Wormz Obituaries

Leonard Cohen

<<go to audio control>>

Leonard Cohen died aged eighty-two on 7th November 2016 at his home inPhoto of Leonard Cohen Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Cancer was a contributing cause. According to his manager, Leonard Cohen's death was the result of a fall at his home and subsequently Leonard died in his sleep. His funeral was held on 10th November 2016 in Montreal, at a cemetery on Mount Royal. As was his wish, Leonard Cohen was laid to rest with a Jewish rite, in a simple pine casket, in a family plot. Tributes were paid by numerous stars and political figures. Citizens and officials in Montreal, where he spent his early life, are considering honoring him by naming a street and other locations, including a library, after him.
The city of Montreal held a tribute concert to Leonard Cohen in December 2016, entitled "God is Alive, Magic is Afoot" after Leonard's novel of the same name. It featured a number of musical performances and readings of Leonard Cohen's poetry. A memorial also took place in Los Angeles. Leonard Cohen was survived by his two children and three grandchildren.
Leonard Cohen was born on September 21st 1934 in Montreal, Canada into a middle-class Jewish family. His mother, Marsha (Masha) Klonitsky, was the daughter of a Talmudic writer, Rabbi Solomon Klonitsky-Kline, of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. His paternal grandfather, whose family had moved from Poland to Canada, was Lyon Cohen, the founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. His father, Nathan Cohen, owned a substantial clothing store and died when Leonard was nine years old. The family observed Orthodox Judaism, and belonged to Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, to which Leonard Cohen retained connections all his life. Leonard Cohen attended Roslyn Elementary School, completed grades seven through nine at Herzliah High School, where his literary mentor Irving Layton taught, then transferred in 1948 to Westmount High School, where he studied music and poetry. He became especially interested in the poetry of Federico García Lorca. Leonard Cohen involved himself actively beyond Westmount's curriculum, in photography, on the yearbook staff, as a cheerleader, in campus clubs, and even when "heavily involved in the school's theater program", he served in the position of President of the Students' Council. During all of that period, Leonard Cohen taught himself to play the acoustic guitar, and formed a country–folk group that he called the Buckskin Boys. After a young Spanish guitar player taught him "a few chords and some flamenco", Cohen switched to a classical guitar. He has attributed his love of music to his mother, who, he said, had such a lovely voice.
Leonard Cohen frequented Saint Laurent Boulevard for fun, and ate at such places as the Main Deli Steak House. According to journalist David Sax, Leonard Cohen and one of his cousins would go to the Main Deli to "watch the gangsters, pimps, and wrestlers dance around the night." Leonard Cohen enjoyed the formerly raucous bars of Old Montreal as well as Saint Joseph's Oratory, which had the restaurant nearest to Westmount for him and his friend Mort Rosengarten to share a coffee and a smoke. When Leonard Cohen left Westmount, he purchased a place on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, in the previously working-class neighbourhood of Montreal's Little Portugal, within which he would read his poetry at assorted surrounding clubs. In that period and that place, Leonard Cohen wrote the lyrics to some of his most famous songs.

In 1951 Cohen enrolled at McGill University, where he became president of the McGill Debating Union and won the Chester MacNaghten Literary Competition for the poems "Sparrows" and "Thoughts of a Landsman. He graduated from McGill the following year with a B.A. degree. His literary influences during this time included William Butler Yeats, Irving Layton (who taught political science at McGill and became both Cohen's mentor and friend), Walt Whitman, Federico García Lorca, and Henry Miller. His first published book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), was published by Dudek as the first book in the McGill Poetry Series the year after Leonard Cohen's graduation. The book contained poems written largely when Leonard was between the ages of fifteen and twenty, and he dedicated the book to his late father. The well-known Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye wrote a review of the book in which he gave Leonard Cohen "restrained praise".

After completing his undergraduate degree, Leonard Cohen spent a term in the McGill Faculty of Law and then a year (1956–57) at the Columbia University School of General Studies. Leonard Cohen described his graduate school experience as "passion without flesh, love without climax." Consequently, Leonard left New York and returned to Montreal in 1957, working various odd jobs and focusing on the writing of fiction and poetry, including the poems for his next book, The Spice-Box of Earth (1961), which was the first book that he published through the Canadian publishing company McClelland & Stewart. His father's will provided him with a modest trust income, sufficient to allow him to pursue his literary ambitions for the time, and The Spice-Box of Earth was successful in helping to expand the audience for his poetry, helping him reach out to the poetry scene in Canada, outside the confines of McGill University. The book also helped Leonard Cohen gain critical recognition as an important new voice in Canadian poetry. One of Leonard Cohen's biographers, Ira Nadel, stated that "reaction to the finished book was enthusiastic and admiring.... The critic Robert Weaver found it powerful and declared that Leonard Cohen was probably the best young poet in English Canada right then.

