Leonard Cohen Animation: Leonard Prepares Fig & Cheese Hors d’Oeuvres

s;oce5During a 2006 interview at his Montreal home, Leonard Cohen, ever the gracious host, tops fig slices with cheese to share with the interviewer because – well, because that’s the way Leonard rolls. See source video at Leonard Cohen On His Poems, Zen, Hallelujah, His 6 Good Songs, Money, America, And The Squirrel

View more Leonard Cohen animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations. Originally posted January 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen, Poet-Singer-Songwriter-Mixologist, Recreates His Red Needle Drink On TV

Leonard Cohen Creates The Red Needle

This is the end of my life in art. I am drinking a Red Needle, a drink I invented in Needles, California, tequila and cranberry, lemon and ice. The full measure. I have not been denied the full measure. It happened as I approached my forty-first birthday…. This is drunken talk. This is Red Needles talking. It is too smooth. I am frightened. I don’t know why. Yesterday I was so frightened that I could hardly hand a Red Needle to a monk on Mt Baldy….1

I prepared a lot of Red Needles. That’s a cocktail I invented in Needles, California, in 1976. It consists of tequila and cranberry juice and Sprite and fresh cut fruit. I prepared pitchers of this cocktail for the musicians and we couldn’t stop playing; most of the takes are twenty-five minutes long, and we kept this one because it’s eight minutes long. I did fall down in it, that’s where the guitar solo occurs. It was a very exuberant, passionate evening, and several musicians told me it was the happiest time they ever spent in a recording studio.2

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  1. From Leonard Cohen, ‘My Life in Art,’ from Death of a Lady’s Man []
  2. From Barbara Gowdy Interview With Leonard Cohen A transcript of the full interview was published in 1994 in the book “One on One: The Imprint Interviews” edited by Leanna Crouch and published by Somerville House Publishing []

What Leonard Cohen Taught Chef Nancy Hinton About Food


Cohencentric’s Leonard Cohen Fake Photos Encore: Many of my Leonard Cohen fake photos are showing up on Facebook, Tumblr, and other online platforms, often without attribution or explanation, leading to me being accused, in absentia, of misleading viewers. I’m republishing some of these images – along with the posts with which they were associated. This post was first published in Cohencentric on June 25, 2015 and on Dec 13, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric  Note that the “Credit Due Department” section points out that this graphic is a Photoshop creation.

This Post Contains 24% Of Your Recommended Daily Allowance Of Leonard Cohen

It’s coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin’
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.

~ From Democracy by Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen – Restaurant Consultant

Chef Nancy Hinton1 opens her essay, What Leonard Cohen taught me about food (soupnancy: September 18, 2007), with these words:

Do not judge. Just do your thing. Try and please the person on the receiving end, the consumer of your art, whoever he or she is without any expectation of appreciation. This is what Leonard Cohen taught me about cooking.

Peeking under the silver dome to check out the entrée,2 it turns out that the key to the lesson is that “Leonard Cohen’s music made me [Ms Hinton] realize that it is still possible to be touched profoundly by something without understanding every nuance.”

She goes on to discuss the parallel situation in which she, as a chef, might feel her skills are wasted in preparing meals for yokels.3

Her point, of course, is that less refined customers may genuinely and profoundly enjoy her food without grasping each aspect of the process of preparation or the product much the same way that she is deeply moved by Cohen’s songs and words without grasping each aspect of the process of preparation or the product.

… covering Leonard Cohen songs, especially for television soundtracks,
[is] one of the few high growth industries in the current economy …

And, she is precisely correct (i.e., her view is identical to mine) about Leonard Cohen’s generosity of spirit in making his music and poetry accessible not only to a widely diverse audience but also to other musicians, who have made covering Leonard Cohen songs, especially for television soundtracks, one of the few high growth industries in the current economy; to visual artists, who use his words as inspiration; and to more profoundly creative sorts like Phillip Glass, who adapt and weave his work into their own visions.

Heck, he’s gracious to journalists, some of whom clearly lack any manners, let alone a valid perspective on his oeuvre, and who use his conversations as well as his professional work to sell cold remedies and diet colas advertised in their publications.

I admit to being a tad disappointed that the chef-author chose not to comment on Leonard Cohen’s penchant for “pair[ing] Kraft Macaroni & Cheese with a 1982 Chateau La Tour,”4 his experience during his five year stay with the Zen monks on Mount Baldy as a cook (his specialties were soups and a lauded preparation of teriyaki salmon),5 or the Red Needle cocktail he concocted, according to the authoritative LeonardCohenFiles, from Tequila, Cranberry juice, Lemon (and/or exotic fruits), and ice.

Otherwise, however, Nancy Hinton’s post is not only an interesting, relevant, and thoughtful piece well worth reading but also a heartening source of encouragement for folks like me who have on occasion been treated cavalierly at one or two of your swankier beaneries. The idea of a hot-shot chef who believes in putting out her best work for every customer, regardless of his bumpkin titer, and who has a thing for Leonard Cohen has me ready to hie myself to Montreal to chow down at Ms Hinton’s establishment.

Her post can be found at What Leonard Cohen taught me about food
Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post is courtesy of my Photoshop program.

Note: Originally posted Dec 13, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Nancy Hinton describes herself on her blog:
    I’m thirty seven years old, an anglo from Quebec City, and a chef by profession. Formerly the chef de cuisine at L’Eau à la Bouche, I now cook at “la Table des Jardins Sauvages”, a woodland table specializing in wild plants and mushrooms just outside Montreal, and I consult and teach on the side. In spirit, I’m a proud Québecoise and Canadian, who loves Montreal, and the country too. I’m a fiesty, passionate, idealistic, slightly obsessive-compulsive insomniac, who loves life, and my job. I love food and cooking, and making people happy. I love to work hard and play hard. I love fire and knives; I love fresh herbs, tomatoes, almonds and cheese. I love curry, and meat broths, and everything anise flavored. I love anything from a pig, anything green, and anything pickled. I love good coffee and wine, and eating with chopsticks. I love the smell of men’s cologne, of Dad’s bagel shop, and of fresh coriander. I love making lists and checking things off. When not in the kitchen, I love newspapers, reading and rollerblading. I love CBC radio, Leonard Cohen and being in the sky.

    She sounds, in fact, delightful – if a bit exhausting. []

  2. The wordplay could have been worse – I considered using “spill the beans” []
  3. To be fair, she doesn’t call the culinary disadvantaged “yokels.” She calls us “country bumpkins on a bender,” which I’m sure is meant only in the nicest way. Shucks, within the Québecoise crowd, “country bumpkins” is probably one of those expressions that masquerade as insults but are actually used as an ironic signs of comradely, not unlike men in the Ozarks greeting each other with “Jim, you ol’ SOB, how are you?” []
  4. Quote from Anjani Thomas. See Pitchfork interview []
  5. See Rolling Stone, “The New Leonard Cohen” []

Must See Video: Full Version Of Leonard Cohen Appearance On 1992 Danish Talk Show

talkshowetLeonard Cohen was the only guest on S2E5 of the Danish talk show, Talkshowet (Dec 5, 1992).  Videos of this show of various lengths and quality have been intermittently available online but then disappear. Martin alerts us that the entire 1 hour, 5 minute episode in good resolution can be accessed – until February 8, 2017.

This is a must-see for Leonard Cohen fans.  Featured are

  • Leonard Cohen demonstrating how to make his Red Needles cocktail
  • A discussion of the myth of Leonard Cohen as ladies’ man
  • The differentiation of depression and seriousness
  • The necessity of destroying old versions of one’s self to make an album
  • Leonard Cohen on Miami Vice

One word of advice: don’t let the talk show host annoy you. Leonard takes him on stride; you can, too

If the above video player doesn’t work for you, you can view this video on its host site at DR-Talkshowet

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Jo Meul, who alerted me to this video appearing on YouTube.

