Throwing In The Leonard Cohen (Beach) Towel


The above graphic is a representation of a beach towel bearing the often-quoted words from the lyrics of “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.”

That is a sentence I never anticipated writing.

To answer the inevitable question,
No, this is not one of those  fake items of Leonard Cohen merchandise Heck Of A Guy has repeatedly  foisted onto a trusting public.1


In fact, this beach towel is too haute to handle unless one possesses a certain elan – and US$168.41.2

From Boogie Street To 213 rue Saint-Honoré

colettelogo For the bourgeoisie visitors who came to read the usual down and dirty Heck Of A Guy post but instead find themselves in this unusual beach wear display, I’ll explain. First, 213 rue Saint-Honoré is the Paris address of Colette, a store redolent with chic, brimming with dope (of the legal sort), and awash in cool.

Colette is, all in all, one swank emporium.

And of the designers whose lines are carried by Colette, none is swankier than Raf Simons, an uber-fashionable kind of guy who, describing the concept behind his Fall/Winter 2008-2009 collection in Paris, writes

The whole idea of this collection is to work on the body, which is that of a young boy on its journey to grow into that of a mature man – and to capture the budding spirit in between.3

Last Year’s Man On This Year’s Towel

On the Colette web site, one finds this unedited description of the Raf Simons Beach Towel (available in any color as long as it’s black):

Black beach towel in cotton “there is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in”

Exit the colorful and so gaudy beach towel, Raf Simons have the good idea to drow again it, now she’s black, bearer of a message and well packed in a design box, she become a fashion accessory of our summer.

Spring/summer collection 2009.


Screensot from Colette web site. Click to enlarge.

To answer the next inevitable question,
I don’t know if Leonard Cohen gets a cut of the Eurodollars expended by  the Eurotrash to purchase these items.

My cynical predisposition, abetted by the omission of any attribution of the quote to Mr. Cohen as well as the designation of this rag as the “Raf Simons Beach Towel” rather than, say, the “Leonard Cohen Beach Towel,” inclines me toward the belief that Mr. Simons is the one likely to profit from sales.

But I could be wrong. If Leonard starts hawking beach towels between sets at his next concerts, …

And to answer the final inevitable question,
Yes, I could create a better beach towel emblazoned with Leonard Cohen lyrics.

Of course, I’m more the traditional, raised on Beach Blanket Bingo movies, sort of DrHGuy.


The quote, of course, is from Cohen’s “The Future.”

I can’t speak to the aesthetic, but at least my version wouldn’t require a label to identify it as a beach towel.

I also suspect it could be sold at substantially less than €125 and still turn a tidy profit.

On the other hand, I admit that actually using it on the beach could be fully 65% as embarrassing as using Raf’s towel.

  1. E.g., the lost Leonard Cohen album called Songs Of Love And Halloween, the barbershop quartet recordings he and Elvis each made during their sojourns in Nashville, and the re-marketing of the Blue Alert album as “Anjani Goes Blue, A Red Foxx Tribute“ []
  2. 125 Euros = 168.41 USD. Exchange rate calculations completed this morning on Google. []
  3. Wikipedia quoting from Yianni Vassiliou (May 2008). “Raf Simons”. Wound Magazine (London) 1 (3): 147. []

0 responses to “Throwing In The Leonard Cohen (Beach) Towel

  1. Great one Dr Heck!

  2. hilarious!

  3. I was in Colette store last year, its one of those “if you don’t like it, you don’t get it” places.
    As for the beach towel, it can’t beat the Nick Cave tea towel I got (with the lyrics to The Lyre of Orpheus on it) – Nick was definitely in on the action.

  4. [Holding a finger up in the air, taking a deep breath] … yanno YOUR towel … [pause] … it is so, you.

  5. Your towel is a worthy placard for my patch of sand. An inspired weave of fibers.