Leonard Cohen’s Old Friends
It should not be a surprise that Leonard Cohen is well acquainted with many of the performers and guests at The Glenn Gould Prize Gala Concert in Honour of Leonard Cohen tonight. After all, his long-time partner, Anjani Thomas, and his son, Adam Cohen, are among the musicians scheduled to appear.
Some, especially non-Canadians, may, however, be unaware of the intermittent but ongoing intersections in the lives of the Canadian Bard Of The Holy And Profane1 and Clarkson, who is a speaker at tonight’s award ceremony. Adrienne Clarkson first met Cohen while she was a producer and broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, became an unabashed fan of the Canadian singer-songwriter, and later found herself on stage with him in her official capacity as the 26th Governor General of Canada.
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson – Self-described Leonard Cohen Groupie
In her list of 10 things former Governor General and author Adrienne Clarkson can’t live without, she indeed calls herself a Leonard Cohen groupie (see below); one notes, however, that she ranks Cohen at #8, – just below her King James Bible that originally belonged to her mother but above Koerner Hall (her favorite place for concerts) and Fantasia (her favorite movie):
He sang on TV for the first time on my CBC show in 1967, and we’ve been friends ever since. (His appearance is online2 and it’s hilarious.) I’ve been to dozens of his concerts all over the world. I’ve never told anyone what a groupie I am!
Even more revelatory and poignant is this essay by Clarkson published in Intricate Preparations – Writing Leonard Cohen by Stephen Scobie (ECW Press. June 1, 2000):Videos: Two Previous Cohen-Clarkson Contacts
Leonard Cohen Considers the Poetic Mind, CBC Interview 1966
Leonard Cohen Induction Into CSHF (part 1) 2006
Leonard Cohen Induction Into CSHF (part 2) 2006
Credit Due Department: Photo found in CBC archives