5 Photos: Leonard Cohen & Rebecca De Mornay At 1993 Rock Am Ring Festival

Becky & Lenny – 1993

These five shots of Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay were taken backstage on May 29, 1993 at the Nürburgring Rock Am Ring Festival, Koblenz, Germany by Christof Graf.

While posting photos of a Canadian singer-songwriter and the co-star of Risky Business taken 25 years ago may not rise to the level of significance of, say, discovering a previously unknown Caravaggio, I maintain they offer an interesting and altogether pleasing divertissement. More posts about Leonard Cohen and Rebecca De Mornay can be found at Leonard and Rebecca.

Note the Leonard Cohen shirt worn by Rebecca De Mornay, visible under her jacket in the photos directly above and below.

Rebecca De Mornay (1993) photos by Christof Graf (taken from Christof`Graf`s Leonard Cohen book Zen & Poetry – The Cohenpedia Series Vol. 1). Thanks to Dominique BOILE, who first alerted me to these photos,

Q: Who would you have play you in a film? Leonard Cohen: “Rebecca De Mornay”

Embed from Getty Images

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

Leonard Cohen: “I remember a little [5 year old] girl running… out into the campus. I thought, What a beautiful child.” Rebecca De Mornay: “How do you know that child was me?” Leonard Cohen: “You have the same light as that child.”

Here’s the setup: In 1993, Leonard Cohen, the singer-songwriter and poet who was perhaps the world’s greatest interviewee, switched roles to interview Rebecca De Mornay, the gorgeous movie actress who was, for a time, Mr. Cohen’s fiancée. The following excerpt is from From Knowing Rebecca de Mornay Like Only Leonard Cohen Can by Leonard Cohen with William Claxton. Interview magazine. June 1, 1993:

Leonard Cohen: What are your recollections of Summerhill, your school in England?

Rebecca De Mornay: Summerhill, founded by A.S. Neill, was the beginning of many of the experimental schools in the West. You visited a friend’s son there, who was there exactly the same year as I was. You have a recollection that you saw me when I was five.

Leonard Cohen: That’s right.

Rebecca De Mornay: Do you really remember that?

Leonard Cohen: Yes, I do.

Rebecca De Mornay: You promise?

Leonard Cohen: There’s no reason that I would want to deceive you. I remember looking through a doorway and seeing a woman, half-clad, sweeping the floor…

Rebecca De Mornay: That was Sheila, our housemistress. It was the ’60s. She had very large, tan breasts.

Leonard Cohen: …and I remember a little girl running from behind her skirt, out into the campus. I thought, What a beautiful child.

Rebecca De Mornay: How do you know that child was me?

Leonard Cohen: You have the same light as that child. One doesn’t see this light so often. Now, it may have been another child there, but I think it’s highly unlikely. I think it was you.

“It’s finally happened… if by falling in love they mean that life becomes impossible to live and you hardly know how to get from one moment to another, and that you cannot entertain the idea of living without the approval & love of ‘the object.'” Leonard Cohen 1988

But you’ve never married.

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No, I never really fell in love, so I never saw the point. If I understood what ‘they’ were trying to tell me, I was in love, but they all said that wasn’t good enough: I had to ‘fall.’ It’s finally happened… if by falling in love they mean that life becomes impossible to live and you hardly know how to get from one moment to another, and that you cannot entertain the idea of living without the approval and love of ‘the object.’ If that’s what falling in love is, I know what it’s like.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

My Long-Overdue Love Letter to Leonard Cohen by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring (Huffington Post: July 2, 2012). The quotation is from a June 18, 1988 interview. Rebecca De Mornay (1993) photo by Christof Graf (taken from Christof`Graf`s Leonard Cohen book “Zen & Poetry” – The Cohenpedia Series Vol. 1).

DrHGuy Note: While the identity of “the object” is not revealed in the article, the date and description of the relationship clearly indicate that the woman Leonard Cohen references is Rebecca De Mornay.

Q: The adulation of hipsters, [Rebecca De Mornay] helping him with errands – is this the brooding lifestyle most people would associate with Leonard Cohen? Leonard Cohen: “Solid-gold artists would kill for this kind of anguish.”

Sitting with De Mornay in his kitchen as snow sprinkles his patio, Cohen suddenly utters a phone number. It’s the number of Air Canada; they need to fly to Toronto tonight — Cohen for more media flesh-pressing, De Mornay to return to the set of her next movie, Sidney Lumet’s Beyond Innocence. ‘Is that my cue?’ De Mornay says. Cohen calmly states, to no one in particular, ‘Well, we should make reservations.’ She goes over to the phone. The adulation of hipsters, a lovely woman helping him with errands — is this the brooding lifestyle most people would associate with Leonard Cohen? He smiles grimly and says, without missing a beat, ‘Solid-gold artists would kill for this kind of anguish.’ Need any more reasons?