Leonard Cohen continued to write poetry and fiction throughout much of the 1960s and preferred to live in quasi-reclusive circumstances after he bought a house on Hydra, a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf. While living and writing on Hydra, Leonard Cohen published the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler (1964), and the novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). His novel The Favourite Game was an autobiographical bildungsroman about a young man who discovers his identity through writing. Beautiful Losers received a good deal of attention from the Canadian press and stirred up controversy because of a number of sexually graphic passages. In 1966 Leonard Cohen also published Parasites of Heaven, a book of poems. Both Beautiful Losers and Parasites of Heaven received mixed reviews and sold few copies.

Subsequently, Leonard Cohen published less, with major gaps, concentrating more on recording songs. In 1978 he published his first book of poetry in many years, Death of a Lady's Man (not to be confused with the album he released the previous year with the same title. It was not until 1984 that Leonard Cohen published his next book of poems, Book of Mercy, which won him the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for Poetry. The book contains 50 prose-poems, influenced by the Hebrew Bible and Zen writings. Leonard Cohen himself referred to the pieces as "prayers". In 1993 Leonard Cohen published Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, and in 2006, after 10 years of delays, additions, and rewritings, Book of Longing. The Book of Longing is dedicated to the poet Irving Layton. Also, during the late 1990s and 2000s, many of Leonard Cohen's new poems and lyrics were first published on the fan website The Leonard Cohen Files, including the original version of the poem "A Thousand Kisses Deep", which he later adapted for a song.

Leonard Cohen's writing process, as he told an interviewer in 1998, was "like a bear stumbling into a beehive or a honey cache: I'm stumbling right into it and getting stuck, and it's delicious and it's horrible and I'm in it and it's not very graceful and it's very awkward and it's very painful and yet there's something inevitable about it."
In 1967, disappointed with his lack of financial success as a writer, Leonard Cohen moved to the United States to pursue a career as a folk music singer/songwriter. During the 1960s, he was a fringe figure in Andy Warhol's "Factory" crowd. Warhol said that Leonard Cohen had spent time listening to Nico in clubs and that this had influenced his musical style. His song "Suzanne" became a hit for Judy Collins (who subsequently covered a number of Leonard Cohen's other songs, as well , and was for many years his most covered song. She first introduced him to television audiences during one of her shows in 1976, where they performed duets of his songs. Still new to bringing his poetry to music, he once forgot the words to "Suzanne" while singing to a different audience. Collins told Bill Moyers, during a television interview, that she felt Cohen's Jewish background was an important influence on his words and music. In recent years, other singers such as Joan Baez have sung it during their tours. Leonard Cohen stated that he was duped into giving up the rights for the song, but was glad it happened, as it would be wrong to write a song that was so well-loved and to get rich for it also. After performing at a few folk festivals, he came to the attention of Columbia Records representative John H. Hammond, who signed Leonard Cohen to a record deal.Leonard's first album was Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967). He appeared on BBC TV in 1968 where he sang a duet from the album with Julie Felix.

