Veteran singer Cohen was given the honours for songwriter of the year Sunday, with the award citing three songs from his latest album Old Ideas — Amen, Going Home and Show Me the Place. Cohen also was absent, but his son Adam Cohen accepted it on his behalf.
“I know he has a deep fondness for the love that Canada has always expressed toward him,” Adam Cohen said. “He refers to Canada as the beating heart of his career.”
On Saturday night, when the bulk of the prizes were handed out, Cohen scored another major prize — artist of the year.
The announcement of Leonard Cohen’s three 2013 Juno Award nominations makes the selection of the official Closing Time video, itself the winning entry in the Best Video category of the 1993 Junos, an obvious – and deserving – choice for today”s Leonard Cohen Video Of The Day. And any time is a good time for the story of the sexy, agent provocateur role De Mornay (and Perla Batalla) played in the making of the Closing Time video.
The roles played in the making of the official Closing Time video by backup singers, Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, and by Cohen’s paramour at that time, Rebecca De Mornay, are so delicious as to demand describing. This excerpt is from “Growing Old Disgracefully” by Ian Pearson (Saturday Night, March, 1993):
At the video shoot of “Closing Time,” the joy was starting to flow around 10 p.m., eight hours after the star’s arrival. Cohen and his band were on stage, lip-synching the song while the camera pored over their faces. The band was getting giddy. Cohen planted himself as solidly as a tree in centre stage, clenching his fists, mouthing the lyrics, and staring resolutely into the mid-distance. The back-up singers — Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen — were vamping outrageously beside Cohen, dancing provocatively and shooting delicious come-hither looks at him every time he glanced their way.
“Oh we’re drinking and we’re dancing / and there’s nothing really happening / the place is dead as Heaven on a Saturday night,” Cohen sang, and Rebecca De Mornay trapped his stare as she danced seductively behind the camera. He continued: “And my very close companion / gets me fumbling gets me laughing / she’s a hundred but she’s wearing something tight.” De Mornay, who was in her early thirties and wearing a tight green sweater and a snug linen skirt, suggestively started toying with her fingers at the edge of her lips. As his very close companion continued to swoon and gyrate, Cohen broke up on stage. “You guys were really beautiful,” Cohen said in a lounge-singer homily at the end of the take. Unlike a lounge singer, he really meant it.
The director, Curtis Wehrfritz, was pleased, but he wanted a close-up of Cohen putting a bit more emotion into the song. De Mornay had a plan. She asked for a pair of wooden crates to be placed in front of the stage beside the camera. The camera started rolling and the tape began playing. Cohen started a deadpan delivery of the song, more in his prophet than in his playboy mode. De Mornay and Perla Batalla kicked off their shoes, climbed onto the crates, and started gyrating like go-go dancers. A metre or so away from his face, De Mornay fixed her blue eyes on Cohen and pumped her hips. “The women tear their blouses off / the men they dance on the polka dots…/ it’s closing time,” sang Cohen, and De Mornay took the words as cue for a mock striptease. She pulled out the front of her sweater from under her skirt and then tantalizingly gestured with her hands in front of her chest.
The singer responded with an intensely erotic gaze. He sang every word to De Mornay, and came up with a true performance under the most artificial of circumstances. The song ended, and De Mornay turned to Wehrfritz and laughed, “We really put a sparkle in his eye.”
Cohen climbed off the stage. Ever the gentlemen with Old World manners, he bent down to put on De Mornay’s shoes for her. The gloomy-poet-turned-bard-of-the-bedsits looked up at his friends and the crew and pronounced, “That was fun.”
Leonard Cohen – Closing Time (Official Video, 1992)
Since its Oct 25, 2011 posting, the Heck Of A Guy video of How I Got My Song, the speech given by Leonard Cohen on winning the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature has garnered more than 96,000 viewings.1
This accomplishment becomes especially impressive if one considers that awareness of the Prince Of Asturias Literature Award is low (at least in North America), Mr Cohen himself remains a mystery to most of the US population, the speech was only televised locally, and, in any case, speeches occasioned by the awarding of literary prizes are hardly big draws.2
Leonard Cohen’s 2011 Prince of Asturias Awards Speech, “How I Got My Song,” is an intricately constructed, exquisitely executed, profoundly effective and affective performance. It is, no less than his most eloquent renditions of his most precisely crafted songs and poems, evocative, revealing, and strengthening. The immediate and worldwide audience found its tone, content, and presentation deeply resonant.
Leonard Cohen – Prince Of Asturias Awards Speech
Oviedo: Oct 21, 2011
It should be noted that this is the most popular but not the only online video of Leonard Cohen’s Prince Of Asturias Awards Speech. An earlier, lower quality iteration of the speech that is also on my channel has 8500 views. Several other versions, some in English and some in Spanish, can be found on YouTube and other video sites as well as The Prince of Asturias Foundation site. [↩]
To put this in context, consider that the most popular YouTube version of President Barack Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech has about 157,000 viewings. [↩]
On May 14, 2012, Leonard Cohen was awarded the Glenn Gould Prize at a gala held in his honor1 at Massey Hall in Toronto.
