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MOJO, September 1994: “Leonard Cohen” By John Walsh
Today’s Heck Of A Guy entry is a buffed-up version of the two year old post showcasing John Walsh’s excellent article on Leonard Cohen published in the September 1994 edition of MOJO. After reworking the material, the scanned text is significantly easier to read and and the photos are a bit sharper.
If you have any interest in Leonard Cohen and you haven’t read it, you will be entertained by it and perhaps even impressed. If you have read it, it’s probably worth a repeat visit because of the amount of material, some significant and some trivial it offers about Cohen.
John Walsh Calls Leonard Cohen “A Benign Old Sweetie”
John Walsh, former literary editor of the Evening Standard and the Sunday Times and editor of the Independent magazine, published novelist, and currently a contributor of columns and essays, once began a column about Carrie Fisher with
I’ve interviewed some extraordinary people in my time (can I name-drop Leonard Cohen, with whom I once trashed a minibar; Joseph Heller, who wept when I asked him about his mum; and Dame Ninette de Valois, who told me to sit on my hands to stop myself from waving them about?).1
Since the publication of that Carrie Fisher column in 2004, legions of readers have, no doubt, spent sleepless nights pondering the circumstances that would result in the talented icon, Leonard Cohen, and a skilled and respected journalist like John Walsh “[trashing] a minibar” in tandem.
The mind reels.
Internet searches have not revealed the historical facts of the referenced rifling of that repository of $6 bottles of water and $18 sacks of almonds; it appears, in fact, that this information is not to be found online.2
Well, that was true until Heck Of A Guy made this gem available. Now, viewers can know the solace that comes from reading about the Walsh-Cohen minibar raid from the primary source – the article, cleverly named “Leonard Cohen,” by John Walsh from the September 1994 issue of Mojo, the one with that cover photo of a disgruntled, scruffy, uncomfortable looking Neil Young.
And there is so much more.
Treats From Leonard Cohen MOJO Article By John Walsh
- Leonard Cohen’s admission that he played barn dance music
- His denial that he wore gingham skirts
- His recommendation for universal conscription
- The Cohen C.V.: Office Worker, Elevator Operator, Short Story Writer
- Leonard Cohen’s confession that he taunted Phil Spector’s bodyguard: You’re a motherfucking pussycat. You don’t even known how to use that [gun]3
- His report of an encounter with Nico: Nico hauled off and hit me so hard it lifted me clean off the bed
Oh, and there is that photo of Leonard Cohen “celebrat[ing],” according to the legend on the photo, “his 45th birthday with traditional flair ["traditional flair" apparently not pictured] and his Romanian girlfriend Michelle at his house on the Greek island of Hydra September 22, 1979: ‘I don’t like the kiss-and-tell as a form.'”
Note: This article has been scanned and remains a group of images rather than text, at least for now. All pages with text have been split so that each two-column page is viewed as two 1-column pages. Each of those columns has been enlarged for easier reading. To avoid confusion, I have also separated all non-textual components from textual material on these pages. The blackened areas are locations with images removed.
Clicking on any pages of text will enlarge them further.
- I consider myself an accomplished practitioner of the parenthetical throwaway line, but I have never had the literary audacity to boldly commit, in broad daylight, a parenthetical rhetorical question, such as the specimen Mr. Walsh brazenly displays in his lede. This, I choose to believe, goes far toward explaining why Mr. Walsh writes about Leonard Cohen for prestigious periodicals while I am (appropriately) doomed to write, in my humble blog, about John Walsh writing about Leonard Cohen. (Might I suggest, however, that a self-referential parenthetical rhetorical question within a footnote to the lede effectively raises the ante? It’s to you, Mr. Walsh) [↩]
- The internet is a big place with all manner of secluded spots that are lacunae on the maps of Google and the other search engines. I can only vouch that I could not find this article online. [↩]
- This incident, of course, lends credence to my own (fake) account of the encounter between Cohen and Spector in Item #10 of 10 Unbelievable Secrets About Leonard Cohen [↩]