The album became a cult favorite in the U.S., as well as in the UK, where it spent over a year on the album charts. Several of the songs on that first album were covered by other popular folk artists, including James Taylor ] and Judy Collins. Leonard Cohen followed up that first album with Songs from a Room (1969, featuring the often-recorded "Bird on a Wire") and Songs of Love and Hate (1971).
In 1971, film director Robert Altman featured the songs "The Stranger Song", "Winter Lady", and "Sisters of Mercy", originally recorded for Songs of Leonard Cohen, in McCabe & Mrs. Miller. The film is now considered a masterpiece by some critics who also note that the songs are integral to the film. Scott Tobias wrote in 2014 that "The film is unimaginable to me without the Cohen songs, which function as these mournful interstitials that unify the entire movie." Tim Grierson wrote in 2016, shortly after Leonard Cohen's death, that '"Altman's and Cohen's legacies would forever be linked by McCabe.
In 1970 Leonard Cohen toured for the first time, in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival, UK.. In 1972 he toured again in Europe and Israel. When his performance in Israel didn't seem to be going well, however, he walked off the stage, went to his dressing room, and took some LSD. He then heard the audience clamoring for his reappearance by singing to him in Hebrew, and under the influence of the psychedelic, he returned to finish the show. Additionally, in 1973 he played a special performance for a group of IDF soldiers in the outposts of Sinai during the Yom Kippur War.
In 1973 Columbia Records released "Leonard Cohen: Live Songs". Then beginning around 1974, Leonard Cohen's collaboration with pianist and arranger John Lissauer created a live sound praised by the critics. They toured together in 1974 in Europe and in U.S. and Canada in late 1974 and early 1975, in support of Leonard Cohen's record New Skin for the Old Ceremony. In late 1975 Leonard Cohen and Lissauer performed a short series of shows in the U.S. and Canada with a new band, in support of Leonard Cohen's Best Of release. The tour included new songs from an album in progress, co-written by Leonard Cohen and Lissauer and entitled Songs for Rebecca. None of the recordings from these live tours with Lissauer were ever officially released, and the album was abandoned in 1976.

In 1976 Leonard Cohen, embarked on a new major European tour with a new band and changes in his sound and arrangements, again, in support of his The Best of Leonard Cohen release (in Europe retitled as Greatest Hits). Laura Branigan was one of his backup singers during the tour. From April to July, Leonard Cohen gave 55 shows, including his first appearance at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival.

After the European tour of 1976, Leonard Cohen again attempted a new change in his style and arrangements; his new 1977 record, Death of a Ladies' Man was co-written and produced by Phil Spector. Leonard acknowledges that the whole act of living contains immense amounts of sorrow and hopelessness and despair; and also passion, high hopes, deep love, and eternal love.
In 1979 Leonard Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs, which blended his acoustic style with jazz and Oriental and Mediterranean influences. Beginning with this record, Leonard Cohen began to co-produce his albums. Produced by Leonard Cohen and Henry Lewy (Joni Mitchell's sound engineer), Recent Songs included performances by Passenger, an Austin-based jazz–fusion band that met Leonard through Mitchell. The band helped Leonard create a new sound by featuring instruments like the oud, the Gypsy violin, and the mandolin. The album was supported by Leonard Cohen's major tour with the new band, and Jennifer Warnes and Sharon Robinson on the backing vocals, in Europe in late 1979, and again in Australia, Israel, and Europe in 1980. In 2000, Columbia released an album of live recordings of songs from the 1979 tour, entitled Field Commander Cohen.

During the 1970s, Leonard Cohen toured twice with Jennifer Warnes as a backup singer (1972 and 1979). Warnes would become a fixture on Leonard Cohen's future albums, receiving full co-vocals credit on his 1985 album Various Positions. Although the record was released under Leonard Cohen's name, the inside credits say "Vocals by Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes"). In 1987 she recorded an album of Leonard Cohen songs, Famous Blue Raincoat. Leonard Cohen said that she sang backup for his 1980 tour, even though her career at the time was in much better shape than his. "So this is a real friend", he said. "Someone who in the face of great derision, has always supported me."
In the early 1980s, Leonard Cohen co-wrote the rock musical film Night Magic with Lewis Furey, starring Carole Laure and Nick Mancuso; the LP Dance Me to the End of Love was released in 1985. Leonard Cohen supported the release of the album with his biggest tour to date, in Europe and Australia, and with his first tour in Canada and the United States since 1975. The band performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Roskilde Festival.

They also gave a series of highly emotional and politically controversial concerts in Poland, which had been under martial law just two years before, and performed the song "The Partisan", regarded as the hymn of the Polish Solidarity movement.

In 1987 Jennifer Warnes's tribute album Famous Blue Raincoat helped restore Leonard Cohen's career in the U.S. The following year he released I'm Your Man. Leonard Cohen supported the record with a series of television interviews and an extensive tour of Europe, Canada, and the U.S. Many shows were broadcast on European and U.S. television and radio stations, while Leonard Cohen performed for the first time in his career on PBS's Austin City Limits show.
"Hallelujah" was first released on Leonard Cohen's studio album Various Positions in 1984, and he sang it during his Europe tour in 1985. The song had limited initial success but found greater popularity through a 1991 cover by John Cale, which formed the basis for a later cover by Jeff Buckley. "Hallelujah" has been performed by almost 200 artists in various languages.
The use of the album track "Everybody Knows" from I'm Your Man and "If It Be Your Will" in the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume helped expose Leonard Cohen's music to a younger audience. He first introduced the song during his world tour in 1988. The song "Everybody Knows" also featured prominently in fellow Canadian Atom Egoyan's 1994 film, Exotica. In 1992, Leonard Cohen released The Future, which urges (often in terms of biblical prophecy) perseverance, reformation, and hope in the face of grim prospects. Three tracks from the album – "Waiting for the Miracle", "The Future" and "Anthem" – were featured in the movie Natural Born Killers, which also promoted Leonard Cohen's work to a new generation of US listeners.

As with I'm Your Man, the lyrics on The Future were dark, and made references to political and social unrest. The title track is reportedly a response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Leonard Cohen promoted the album with two music videos, for "Closing Time" and "The Future", and supported the release with the major tour through Europe, United States and Canada, with the same band as in his 1988 tour, including a second appearance on PBS's Austin City Limits. Some of the Scandinavian shows were broadcast live on the radio. The selection of performances, mostly recorded on the Canadian leg of the tour, was released on 1994 Leonard Cohen Live album.

In 1993, Cohen also published his book of selected poems and songs, Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, on which he had worked since 1989. It includes a number of new poems from the late 1980s and early 1990s and major revision of his 1978 book Death of a Lady's Man.[63]

