The second selection from the Leonard Cohen 75th Birthday Registry1 offers the twin advantages of practicality and economy, making it an ideal choice for the Cohen fan on a restricted budget.
In addition, this gift carries the intangible benefit of establishing an empathic link between that fiscally challenged gift-giver and the singer-songwriter who has undergone his own financial problems, suffering the precipitous loss of his retirement savings.
His monetary crisis, itself the impetus for Cohen’s current World Tour, is reported in Wikipedia:
On October 8, 2005, Cohen alleged that his longtime former manager, Kelley Lynch, misappropriated over US $5 million from Cohen’s retirement fund along with the publishing rights to his songs, leaving Cohen with only $150,000. 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, Cohen won the civil suit and was awarded US $9 million by a Los Angeles County superior court. Lynch, however, ignored the suit and did not respond to a subpoena issued for her financial records. As a result it has been widely reported that Cohen may never be able to collect the cash.
Cohen, interviewed on the March 30, 2007 edition of “Først & sist” (”First & last”), the Norwegian talk show hosted by Fredrik Skavlan, commented on the event:2
Money has a way of disappearing if you don’t watch it very, very closely. That’s a certain wisdom I acquired. I wasn’t absolutely certain of this [before the loss], but now I am. It’s enough to put a dent in your mood.
[Responding to the host's observation that Cohen seems "quite happy" despite having very little money following the loss:] Well, I don’t recommend this as a spiritual exercise, …
Clearly, a self-help program designed to prevent another financial crisis of this sort would be an especially appropriate gift now with the end of the World Tour in sight. For the down to earth Cohen admirer who understands that knowledge and a tough minded approach to business can be more valuable to an artist than golden baubles or gushy sentiment, this is an ideal option.
The Gift And Its Cost
This Cohen birthday gift set consists of two books, both of which are affordable and readily available.
Managing Your Money For Dummies
Available from Amazon for $19.79
The Unofficial Guide to Hiring and Firing People
Available from Amazon for $2.99
- To aid fans in selecting gifts to celebrate Leonard Cohen’s 75th birthday September 21, 2009, Heck Of A Guy has opened the Leonard Cohen Birthday Gift Service and Registry, offering advice and assistance in choosing that just right birthday present, whatever ones budget or Cohenist preferences (e.g., early Cohen, post-1979 Cohen, “everything except Death Of A Ladies’ Man,” etc.). For the complete story, see The Leonard Cohen 75th Birthday Gift Registry [↩]
- See Leonard Cohen & Anjani Appear On TV Talk Show [↩]