuy.com is now a single post directing viewers to Cohencentric. [↩]
- I continue to receive email asking about the story behind the inscription from Leonard Cohen to me on the title page of Book Of Longing shown in the video. As a result, I am including that anecdote here although I have listed it previously in the “comments” section:
It’s just another re-enactment of the age-old story:
Boy (that would be me) finds girl (Anjani) while writing a review of girl’s new album (Blue Alert). Boy, on reading comparison of girl to Holly Cole and Tanita Tikaram, makes the obvious move, using the first part of the review to suggest a four-way consisting of him and the three female singers. Girl leaves comment, thanking boy for positive review. Boy publishes post interpreting girl’s comment as indication girl is torn between running to him and staying with her boyfriend, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lenny Kravitz, Leonard Nimoy, … Lennie somebody. Negotiations ensue re four-way Vs three-way and personnel composition of each but eventually girl sends a ”Dear DrHGuy” letter and it’s splitsville. Boy gets autographed poetry volume from boyfriend/poet as consolation prize.
It’s the kind of thing that happens every day.
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
- Directions To Leonard Cohen’s Home … Then turn right & drive until you see a house with the Lord Byron Of Rock ‘n’ Roll waiting in the front yard
- Lunch At Leonard’s In LA – Leonard Cohen & Kezban Özcan Host Nosh For Duchess & DrHGuy
- Calling On Leonard Cohen & Kezban: The Cat, The Cane, The Conversation
Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post taken by Penny Showalter
The New York Photo
The Photo In The Photo
The photo Kezban is contemplating was taken by Sylvia Apfelbaum in Ghent on August 13, 2012, the day after the first concert of the 2012 Old Ideas Tour and is displayed below in full size (this photo along with Sylvia’s evocative discourse on the significance of Leonard Cohen to her was originally posted on her Facebook page).
Note: Originally posted Apr 12, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Left to right: Duchess, DrHGuy, & Kezban Özcan. Photo by Leonard Cohen
Kezban Özcan, Leonard Cohen’s personal assistant since 2007, has appeared frequently in entries at Cohencentric and its predecessor sites. Kezban Özcan Talks About What It’s Like To Be Leonard Cohen’s Assistant is, in fact, one of the most popular posts among Cohen fans. Today [date of original post: Aug 29, 2014] she responds to a couple of questions from readers.
The two bearded gents flanking Leonard Cohen in the above photo, posted at An Unrecognized Leonard Cohen Poses At Photographer’s Request – West Village, NYC July 28, 2014, are the owners of Entwine, the Turkish eatery in the background. They are also friends of Kezban, who testifies to the excellence of their offerings and recommends the place to anyone who finds himself or herself in New York.
Kezban & The Cat
As reported previously, Kezban confirms that our favorite Canadian singer-songwriter-icon & long-time canine lover is now the primary caregiver for a cat (see above photo) who had roamed the neighborhood and “got himself adopted” by Leonard Cohen. Asked the name of the cat, Kezban writes,
The cat’s name is Jackson, but I like pronouncing it with a French accent, I have a feeling he likes that 🙂
Credit Due Department: First photo by Leonard Cohen. Second photo (at Entwine) by Enrique Avilés. Third photo (of DrHGuy, Leonard Cohen, and Jackson) by Penny Showalter.
Note: Originally posted Aug 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
One of the videos shown at the Nov 6, 2017 Montreal Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert has a scene (see above screen capture) that has occasioned queries from fans about the device being used by Mr Cohen. While I didn’t know anything about the implement, I did know someone who might. And, sure enough, Kezban Özcan (who served as Leonard Cohen’s personal assistant) identified the apparatus as an absinthe fountain. Now, what is an absinthe fountain? That answer comes from the Absinthe Fever site:
An absinthe fountain, contrary to what one might think, is not for dispensing absinthe, but rather for dispensing water. Absinthe is rarely drunk neat, and an absinthe fountain is an accessory used to deliver the required amount of ice-cold water into a glass of the high-proof drink…
To the absinthe connoisseur, however, an absinthe fountain is more than just a decorative water dispenser. As all serious absintheurs know, a quality louche cannot be achieved by merely sloshing water into a glass of absinthe; instead, a steady drizzle is required to witness the exquisite transformation of colour and to accomplish the all-important release of essential herbal oils. Although chilled water may be poured (slowly!) from a jug or carafe, absinthe fountains have long served as handy accessories that help to unlock the beauty, power, effects and true taste of great absinthe.