Leonard Cohen & Dominique Boile In Paris: 1993-2013

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Leonard Cohen with Dominique Boile & friends (Dominique is third from left)- After 1993 Paris concert. Photo by Dominique Issermann.

Leonard Cohen In Paris By Dominique Boile

Note: The following text was written in 2014 for Here It Is – Letters To Leonard Cohen.1 I’ve added links to pertinent posts and Dominique’s photos.

Leonard Cohen once said:

My songs last about as long as a Volvo — about 30 years.

Leonard Cohen was wrong.

In 1971, when I was 15, I discovered his songs. Now, in 2014, I am 58, and I am still listening to his golden voice. Those first songs of his are nearly as old as I am. The songs Leonard Cohen released since 1967 are played all over the world every day and thousands come to his concerts to hear these songs. How many 1967 Volvos are running these days?

In the years to come, those of us alive now – including Leonard Cohen himself – will not be here. Will automobiles made by Volvo exist a hundred years from now? But Leonard’s songs live on!

I attended my first Leonard Cohen concert on September 7, 1974 in Paris. Since then, I’ve experienced that magic at nearly twenty of his shows, but my fondest memories are the four times I’ve met the man offstage.

On May 13, 1993, Leonard is on stage at Le Zenith in Paris, and I am in the audience. After the concert, there are 13 irrepressible Cohen fans – as many girls as boys – waiting two hours outside where the sweetness of the Parisian night makes us patient …

We see Carole Laure. Leonard, however, has not come out of the concert hall. We convince a member of the security service to let our man know that this group has only one desire: to meet him.

Finally, at 1:30 AM, Leonard, hand in hand with Dominique Issermann, arrives before us. So, Leonard Cohen – at 1:30 in the morning, after a long concert, with his lover and friends waiting for him – devotes half an hour to 13 young fans, talking to us, autographing albums, programs and whatever else we ask him to sign.

It was magic!

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  1. Here It Is – Letters To Leonard Cohen is a book presented to the Canadian singer-songwriter in celebration of his 80th birthday, comprising stories and essays by fans that put their experience of Cohen’s music into words. Kim Gorsuch, who has long admired Cohen, came up with the idea and organized the project, gathering the pieces and photos online for printing into a hardbound volume. []

4 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

Sew Me The Place: How To Get An Interview With Leonard Cohen And Get Into His Hotel Room… And Get Him Out Of His Pants – But “No Hanky-Panky”

Elizabeth Boleman-Herring reveals how she garnered an interview with Leonard Cohen, not because she was a “native speaker [of Greek],” not because she had “two degrees in American Lit [and] all Cohen’s books and records, had been a student of poet Coleman Barks, the great translator of Rumi, and was a published poet” nor because she “could quote Leonard’s lyrics back to him . . . and make sense of them.” Nope, she got the interview because she was packing a needle and thread – and wasn’t afraid to use them.

Alone among the hacks there that day, I was a native speaker. Alone among them, I had two degrees in American Lit, all Cohen’s books and records, had been a student of poet Coleman Barks, the great translator of Rumi, and was a published poet, myself. Alone among them, I could quote Leonard’s lyrics back to him . . . and make sense of them. I could parse him.

But that’s not what got me my exclusive, three-day-long interview with Leonard Cohen.

Instead, it was the fact that, alone among those talking-all-over-one-another scribes, I had a needle and thread in my purse . . . and Leonard’s brand-new suit pants were split (they’d never been sewn, in fact) right up the seat. After he spoke to the crowd, I made my way through the throng, needle and black thread proffered.

“You’re going to want to talk to me.”

“Oh?”

“Mr. Cohen, your pants are split right up the back seam.”

“Can you come up to my room? Now?”

“Of course. With my tape recorder? And, I know you: no hanky-panky?”

A weary smile.

And so, it began. The interview that went on for three days, and certain innocent intervals of three nights. Plus one mega-concert at Athens’s Lycabettus Theater.

From My Long-Overdue Love Letter to Leonard Cohen by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring (Huffington Post, July 2, 2012)

Photo: Dimitra Bumps Into Leonard Cohen At Toronto Drug Store

Photo: Leonard Cohen At His Los Angeles Home A Few Weeks Before His Death

A post shared by markromanek (@markromanek) on

Photo by Mark Romanek, who met Leonard 30+ years earlier:

About 30 years ago, Romanek was wandering around the campus of his alma mater, Ithaca College, when he saw a man who looked an awful lot like Leonard Cohen striding towards him. “As I got closer I went, ‘Oh, my god. That is Leonard Cohen,’” the director remembers. “Suddenly he was two feet in front of me, and I just impulsively said, ‘Mr. Cohen, my name is Mark. Your music is so important to me, and I’m such a fan of yours.’” Cohen thanked him for his kind words and then — in an act that nearly gave Romanek a panic attack — invited him out for ice cream. “He was with some friends — a beautiful woman and some other person — and he said, ‘Hey, we’re going for ice cream. Why don’t you come with us?’ I was sort of shocked, and I almost was afraid… Somewhere in the back of my mind I said, ‘Well, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life if you turn him down.’” Sadly, Romanek does not remember what flavor Leonard Cohen ordered.

From Kanye to Leonard Cohen, Video Director Mark Romanek’s Photos Give Intimate Glimpse Into a Guarded World: Exclusive by Ryan Pfeffer (Billboard: 1/11/2017)

Mark Romanek also filmed Video: Leonard Cohen’s Exquisite Performance Of Suzanne – July 14, 2012 Los Angeles Rehearsal

“Highlight Of My Life” Professional Skateboarder Dustin Dollin Meets Leonard Cohen – June 1, 2014

This Instagram post was republished soon after Leonard’s death. It was first posted on Instagram June 1, 2014 with the caption: “Highlight of my life”

Dustin Dollin is an Australian professional skateboarder known for – well, here’s a description from the website of Vans, one of his sponsors:

When the skate world first laid eyes on the Australian child-terror, Dustin Dollin, he was quickly dubbed the Hell Spawn. More than a decade of professional skating later, Dollin has maintained his fire and progressed into The Man from Hell. With six knee surgeries (more than anyone other active professional skateboarder), he is lucky just to be walking — but don’t tell him that. After each medical procedure, Dustin has returned with a fury, skating even harder than before. As part of Baker skateboards, one of the most influential skate crews in history, Dustin became known around the globe as a small beast capable of shutting spots down. Recently, he has taken to wreaking havoc on the Internet, courtesy of homemade, random footage edits called 7 Day Weekend. As with his Baker Bootleg, Baker 2G, Baker 3 and Volcom video projects, his throwaway footage is gnarlier than most other skaters’ best work. This should come as no surprise given the way that Dustin skates. The freakish bit, however, is that he is even gnarlier off his skateboard, and shows no signs of slowing down…ever.

Originally posted June 2, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I met Mr. Leonard Cohen at Tim Hortons and it was one of the most exciting days of my life!” Leonard Cohen Sighting: Halifax April 12, 2013

Note: Originally posted April 12, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Getting some singing lessons”Another Fan Meets Leonard Cohen – Jan 31, 2015

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Getting some singing lessons. #LeonardCohen

A post shared by A D A M R O S E (@realadamrose) on

Caption: Getting some singing lessons.
Posted 5.33 pm 1/31/2015 by realadamrose

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