Monkeying With Leonard Cohen’s Future


Leonard Cohen’s Future On Heck Of A Guy Discovery Channel

Because of the the following point from Leonard Cohen World Tour Predictions For 2010,

3. To appeal to the younger population – and show off his skills as a ventriloquist, Leonard Cohen will begin using a hand puppet for song introductions and commentary.

… I was taken to task by stalwart Cohen fan  MaryB in her post at LeonardCohenForum:

What’s going on here? Why is the puppet a frog? We need a minkey!!!

Edit – and if you can’t find a minkey ( 😳 ) a monkey will do.

For those not proficient in  the Cohen fan community traditions, conventions, and mores, “monkey” (and, for that matter, “minkey”) here refers to Fred or a reasonable representation of Fred, the Tour mascot1 pictured below in San Diego:2

Fearing the misunderstanding of my  role  implicit in MaryB‘s note may be widespread, I am repeating the explanation of the restrictions under which I operate, as well as the story behind the monkey’s loss of this prime role despite his popularity as the Tour’s emblematic small animal,  that I originally published in LeonardCohenForum:

Well, I can only portray the future as it is revealed unto me – it’s not as though I can just make up this stuff.

It appears, however, that in the future the monkey goes through a prima donna phase (that happily proves to be transient). Nonetheless, the frog will be chosen when contract negotiations break down between the monkey and Cohen’s organization over “artistic differences” with the monkey refusing to “play some kind of joke character” and insisting on rewrite privileges. After an extended effort, I did manage to envision an image of the monkey’s audition which illustrates the problems.

Later, the monkey explains, in a MOJO interview with Sylvie Simmons, that “I don’t know what happened. It was as if someone was putting words in my mouth.”

Again, I can only see through the mists and report what appears before me.  Attempting to influence future events would be a betrayal of my responsibility.  As the timeless aphorism  notes,

Monkey see
Monkey blog

For the record, I account myself a Friend Of Fred and am saddened to have  foreseen his loss of this future opportunity; I am, however, heartened by the knowledge that this will prove only a temporary setback in Fred’s career path.

Note: Originally posted Jan 4, 2010 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Why a monkey? Because of the lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan””:

    And I thank you for those items that you sent me
    The monkey and the plywood violin
    I practiced every night, now I’m ready
    First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

    Apparently, a plywood violin is a less attractive option on the spectrum of mascots []

  2. The photo of Fred in San Diego was taken by – yep, you got it – The Monkey (apparently with a delayed shutter) and posted at LeonardCohenForum []

Up Close & Personal: Leonard Cohen Performs The Partisan – Marseille 2010

marseilleWhen they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I’ve lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

This video was suggested by Linda-Lee Sturgess, who wrote “This video is not perfection – but a remarkable capture of Leonard ‘up close and personal.’”

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Marseille: Sept 21, 2010 (Leonard Cohen’s 76th birthday)
Video by cohenadmirer1

Note: Originally posted Nov 15, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Doffs His Hat, Sharon Robinson Waves: 2008 Lucca Soundcheck Video

lsoundcThere is nothing extraordinary about this video of Leonard Cohen’s soundcheck before the 2008 Lucca show, but I always enjoy seeing the backup singers and the band in mufti (OK, I guess that technically, Leonard is in civilian clothes as well , but how do you tell his concert costume from his everyday outfit?), and I am taken by Leonard responding, in the midst of solving some issue with the sound system, to fans applauding the abruptly ended song by doffing his hat and smiling at the crowd — an event followed a moment later by Sharon flashing her own winsome smile and waving.  Consider my cockles warmed.

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Lucca Soundcheck: July 27, 2008
Video by Todd Rongstad

Sights & Sounds Of The 2010 Leonard Cohen Ghent Concerts

Leonard Cohen Gets Together With Friends In Ghent, Belgium – August 2010

The 2010 Leonard Cohen Ghent concerts blessed us with a deluge of superior videos. Simultaneously,  outstanding photos of the venue (and the nifty 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees jacket displayed in the middle of this post) by Hans Kloss surfaced to serve as the perfect complement to the videos.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Ghent: Aug 22, 2010
Video from albertnoonan

Leonard Cohen – Boogie Street
Ghent: Aug 22, 2010
Video from albertnoonan

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
Ghent: Aug 21, 2010
Video from bridgebud

Note: Originally posted Aug 25, 2010 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric