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Leonard Cohen (1934)

Leonard Norman Cohen

Type :  

  Summary  

Leonard Norman Cohen, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. While giving the speech at Cohen's induction into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 10 March 2008, Lou Reed described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters."

  Biography  

 early life
Cohen was born on 21 September 1934 in Westmount, Montreal, Quebec, into a middle-class Jewish family. His mother, of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, emigrated from Lithuania while his great-grandfather emigrated from Poland. He grew up in Westmount on the Island of Montreal. His grandfather was Lyon Cohen, founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. His father, Nathan Cohen, who owned a substantial Montreal clothing store, died when Cohen was nine years old. On the topic of being a Kohen, Cohen has said that, "I had a very Messianic childhood." He told Richard Goldstein in 1967. "I was told I was a descendant of Aaron, the high priest." Cohen attended Westmount High School, beginning in 1948 where he was involved with the Student Council and studied music and poetry. He became especially interested in the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. As a teenager, he learned to play the guitar, and formed a country-folk group called the Buckskin Boys. Although he initially played a regular acoustic guitar as a teenager, he soon switched to playing a classical guitar after meeting a young Spanish flamenco guitar player who taught him "a few chords and some flamenco."

 personal life
Cohen had a relationship with the Los Angeles artist Suzanne Elrod beginning in the 1970s, with whom he has two children: a son, Adam, born in 1972, and a daughter, Lorca, named after poet Federico García Lorca, born in 1974. Adam Cohen began a career as a singer-songwriter in the mid-1990s and fronts a band called Low Millions, while Lorca took the part in her father's tour team during the 2008-2010 world tour as photographer and videographer. She also shot Cohen's video for the song "Because Of" in 2004, while her "Backstage Sketch" was included on Cohen's 2010 DVD Songs from the Road. She has directed and shot video clips for The Webb Sisters and Kamila Thompson. On February 2, 2011, Lorca gave birth to a daughter, Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen. The father of the child is Rufus Wainwright.

Cohen has downplayed marriage as an important relationship, and has said that "cowardice" and "fear" have prevented him from ever actually marrying Elrod. Elrod took the cover photograph on Cohen's Live Songs album and is pictured on the cover of the Death of a Ladies' Man album. She is also the "Dark Lady" of Cohen's 1978 book of poems, prose and diary entries Death of a Lady's Man, the book which deals with the failed marriage and which was started as the novel about the spiritual and emotional failure of marriage, invariantly titled The Woman Being Born, and My Life in Art. Cohen and Elrod had split by 1979.

"Suzanne", one of his best-known songs, refers to Suzanne Verdal, the former wife of his friend, the Québécois sculptor Armand Vaillancourt, rather than Elrod. The 1979 song "The Gypsy Wife" is supposedly about Suzanne Elrod.

In the 1980s, Cohen was in a relationship with the French photographer Dominique Issermann, who shot his first two video clips, "Dance Me To The End Of Love" and "First We Take Manhattan." Issermann is today famous for her photo sessions with Carla Bruni and for her fashion photography for magazines like Elle; in 2010 she was the official photographer of Cohen's world tour. Her photographs of Cohen are the canonical in Cohen's merchandise, and some of them were used for the covers of his 1993 book Stranger Music and his album More Best of Leonard Cohen, and inside the booklet of Cohen's 1988 record I'm Your Man, which is dedicated to Issermann with words: "All these songs are for you, D. I.".

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

In 2000s, Cohen has been romantically involved with Anjani Thomas. Together they wrote the album Blue Alert in 2006, produced by Cohen. Thomas co-produced and co-wrote some songs on Cohen's 2004 album Dear Heather and is currently involved in recording of Cohen's forthcoming record.

Since late 1970s, Cohen has been associated with Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, regularly visiting him at Mount Baldy Zen Center and serving him as personal assistant during Cohen's own reclusion into Mt. Baldy monastery in the 1990s. Roshi appears as regular motif or addressee in Cohen's poetry, especially in the Book of Longing, and also took part in 1997 documentary about Cohen's monastery years, Leonard Cohen: Spring 1996. Cohen's 2001 album Ten New Songs is dedicated to Joshu Sasaki.

