“I’ve recently developed a close acquaintanceship with red wine, especially Chateau Latour 1982, one of the finest vintages since Caesar planted the vine.” Leonard Cohen

What are you like when you are drunk?

quoteup2
More liquor. Although I’ve never been a big drinker – I have always sought out other highs – I’ve recently developed a close acquaintanceship with red wine, especially Chateau Latour 1982, one of the finest vintages since Caesar planted the vine. Unfortunately it is about 200 bucks a bottle.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Q Questionnaire – Leonard Cohen” in Q Magazine, September 1994.

“[Leonard Cohen] plied me with pâté and gorgonzola, with red wine and aquavit.”

Sitting at a small kitchen table, the 67-year-old composer of such songs as “Suzanne,” “Bird on a Wire,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” “Chelsea Hotel,” “I’m Your Man” and “Democracy” plied me with pâté and gorgonzola, with red wine and aquavit. He drank strong coffee and smoked cigarettes. He looked less like a singer than an unusually cultivated business man of indefinite provenance — the face Jewish, the accent Canadian, the manner Old World and faintly elusive. A cosmopolite, but not quite at home anywhere. A Jew with a shrine to the Virgin Mary in his kitchen. A bohemian in a jacket and tie.

It was a pleasure to meet him. His hair is close-cropped and gray now, his smile wonderfully embattled. He makes you laugh. The man known as the most doleful singer in the world is really a kind of comedian, obsessed with hierarchies and judgments at a time when the world has been trying to forget that they exist.

Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001. Photo by PavaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0 it, Link

Much of the time, Roshi and I were two buddies drinking. He likes sake, I tried to convert him to French wine, but he was very resistant. But we both agree about Cognac and Scotch.

From I Never Discuss My Mistresses Or My Tailors by Nick Paton Walsh. The Observer, October 14, 2001

Also see

Q: What are you good at that has nothing to do with music? Leonard Cohen “I can make a couple of good sandwiches: tuna salad and chopped egg salad. And Greek bean soup.”

What are you good at that has nothing to do with music?

quoteup2
I can make a couple of good sandwiches: tuna salad and chopped egg salad. And Greek bean soup. I was a cook for my old Zen master for many years. So there were two or three dishes that he liked, you know. Teriyaki salmon, a few things. I wouldn’t call myself a good cook by any means. My son is a very good cook. My curries are not bad.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen on Longevity, Money, Poetry and Sandwiches By Gavin Edwards (Rolling Stone: Sept 19, 2014). Photo by Chris Buck Website Instagram.

cokkking

More about Leonard Cohen’s cooking can be found at

“He tells me ‘Do you know the difference between a Rémy Martin cognac and a Courvoisier?’ ‘I do not know,’ I tell him. I try it… Remy Martin may have a more feminine taste? That’s the kind of conversation we have.” Leonard Cohen Talks About Roshi


When did you first come into contact with Buddhism and Zen?

quoteup2
I never came into contact with them directly, they didn’t interest me. But I met a man twenty years ago, whom I enjoyed very much. He was older than me, and he seemed to know more than me. One of the things he knew was how to drink. I learned from him how to drink. It turns out he was an old Zen monk. And as he told me a few years ago: ‘Leonard, I’ve known you for eighteen years and I’ve never tried to give you my religion. I’m just using sake.’ This is what my relationship with Buddhism has been, I have no interest in Buddhism, no interest in Zen. What interests me is drinking with my old friend and to be in his company. I enjoy sitting in the meditation room because there is no phone, the incense is sweet, it’s very quiet and I can hang on my piece of wood very well when I sit there in the morning. You have the opportunity to study your self, how it rises and how it falls. But what the Buddhist theologians have to say on the issue does not interest me much.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

What are you talking about with this monk?

