Warning Signs Of Leonard Cohen Fan Syndrome


You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If …

Since the publication of the official criteria for the prototypical Leonard Cohen Fan Diagnosis, 301.LC Cohenphilic Personality Disorder, the Heck Of A Guy Leonard Cohen Fan Disorders Asylum and Sanitarium has received numerous messages asking if one or another behavior is a  symptom characteristic of a Leonard Cohen fan.

Consequently, Heck Of A Guy is publishing, as a public service, this non-exhaustive list of signs which indicate that you may be at high risk of being a full-fledged Leonard Cohen fan.1

You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If …

  • You have repeatedly suggested that a Leonard Cohen song would be ideal for a wedding, bar mitzvah, or high school prom.
  • You read a post at LeonardCohenForum that Leonard Cohen was seen buying a Filet-O-Fish at McDonald’s today in your hometown of Cedar Rapids and, although you know that he gave a concert in New Zealand last night,  you head to Mickey D’s,  … just in case.
  • You found The Watchmen to be miscast, overblown, and jejune – except for the use of  Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which transformed the three minute sex scene between superheroes, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II, into a tragicomic masterpiece destined to become a cinematic classic.
  • You like Dylan but sometimes wonder how much of that is because Leonard admires Bob so much.
  • In response to a friend who asks you for wide variety of music,  you burn her a CD with  tracks from every one of Leonard Cohen’s albums.
  • In response to that friend’s explanation that by “wide variety of music” she meant a collection of songs representing many different moods, styles, and eras performed by different singers, you replace three of the  original tracks on the mix CD with one selection each from Jennifer Warnes’ Famous Blue Raincoat, Sharon Robinson’s Everybody Knows, and Anjani’s Blue Alert albums.
  • You have constructed a six page spreadsheet of Cohen’s preferences in furnishings, condiments, household accessories, and foodstuffs from data garnered from studying photos and videos of Cohen being interviewed in his home.
  • settings2

  • You feel certain that, at least under the Canadian legal code, a spouse declaring “Cohen’s just another singer – and not an especially good one” is grounds for divorce – as is a spouse claiming that he or she “gets Leonard and you don’t.”
  • You carry photos of the kids in your wallet – Lorca & Adam.
  • You’ve taken to bestowing blessings on friends instead of saying goodbye.
  • blessing-screenshot

  • Your standard reply to “How are things?” and “What’s up?” is “I’ve seen the future, baby: it is murder.”
  • You can’t remember a time when you didn’t know Chelsea Hotel #2 was about Janis Joplin.
  • You considered converting from Presbyterianism to Judaism after the 2009 Tel Aviv concert.
  • You’ve lived your entire life in San Diego but claimed to be part-Canadian on the 2010 U.S. Census form.
  • You’ve dated a woman whose most attractive feature was that her name was Marianne or Suzanne.
  • You maintain the high point of contemporary TV was Cohen’s 1986 cameo on Miami Vice.
  • You felt closest to and proudest of  your 9 year old son when you overheard him singing to himself,  “… giving me head on the unmade bed.”
  • You find yourself  perpetually craving tea and oranges – and bananas.
  • leonard-banana

  • Your family and friends have begun responding to you asking “If you could only take three Leonard Cohen albums to a desert island, which ones  would you choose?” with lewd gestures or direct threats.
  • You are not typically an apostrophe aficionado but you are fascinated that the Leonard Cohen album is called “Death Of A Ladies’ Man” rather than “Death Of A Lady’s Man.”
  • Your mother is concerned that you own 182 blouses, all of which feature a polka-dot pattern.
  • You are vexed that Leonard Cohen has not yet made a guest appearance on “The Simpsons,” especially since the Ramones and Cohen lookalike Dustin Hoffman have already been featured on the show.
  • You know that some people listen to Leonard Cohen’s music and don’t like it, but can’t help wondering if they reallllllly listened.
  • You think an Icon Hall Of Fame is a great idea because Leonard Cohen would be a shoo-in for the charter class.
  • You routinely read biographies and watch documentaries about other singers on the chance that Leonard Cohen might be mentioned.
  • You are convinced that there are no covers of Leonard Cohen songs that improve on the original; you also own every cover now available.
  • You think Phil Spector should have already been in jail for ruining Leonard Cohen’s “Death Of A Ladies’ Man” album.
  • Phil Spector: Photo on left taken years ago; photo on right is recent.

  • You mourn the absence of “crack and anal sex” in recent years.
  • You’ve petitioned the city council of your home town to change the name of the road in front of your house to “Boogie Street.”
  • You own all the Leonard Cohen t-shirts, including the imaginary ones.


  • You remain convinced, lack of supporting evidence notwithstanding, that your Cohen-centric blog makes you desirable to women.


Update: Additions to this list can be found at

All You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … entries
can be found at the
You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … Page


Credit Due Department: Many of the warning signs listed above were inspired by discussions read at LeonardCohenForum; details have been changed to protect the afflicted.

  1. Clinical Note: Notwithstanding the popularity of the canard, “One either loves Leonard Cohen’s music or hates it,” early research results tend to support the the possibility that one may legitimately qualify as a Leonard Cohen fan without displaying the obsessive traits (or, in Cohenite terminology, “well deserved dedication to the holy cause”) required for a diagnosis of  Cohenphilic Personality Disorder. Long time Cohen followers, for example, even today tell of a confirmed identification of a Leonard Cohen Fan Without Cohenphilic Personality Disorder in 1992 in Des Moines and again in 1997 in a village near Brussels. Possible sightings have occurred as recently as 2006 in Krakow. It appears, however, that this may be a prodromal state, inevitably progressing to full blown Cohenphilic Personality Disorder. []

6 responses to “Warning Signs Of Leonard Cohen Fan Syndrome

  1. Heck, never doubt yourself. There is no more attractive feature in a man than appreciation of and devotion to the greatest artist our age has known.

  2. Dustin? Nah, more like Leonard Nimoy.

    And could we get a peek at that spreadsheet?

  3. Well then I guess I have the full blown disorder.

  4. The Simpsons NEED to do Cohen- it’s ridiculous that they haven’t already. The episode last week about Israel was a huge missed opportunity, imo. I kept expecting an LC reference to pop up at any moment. They could also do a storyline with Lisa- I could see her getting into Leonard Cohen. LOL I’d bet he’s a fan and might voice his own character, too.

  5. This made my day.

  6. hahha, wonderful, thank you!! Had to publish it on my Leonard Cohen Quote twitter for everyone to see ;D