Now In English: Alberto Manzano: “Leonard Cohen era un hombre muy sencillo” [“Leonard Cohen was a very simple man”]


Leonard Cohen with book by Alberto Manzano about Leonard Cohen

Farewell To The Poet Of The Songs

Transcription and translation by Helen Ketcham of an interview between Alberto Manzano (AM), translator and friend of Leonard Cohen, and Carles Francino (CF), host of the Spanish radio program “La Ventana” (“The Window”) on the Cadena Ser network, recorded November 11, 2016. The interview is hosted at: Alberto Manzano: “Leonard Cohen era un hombre muy sencillo”


CF: We’ve invited someone very special to come over to “The Window,” someone with whom we remember having the occasion not long ago, a couple of years or maybe a little more, to share here, and enjoy the music of Leonard Cohen, because he knows it, and he knows it from very close up. Alberto Manzano is an author, poet and translator, and he was a long-time friend of Cohen . Since 1980, to be exact. He has been at his house on the Greek island of Hydra, and in Los Angeles. He has accompanied him on several European tours. He is the translator of most of his literary and discographic work. He has quite a number of books. Worth noting among them are the biography of Leonard Cohen, or the essay “Leonard Cohen, Lorca, Flamenco and the Wandering Jew.” I imagine it must be, well, a very special day for him, and I thank him for spending a little time at “The Window.” Alberto Manzano. Good afternoon, how are you, Alberto?

AM: Good afternoon.

CF: How are you, Alberto? When did you find out about Leonard’s death?

AM: At three in the morning. A friend had phoned me.

CF: Well, he already… at the release of his last record three weeks ago, the gestures and the messages he was sending, well, they had a very… twilight tone, but well, although one could more or less see this coming, one is… well, you look shattered.

AM: Yes, I’m really broken up. My heart is going wildly in every direction right now.

CF: When and how did you meet Leonard Cohen?

AM: You see, I met him in Barcelona on the occasion of the release of the Recent Songs record. He was staying at the Hotel Colon, there across from the Cathedral of Barcelona. And I go into the hotel and I put a load of books into his hands that I had done already, some illegal artisanal books that I had self-published and was selling on the street, on Las Ramblas, outside concerts, illegal books. I was leaving them on consignment at some bookstores, Sindorus, at Documenta, and with that whole load I had already had a couple of official books published, at Visor, the poetry collection, I translated The Spice-Box of Earth, and at Fundamentos, I started the collection, the series of songs with the first volume dedicated to songs of Leonard Cohen. So I put all that load I was carrying in his hands and, well, after that he invited me to eat, then we went to the sound check at the Palacio de los Deportes. The next day I got on the tour bus heading for Toulouse to the next concert, and the month after that I was already on Hydra, spending the Christmas vacations with his children.

CF: What was this man like, how was he close up, the one we know–?

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X Is The Leonard Cohen Of Y: #64. The Leonard Cohen Of Meat Dishes: Duck On A String aka Bird On A Wire

The Leonard Cohen of meat dishes Duck on a string aka bird on a wire. @sardine.london tonight

A post shared by Thane Prince (@thaneeprince) on


“The Leonard Cohen of meat dishes Duck on a string aka bird on a wire” from thaneeprince via Instagram is the latest addition, #64, to The Leonard Cohen Of list.

Leonard Cohen As Metaphor: Leonard Cohen has long been a boon to music critics, reporters, PR departments, bloggers, and authors as a metaphorical vehicle, not only to connote a particular musical capacity but also to describe other professional abilities and special qualities – both human and nonhuman. Cohencentric’s collection of these “X Is The Leonard Cohen Of Y” offerings can be found at The Leonard Cohen Of page.