quoteup2
Well, he does not speak English, so it is very difficult to discuss theology with him. He tells me ‘Do you know the difference between a Rémy Martin cognac and a Courvoisier?’ ‘I do not know,’ I tell him. I try it. Hum… He tastes. Hum… Remy Martin may have a more feminine taste? That’s the kind of conversation we have. He has a tendency not to particularly like religion. It is difficult not to have an aversion toward religion when you see what it does to people, at what point they become satisfied with themselves, to what point it separates themselves from others. Generally speaking religion has a pretty disagreeable odor. The love of God, that’s a different story. At least two times a year I go to Mount Baldy. It looks like a monastery; it is a very intensive center for Zen training. The days are filled with meditation and manual labor. In the kitchen, in the garden, we dig, we paint. I like being part of a community once in awhile. There is nothing extra, you live the day, no theology, no dogma. You live a religious life on the inside, not on the outside. You get up at three in the morning, you sit for two hours in the meditation room, you prepare breakfast, you clean, you polish, you garden, then you meditate again. And you study yourself in your own way with the help of a teacher but not one of theology.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via Google Translate.

From The Leonard Cohen Food Files: Chili Dog Events

I suspect the list of music icons throughout history who favored Chateau La Tour 1982, Lagavulin single malt Scotch, and various cognacs and also enjoyed a well prepared hot dog resolves to one entry; Leonard Cohen. But, at least three Cohencentric posts attest to the Canadian singer-songwriter’s frankfurter fetish.

Today’s offering features an unrequited request for a chili dog. It’s also a pretty good story about an getting an interview with Leonard.

Twenty-five years ago, almost to the day, I sat in the bar of Toronto’s King Edward Hotel asking Leonard Cohen questions about Art and Life, Truth and Beauty, the Sacred and the Profane. A week earlier, in a different establishment across town, I’d been asking him whether he wanted fries or salad with his chili dog. He’d just come down from the mountain — Mount Baldy near LA, that is, where he’d been rigorously observing an ascetic lifestyle in a Zen monastery — and there he was, in my section, ordering a hot dog and Coke. Fortunately, the restaurant happened to be empty apart from Mr. Cohen and his female companion (the distraction of serving my biggest idol might have doomed my other tables). Not so fortunately, as the chef tardily informed me, we’d run out of chili dogs. After working up the courage to break this news — which (must’ve been the Zen thing) he accepted with admirable composure — I worked up the courage to ask him for an interview. I was a 21-year-old waiter and would-be writer working in downtown Toronto (some things, apart from age, don’t seem to change). The woman I was living with, in a dying relationship, was perhaps an even bigger Cohen fan than myself. When she heard that I’d met Leonard and would be interviewing him at the King Eddie, where he was filming I Am a Hotel, and when it was quite clear that I would not be divulging his room number, she threatened to split up with me. It was one of those let-me-get-this-straight moments: if I refused to provide my girlfriend with the directions to another man’s bedroom, I would be history. But such was the allure of Canada’s “melancholy bard of popular music.” (By the way, Suzie, it was Room 327!)

From Encountering Cohen: A Reminiscence On The Eve Of A New World Tour by Steve Venright. Mondo Magazine: August 15, 2008 (original interview date May 1983).

Credit Due Department: Photo by bryan… from Taipei, Taiwan – 起士熱狗堡, 皇后美食館, Queens Cuisine, 台北, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.

“[‘Always’] by Irving Berlin was originally in ¾ time, and I turned it into a 4/4 song, and I always loved it.” Leonard Cohen On His Transformation Of Always Via “A Drink That I Had Invented Called The Red Needle”

quoteup2
[‘Always’] by Irving Berlin was originally in ¾ time, and I turned it into a 4/4 song, and I always loved it. It’s very beautifully constructed as a song, and I think the lyric is very touching. So, I went in there with Steve Lindsey, a producer, and some really excellent musicians, and we prepared a drink that I had invented called the ‘Red Needle.’ It’s basically, Tequila, Cranberry juice, and lime, and some other elements. And after I had distributed this drink, and people had sampled it, we produced this track.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Interview With Leonard Cohen by by Chris Doritos. KCRW, Los Angeles: February 18, 1997. Retrieved 09 July 2014 from LeonardCohenFilesOriginally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

More information about Leonard Cohen’s Red Needle cocktail can be found at Leonard Cohen on the preparation of his Red Needle cocktail & its effect on recording sessions.

vvshrtpurfxxx