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  Played TV shows  

  Novels  

  Albums 

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
Come Healing 02:53 27/01/2012
Crazy to Love You 03:08 27/01/2012
Anyhow 03:09 27/01/2012
Darkness 04:30 27/01/2012
Show Me the Place 04:08 27/01/2012
Amen 07:39 27/01/2012
Different Sides 04:10 27/01/2012
Going Home 03:10 27/01/2012
Lullaby 04:48 27/01/2012
Banjo 03:26 27/01/2012
Introduction 01:29 31/03/2009
Undertow 04:20 26/02/2004
The Faith 04:17 26/02/2004
The Letters 04:44 26/02/2004
To a Teacher 02:32 26/02/2004
Because Of 03:00 26/02/2004
Nightingale 02:27 26/02/2004
Go No More A-Roving 03:40 26/02/2004
Dear Heather 03:41 26/02/2004
There for You 04:36 26/02/2004
Villanelle for Our Time 05:55 26/02/2004
On That Day 02:04 26/02/2004
Morning Glory 03:28 26/02/2004
Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye 04:04 09/10/2001
Alexandra Leaving 05:27 09/10/2001
The Gypsy’s Wife 05:20 09/10/2001
By the Rivers Dark 05:20 09/10/2001
The Smokey Life 05:34 09/10/2001
Love Itself 05:26 09/10/2001
Here It Is 04:19 09/10/2001
That Don't Make It Junk 04:27 09/10/2001
A Thousand Kisses Deep 06:30 09/10/2001
The Land of Plenty 04:36 09/10/2001
In My Secret Life 04:55 09/10/2001
Boogie Street 06:05 09/10/2001
So Long, Marianne 06:44 09/10/2001
You Have Loved Enough 05:42 09/10/2001
The Great Event 00:00 07/10/1997
Never Any Good 00:00 07/10/1997
Hallelujah 06:54 28/06/1994
Joan of Arc 06:13 28/06/1994
Heart with No Companion 04:50 28/06/1994
If It Be Your Will 03:18 28/06/1994
One of Us Cannot Be Wrong 05:20 28/06/1994
Tonight Will Be Fine 03:47 1989
Lady Midnight 02:55 1989
Everybody Knows 05:36 02/1988
Ain't No Cure for Love 04:50 02/1988
First We Take Manhattan 06:01 02/1988
Tower of Song 05:37 02/1988
I Can't Forget 04:31 02/1988
Jazz Police 03:53 02/1988
Take This Waltz 05:59 02/1988
I'm Your Man 04:28 02/1988
Night Comes On 04:40 12/1984
The Law 04:27 12/1984
Coming Back to You 03:32 12/1984
Dance Me to the End of Love 04:38 12/1984
Came So Far for Beauty 04:04 09/1979
The Window 05:56 09/1979
Humbled in Love 05:15 09/1979
The Guests 06:40 09/1979
The Lost Canadian 04:42 09/1979
Memories 03:28 11/1977
Paper Thin Hotel 05:59 11/1977
Iodine 05:42 11/1977
True Love Leaves No Traces 05:03 11/1977
Lover Lover Lover 03:19 08/1974
Leaving Green Sleeves 02:38 08/1974
Chelsea Hotel #2 03:06 08/1974
Take This Longing 04:06 08/1974
Is This What You Wanted 04:13 08/1974
Who by Fire 02:33 08/1974
I Tried to Leave You 02:40 08/1974
A Singer Must Die 03:17 08/1974
There Is a War 02:59 08/1974
Why Don't You Try 03:50 08/1974
Field Commander Cohen 03:59 08/1974
Improvisation 03:17 05/1973
Nancy 03:48 05/1973
You Know Who I Am 05:22 05/1973
Passing Through 04:05 05/1973
Minute Prologue 01:12 05/1973
Diamonds in the Mine 00:00 03/1971
Dress Rehearsal Rag 00:00 03/1971
Last Year's Man 00:00 03/1971
Avalanche 00:00 03/1971
Bird on the Wire 03:26 04/1969
Seems So Long Ago, Nancy 03:39 04/1969
The Partisan 03:26 04/1969
A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes 03:12 04/1969
Story of Isaac 03:35 04/1969
Sisters of Mercy 03:32 27/02/1968
The Stranger Song 05:00 27/02/1968
Winter Lady 02:15 27/02/1968
Master Song 05:55 27/02/1968
Suzanne 03:48 27/02/1968
Be For Real 00:00
Waiting For The Miracle 00:00
The Future 00:00
Tacoma Trailer 00:00
Always 00:00
Light As The Breeze 00:00
Democracy 00:00
Anthem 00:00
Closing Time 00:00
Famous Blue Raincoat 05:09

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Leonard Cohen", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.