Interviewer: Did you always dress this well? Or is it something you’ve developed?”
Leonard Cohen: “No, I always wore a suit, pretty much. I grew up before blue jeans hit. I always felt better in a jacket.”
Interviewer: “So you put on a jacket even if you’re not going out?”
Leonard Cohen: “Especially if I’m not going out.”
Evidently, wearing a jacket and tie was a matter of discipline, a poet’s version of a uniform. The jacket, which was purchased at a thrift store on Fairfax, cost $7, and most of Cohen’s suits are years, sometimes decades old. “I don’t like shopping,” he explained, showing me a threadbare Armani in his closet. Next to it was another jacket with a small gold badge on the lapel. The badge said: Canadian Border Patrol.
From Angst & Aquavit by Brendan Bernhard. LA Weekly: September 26, 2001. Photo by Michael Donald.