From 7 Reasons Leonard Cohen Is the Next-Best Thing to God by David Browne. Entertainment Weekly, Jan 8, 1993. Rebecca De Mornay (1993), Photo by Christof Graf (taken from Christof`Graf`s new Leonard Cohen book “Zen & Poetry” – The Cohenpedia Series Vol. 1).

Leonard Cohen Takes Out Garbage, Lights French Incense, Proffers “Our Famous Montreal Bagels” – And Rebecca De Mornay Wears His Sweatshirt

On a snowy, dreary Montreal morning that looks the way his music sounds, Leonard Cohen is taking out the garbage. No one, however, does trash disposal like Leonard Cohen. For one thing, he’s wearing a sharply cut gray suit-at 10 a.m. For another, he ends the act with a flourish: After he dumps the trash into a can directly outside the cozy kitchen of his drab rowhouse in Montreal’s ethnic shopping district, he walks back in and takes from his jacket what appears to be a matchbook-size piece of wood. “You know what this is?” Cohen intones, the sound of the Lord on a bad day. “It’s old-fashioned French incense. You just light it and stand there.” So he lights it and stands there, and as a thin strand of smoke snakes its way around his hang-dog face, Cohen smiles ever so subtly. The image is the very essence of cool, and you start to understand not only why you want to be there (to paraphrase his song “Suzanne”) but why Cohen-singer, songwriter, poet, and patron saint of angst-is an underground hero revered by everyone from Bob Dylan to R.E.M. Cohen is an unlikely idol. At 58, he’s even older than most aging baby- boomer rock stars, whom he calls “mere boys.” For 25 years, he has recorded a series of intense, often lugubrious albums (the latest is The Future), singing of romantic bondage, spiritual conflict, oppression, and depression- hardly sunny pop sentiments. He’s also part intellectual (“I’m much too preoccupied with myself to notice changes in the commercial environment,” he says when asked about fellow CBS artist George Michael’s suit to get out of his contract with the label) and part schlumpy Jewish guy. “Have you had any of our famous Montreal bagels?” he asks, lighting the ancient stove that, along with a few wood tables and chairs, constitutes most of the furniture in his narrow three-floor home. Suddenly there are footsteps from upstairs, and into the kitchen pops actress Rebecca De Mornay, Cohen’s “very close” partner, wearing black jeans and a wintergreen sweatshirt. “Want some coffee?” Cohen asks her attentively. The two have been a rumored item for five years. It’s hard to imagine a stranger-looking couple – the elegant basset hound and the fresh-faced starlet 28 years his junior – but they seem happy. She coproduced one song on The Future, and he accompanied her to the Oscars telecast last year. After a while, Cohen looks at her and says, “That’s a nice shirt.” She giggles: “Well, it’s yours, actually.” With that, Cohen looks straight at the reporter in his home and, with a face so straight you could use it as a ruler, says, “I never laid a hand on her.” Not only is he a revered rock hero, not only is he worshiped by Rebecca De Mornay – but he can deliver a great line, too.

From 7 Reasons Leonard Cohen Is the Next-Best Thing to God by David Browne. Entertainment Weekly, Jan 8, 1993. Photo of Leonard Cohen’s home in Montreal taken by and posted with the permission of Lilian Graziani.

Leonard Cohen Credits Rebecca De Mornay For “Snatching [Anthem] Out Of The Chaos In Which It Endured So Long”


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I was playing [Anthem] at her house one night on her synthesizer and she said,’God, that sounds pretty good right nowl. Let’s record it tonight.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Looks To The Future by Paul Verna (Billboard; Published in Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Nov 27, 1992). Photo of Leonard Cohen & Rebecca De Mornay taken in Berlin by Gerrit Terstiege (1993).

Rebecca De Mornay To Leonard Cohen: “Do you want to know what the best thing is about you interviewing me?”

Here’s the setup: In 1993, Leonard Cohen, the singer-songwriter and poet who was perhaps the world’s greatest interviewee, switched roles to interview Rebecca De Mornay, the movie actress who was, for a time, Mr. Cohen’s fiancée. The source of this excerpt is From Knowing Rebecca De Mornay Like Only Leonard Cohen Can by Leonard Cohen with William Claxton (Interview magazine. June 1, 1993):

Rebecca De Mornay: Do you want to know what the best thing is about you interviewing me?

Leonard Cohen: No.

Rebecca De Mornay: It’s–

Leonard Cohen: I guess I do.

Rebecca De Mornay: –that you’re the only interviewer who won’t ask what the exact nature of my relationship is with Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen: I would like to know. Let’s start with that question.

Rebecca De Mornay: [laughs]

That question never gets answered, but I love the repartee.

Credit Due Department: Rebecca De Mornay (1993), Photo by Christof Graf (taken from Christof`Graf`s new Leonard Cohen book “Zen & Poetry” – The Cohenpedia Series Vol. 1).