Down A Slippery Slope To Broadway and The Chelsea Hotel
I may indeed be tumbling down one of those dratted slippery slopes about which pundits are always warning us. After initially mounting, in Now For The Leonard Cohen (Separated At) Birth Day, a unyielding defense to the idea that Leonard Cohen resembled one or another celebrity (using that term in its most loosely defined form), I later acknowledged, albeit in the process of discounting Another Leonard Cohen Look-alike Nominee, that there was something to the frequently alleged similarity between the visages of Leonard Cohen and Dustin Hoffman (as they appeared in the late 1960s).
Then, in Leonard Cohen and Neil Diamond To Share Twin Bill, I suggested that Leonard Cohen and Neil Diamond were reasonable facsimiles of each other. Still, I was not the first to make that observation.
Now, however, without the excuse of another’s prompting, I have developed, de novo, the conviction that Leonard Cohen shares the facial features of Joe Namath, the quarterback who led the Jets to a victory over the highly favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Well, see for yourselves.
Wait, There’s More
No returning reader will be surprised to find that the supposed concordance of physiognomies is only part of the picture.
Both Joe and Leonard wrote books that were published, and the comparison of sample volumes below demonstrates that, as the saying goes, it’s like looking in a mirror.
The Lady’s Men
And, both Broadway Joe and the Master of Erotic Despair were believed to have had some success with the ladies. As it turns out, they had at least one dalliance in common – with yet another entertainer.
Janis Joplin (from cover of her album, Pearl)
On occasion, Cohen’s introduction of the song, Chelsea Hotel, at one or another concert has included the identity of his partner in that liaison, Janis Joplin.
Janis Joplin also used the concert stage to announce to her audience that she and Joe Namath had shared a bed.
Janis even sang a duet with Nick Gravenites, the lyrics of which included these lines sung by Gravenites:
You know I ain’t no Hollywood star
I’m not Joe Namath, you know,
I read about that in the papers today
You know I’m just a working man,
You don’t work too hard, baby!
I never ran in a football game 200 yards1
Leonard Cohen’s song, Chelsea Hotel #2, does not, of course, mention Janis Joplin by name but does have some lines that are both pertinent and poignant:
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
You were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
But for me you would make an exception.
- From Ego Rock by Janis Joplin and Nick Gravenites [↩]