In 1994, Leonard Cohen retreated to the Mt. Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles, beginning what became five years of seclusion at the center. In 1996, Leonard Cohen was ordained as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk and took the Dharma name Jikan, meaning "silence". In 1997, Leonard Cohen oversaw the selection and release of More Best of Leonard Cohen album, which included a previously unreleased track, "Never Any Good", and an experimental piece "The Great Event". The first was left over from Leonard Cohen's unfinished mid-1990s album, which was announced to include songs like "In My Secret Life" (already recited as song-in-progress in 1988) and "A Thousand Kisses Deep", both later re-worked with Sharon Robinson for the 2001 album Ten New Songs. The album won him four Canadian Juno Awards in 2002: Best Artist, Best Songwriter, Best Pop Album, and Best Video ("In My Secret Life"). And the following year he was given Canada's highest civilian honor, the Companion of the Order of Canada.
Although around 2000 there was a public impression that Leonard Cohen would not resume recording or publishing; he returned to Los Angeles in May 1999. He began to contribute regularly to The Leonard Cohen Files fan website, emailing new poems and drawings from Book of Longing and early versions of new songs, like "A Thousand Kisses Deep" in September 1998 and Anjani Thomas's story sent on May 6, 1999, the day they were recording "Villanelle for our Time" (released on 2004's Dear Heather album). The section of The Leonard Cohen Files with Leonard Cohen's online writings has been titled "The Blackening Pages".
After two years of production, Leonard Cohen returned to music in 2001 with the release of Ten New Songs, featuring a heavy influence from producer and co-composer Sharon Robinson. The album, recorded at Leonard Cohen's and Robinson's home studios – Still Life Studios, includes the song "Alexandra Leaving", a transformation of the poem "The God Abandons Antony", by the Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy. The album was a major hit for Leonard Cohen in Canada and Europe, and he supported it with the hit single "In My Secret Life" and accompanying video shot by Floria Sigismondi.
In October 2004, Leonard Cohen released Dear Heather, largely a musical collaboration with jazz chanteuse (and romantic partner) Anjani Thomas, although Sharon Robinson returned to collaborate on three tracks (including a duet). As light as the previous album was dark, Dear Heather reflects Leonard Cohen's own change of mood – he said in a number of interviews that his depression had lifted in recent years, which he attributed to Zen Buddhism. In an interview following his induction into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame, Leonard Cohen explained that the album was intended to be a kind of notebook or scrapbook of themes, and that a more formal record had been planned for release shortly afterwards, but that this was put on ice by his legal battles with his ex-manager.
Blue Alert, an album of songs co-written by Anjani and Leonard Cohen, was released in 2006 to positive reviews. Sung by Anjani, who according to one reviewer "...sounds like Leonard Cohen reincarnated as woman... though Leonard Cohen doesn't sing a note on the album, his voice permeates it like smoke.
Before embarking on his 2008–2010 world tour, and without finishing the new album which had been in work since 2006, Leonard Cohen contributed a few tracks to other artists' albums – a new version of his own "Tower of Song" was performed by him, Anjani Thomas and U2 in the 2006 tribute film Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man. The video and track were included on the film's soundtrack and released as the B-side of U2's single "Window in the Skies", reaching No 1 in the Canadian Singles Chart. In 2007 he recited "The Sound of Silence" on album Tribute to Paul Simon: Take Me to the Mardi Gras and "The Jungle Line" by Joni Mitchell, accompanied by Herbie Hancock on piano, on Hancock's Grammy-winning album River: The Joni Letters, while in 2008, he recited the poem "Since You've Asked" on the album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins.
Sylvie Simmons explains in her 2012 biography of Leonard Cohen that Kelley Lynch, Leonard Cohen's longtime manager, took care of Leonard's business affairs and was not simply his manager but a close friend, almost part of the family. Simmons notes that in late 2004, Leonard Cohen's daughter Lorca began to suspect Lynch of financial impropriety, and when Leonard Cohen checked his bank accounts, he noticed that he had unknowingly paid a credit card bill of Lynch's for $75,000 and also found that most of the money in his accounts was gone. Leonard Cohen discovered that this had begun as early as 1996 when Lynch started selling Leonard Cohen's music publishing rights despite the fact that Leonard had no financial incentive to do so at the time. In October 2005, Leonard Cohen sued Lynch, alleging that she had misappropriated over US $5 million from his retirement fund leaving only $150,000.[ Leonard Cohen was sued in turn by other former business associates. These events placed him in the public spotlight, including a cover feature on him with the headline "Devastated!" in Canada's Maclean's magazine. In March 2006, Leonard Cohen won a civil suit and was awarded US$9 million by a Los Angeles County superior court. Lynch ignored the suit and did not respond to a subpoena issued for her financial records. As a result, it was widely reported that Leonard Cohen might never be able to collect the awarded amount.
Leonard Cohen's book of poetry and drawings, 'Book of Longing', was published in May 2006. In March a Toronto-based retailer offered signed copies to the first 1,500 orders placed online: all 1,500 sold within hours. The book quickly topped bestseller lists in Canada. On May 13, 2006, Leonard Cohen made his first public appearance in thirteen years, at an in-store event at a bookstore in Toronto. Approximately 3,000 people turned up, causing the streets surrounding the bookstore to be closed. He sang two of his earliest and best-known songs: "So Long, Marianne" and "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye", accompanied by the Barenaked Ladies and Ron Sexsmith. Also appearing with him was Anjani, the two promoting her new CD along with his book. That same year, Philip Glass composed music for Book of Longing. Following a series of live performances which included Glass on keyboards, Leonard Cohen's recorded spoken text, four additional voices (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and bass-baritone), and other instruments, and as well as screenings of Leonard Cohen's artworks and drawings, Glass' label Orange Mountain Music released a double CD of the work, entitled Book of Longing. A Song Cycle based on the Poetry and Artwork of Leonard Cohen.
A tour, Leonard Cohen's first in 15 years, began May 11th in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and was extended until late 2010. The schedule of the first leg in mid-2008 encompassed Canada and Europe, including performances at The Big Chill, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and on the Pyramid Stage at the 2008 Glastonbury Festival, UK on June 29th 2008. His performance at Glastonbury was hailed by many as the highlight of the festival, and his performance of "Hallelujah" as the sun went down received a rapturous reception and a lengthy ovation from a packed Pyramid Stage field. He also played two shows in London's O2 Arena.

In Dublin Leonard was the first performer to play an open-air concert at IMMA (Royal Hospital Kilmainham) ground, performing there on June 13th, 14th and 15th 2008. In 2009, the performances were awarded Ireland's Meteor Music Award as the best international performance of the year. In September, October and November 2008, Leonard Cohen toured Europe, including stops in Austria, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Italy, Germany, France and Scandinavia.
In March 2009, Leonard Cohen released 'Live in London', recorded in July 2008 at London's O2 Arena and released on DVD and as a two-CD set. The album contains 25 songs and is more than two-and-a-half hours long. It was the first official DVD in Leonard Cohen's recording career. The third leg of Leonard Cohen's World Tour 2008–2009 encompassed New Zealand and Australia from January 20th to February 10th 2009. In January 2009, The Pacific Tour first came to New Zealand, where the audience of 12,000 responded with five standing ovations.
On February 19, 2009, Leonard Cohen played his first American concert in fifteen years at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The show, showcased as the special performance for fans, Leonard Cohen Forum members and press, was the only show in the whole three-year tour which was broadcast on the radio and available as the free podcast.

The North American Tour of 2009 opened on April 1st, and included the performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday, April 17th, 2009, in front of one of the largest outdoor theatre crowds in the history of the festival. His performance of Hallelujah was widely regarded as one of the highlights of the festival, thus repeating the major success of the 2008 Glastonbury appearance. In July 2009, Leonard Cohen started his marathon European tour, his third in two years. The itinerary mostly included sport arenas and open air Summer festivals in Germany, UK, France, Spain, Ireland (the show at O2 in Dublin won him the second Meteor Music Award in a row), but also performances in Serbia in the Belgrade Arena, in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, and again in Romania.

On September 18, 2009, on the stage at a concert in Valencia, Spain, Leonard Cohen suddenly fainted halfway through performing his song "Bird on the Wire", the fourth in the two-act set list; Leonard was brought down backstage by his band members and then admitted to local hospital, while the concert was suspended. It was reported that Leonard Cohen had stomach problems, and possibly food poisoning. Three days later, on September 21st, his 75th birthday, he performed in Barcelona. The show, last in Europe in 2009 and rumoured to be the last European concert ever, attracted many international fans, who lighted the green candles honouring Leonard Cohen's birthday, leading Leonard to give a special speech of thanks for the fans and the Leonard Cohen Forum.
The last concert of this leg was held in Tel Aviv, Israel, on September 24th, at Ramat Gan Stadium. The event was surrounded by public discussion due to a cultural boycott of Israel proposed by a number of musicians. Nevertheless, tickets for the Tel Aviv concert, Leonard Cohen's first performance in Israel since 1980, sold out in less than 24 hours. It was announced that the proceeds from the sale of the 47,000 tickets would go into a charitable fund in partnership with Amnesty International and would be used by Israeli and Palestinian peace groups.

The sixth leg of the 2008–2009 world tour went again to U.S.A with fifteen shows. The 2009 world tour earned a reported $9.5 million, putting Leonard Cohen at number 39 on Billboard magazine's list of the year's top musical "money makers".
Leonard Cohen's 2008–2009 world tour was prolonged into 2010. Originally scheduled to start in March, it began in September due to Leonard Cohen's back injury. Officially billed as the "World Tour 2010", the tour started on July 25th 2010 in Arena Zagreb, Croatia. The third leg of the 2010 tour started on October 28th in New Zealand and continued in Australia.
A new biography, I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, written by Sylvie Simmons, was published in October 2012. The book is the second major biography of Leonard Cohen.
Leonard Cohen's twelfth studio album, Old Ideas, was released worldwide on January 31st 2012, and it soon became the highest charting album of his entire career, reaching No. 1 positions in Canada, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, New Zealand, and top ten positions in United States, Australia, France, Portugal, UK, Scotland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, and Switzerland. The lyrics for the song "Going Home" were published as a poem in The New Yorker magazine in January 2012, prior to the record's release. The entire album was streamed online by NPR on January 22nd and on January 23rd by The Guardian.
The album received uniformly positive reviews from Rolling Stone,the Chicago Tribune, and The Guardian. At a record release party for the album in January 2012, Leonard Cohen spoke with The New York Times reporter Jon Pareles who states that "mortality was very much on his mind and in his songs on this album."
On August 12th 2012, Leonard Cohen embarked on a new European tour in support of Old Ideas, adding a violinist to his 2008–2010 tour band, now nicknamed Unified Heart Touring Band, and following the same three-hour set list structure as in 2008–2012 tour, with addition of number of songs from Old Ideas. The European leg ended on October 7th after concerts in Belgium, Ireland (Royal Hospital), France (Olympia in Paris), England (Wembley Arena in London), Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy (Arena in Verona), Croatia (Arena in Pula), Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Romania and Turkey. The second leg of the Old Ideas World Tour took place in the US and Canada in November and December, with 56 shows altogether on both legs. Leonard Cohen returned to North America in the spring of 2013 with concerts in the United States and Canada. A summer tour of Europe happened shortly afterwards. Leonard Cohen then toured Australia and New Zealand in November and December 2013. His final concert was performed at the Vector Arena in Auckland.
Leonard Cohen released his thirteenth album, Popular Problems, on September 24th, 2014. The album includes "A Street", which he had previously recited in 2006, during promotion of his book of poetry Book of Longing, and later printed twice, as "A Street" in March 2nd 2009 issue of The New Yorker magazine, and appeared as "Party's Over" in Everyman's Library edition of Poems and Songs in 2011.
Leonard Cohen's fourteenth and final album, You Want It Darker, was released on October 21st, 2016. Leonard Cohen's son Adam Cohen has a production credit on the album. On February 23rd, 2017, Leonard Cohen's son and his final album collaborator Sammy Slabbinck released a special, posthumous tribute video set to the album track "Traveling Light", featuring never before seen archival footage of Leonard Cohen from his career.
In 1960, Leonard Cohen lived in rural Hydra, Greece, in an apartment with intermittent electricity that he was renting for $14 a month. He lived there with Marianne Ihlen, with whom he was in a relationship for most of the 1960s. The song "So Long, Marianne" was written to and about her. Ihlen died of leukemia three months before Cohen. His farewell letter to her was read at her funeral, stating that "... our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine."
In the 1970s, Leonard Cohen was in a relationship with artist Suzanne Elrod. She took the cover photograph for Live Songs and is pictured on the cover of the Death of a Ladies' Man. She also inspired the "Dark Lady" of Cohen's book Death of a Lady's Man (1978), but is not the subject of one of his best-known songs, "Suzanne", which refers to Suzanne Verdal, the former wife of a friend, the Québécois sculptor Armand Vaillancourt. Leonard Cohen and Elrod separated in 1979, with him later stating that "cowardice" and "fear" prevented him from marrying her. Their relationship produced two children: a son, Adam (b. 1972), and a daughter, Lorca (b. 1974), named after poet Federico García Lorca. Adam is a singer–songwriter and the lead singer of pop-rock band Low Millions, while Lorca is a photographer. She shot the music video for Leonard Cohen's song "Because Of" (2004), and worked as a photographer and videographer for his 2008–10 world tour. Leonard Cohen had three grandchildren; grandson Cassius through his son Adam, and granddaughter Viva and grandson Lyon through Lorca.
Leonard Cohen was in a relationship with French photographer Dominique Issermann in the 1980s. They worked together on several occasions: she shot his first two music videos for the songs "Dance Me to the End of Love" and "First We Take Manhattan" and her photographs were used for the covers of his 1993 book Stranger Music and his album More Best of Leonard Cohen and for the inside booklet of I'm Your Man (1988), which he also dedicated to her. In 2010, she was also the official photographer of his world tour.

In the 1990s, Leonard Cohen was romantically linked to actress Rebecca De Mornay. De Mornay co-produced Cohen's 1992 album The Future, which is also dedicated to her with an inscription that quotes Rebecca's coming to the well from the Book of Genesis chapter 24 and giving drink to Eliezer's camels, after he prayed for the help; Eliezer ("God is my help" in Hebrew) is part of Cohen's Hebrew name (Eliezer ben Nisan ha'Cohen), and Cohen sometimimage of Leonard Cohenes referred to himself as "Eliezer Cohen" or even "Jikan Eliezer".

Leonard Cohen had a brief phase around 1970 of being interested i n a variety of world views, which he later described as "from the Communist party to the Republican Party. From Scientology to delusions of me as the High Priest rebuilding the Temple".
Leonard Cohen was involved with Buddhism beginning in the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1996; he continued to consider himself Jewish: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism." Beginning in the late 1970s, Leonard Cohen was associated with Buddhist monk and rōshi (venerable teacher) Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, regularly visiting him at Mount Baldy Zen Center and serving him as personal assistant during Leonard's period of reclusion at Mount Baldy monastery in the 1990s. Sasaki appears as a regular motif or addressee in Leonard Cohen's poetry, especially in his Book of Longing, and took part in a 1997 documentary about Leonard Cohen's monastery years, Leonard Cohen: Spring 1996. Leonard Cohen's 2001 album Ten New Songs is dedicated to Joshu Sasaki.
Leonard Cohen showed an interest in Jesus as a universal figure, saying, "I'm very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who ever walked the face of this earth".

<<go to top>>

Do you enjoy this website? Then please copy and email the link:
http://www.wormz.xyz
to your friends and aquaintances. Thankyou.

<<<<<<<Back

song: 'Avalanche' by Leonard Cohen. >