As the official press release explained,
The Glenn Gould Prize, valued at $50,000 (CDN), has been referred to as “The Nobel Prize of the Arts” and is awarded biennially to a living individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts.
Cohen not only accepted the Glenn Gould Prize but also presented the associated City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize of $15,000 (CDN) to Sistema Toronto, a program that offers free, intensive music education to children from culturally diverse neighbourhoods.
The Quintessential Photo Of 2012 Glenn Gould Prize Laureate Leonard Cohen
This photo of Leonard Cohen with head bowed and hat in hand is, I contend, the iconic shot of the May 14, 2012 Glen Gould Prize ceremony, the one that most completely captures the spirit of that event and the significance imbued into it by Leonard Cohen’s embodiment of the notion, The Artist As Steward.2 For a discussion of this notion, go to Why This Is The Quintessential Photo Of 2012 Glenn Gould Prize Laureate Leonard Cohen.
Slideshow: 2012 Glenn Gould Prize
The $50,000 Donation
Leonard Cohen did 0accepted the Glenn Gould Prize, but donated the $50,000 that accompanied it to the Canada Council for the Arts.
Videos From Leonard Cohen-Glenn Gould Prize Gala Online: Adam Cohen: So Long, Marianne, James McMurtry – Closing Time, Cowboy Junkies, John Prine – One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong, Adam Cohen & Serena Ryder – Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye, immie Dale Gilmore – Tower Of Song (audio only)
Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post is by Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star.
The tribute was hosted by Colm Feore and featured Anjani Thomas, Basia Bulat, Adam Cohen, Cowboy Junkies, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, James McMurtry, Gordon Pinsent with Travis Good & Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo), John Prine, and Serena Ryder. Guest speakers and readers included The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Melissa Auf der Maur, Michael Ondaatje and Alan Rickman. The Musical Director was Neil Larsen. [↩]
Each day until the June 18th Paris Concert opens the 2013 Leonard Cohen European Tour, the DrHGuy Advent calendar offers a new link to a Leonard Cohen-related photo, animation, project, song, story, or other item not found elsewhere online.
Do I Have To Dance All Night Surpasses 70,000 Views
"Do I Have To Dance All Night" was performed many times in concerts but was never released in the US.
As part of my crusade to popularize this song, I've cobbled together 2 videos - one for the semi-funky 1976 version with Laura Branigan and one for the 1980 more gypsy, less disco version - that kinda sorta fit the music.
As of Dec 19, 2012, the video of the 1976 version of Do I Have To Dance All Night has been viewed 70,152 times.
Heck Of A Guy offers 3 videos of clips and photos from The Leonard Cohen World Tour:
1. The Original Heck Of A Guy Dear Leonard Cohen - Thanks For The Tour. I Hope It Was Good For You, Too. Video Celebration Of The First 14 Months Of The 2008-2009 World Tour can be viewed at Thanks For The Tour
The Cohen Fandemic
Endemic for decades in areas such as Canada, Norway, Poland, and France, Leonard Cohen Fan Syndrome has become a world-wide epidemic in the past 2 years, spread by the Leonard Cohen World Tour and abetted by proselyting carriers despite efforts by authorities to quarantine these individuals at LeonardCohenForum.
Based on the observations of DrHGuy, standardized criteria for the pertinent Axis II diagnosis are now available at
In addition to the formal medical description of this diagnosis, Heck Of A Guy has also compiled a list of the aberrant behaviors which indicate one is at high risk for being a full-fledged fan of Leonard Cohen. These signs and symptoms can be found at
Leonard Cohen’s Elegy For Janis Joplin – Chelsea Hotel #1
This video features the first version of the song Leonard Cohen would later revise into "Chelsea Hotel #2" along with images of Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin - whose liaison with Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel led to the creation of the song, the Hotel itself, and other associated people & places.
Photos of or related to Leonard Cohen that fall into specific themes have been among the ongoing features at DrHGuy, HOAG's sibling site. Galleries displaying collected images of 3 of these themes are now available at
Over 35 tunes performed by Dylan, Janis Joplin, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Otis Redding, Chuck Berry, The Platters, Joni Mitchell, George Jones, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Jay-Z, and other musicians.
Read what Cohen said about them and listen to the music at
Photos, Videos, & More
See photos of Leonard Cohen's arrival in Oviedo, the opening of Leonard Cohen: The B-Side - Drawings And Engravings Of A Multidisciplinary Artist, his speech and press conference, his tribute conference, the lost and found Famous Blue Sharpie, and more at:
Note: Almost all HeckOfAGuy and DrHGuy posts contain different content.
And We’re Still Making Love In My Secret Life – Julie’s Story & Video
... I never had a chance. I was - and this is the only word that fits - smitten. I still am.
She was smart and quick-witted, although it would take me 3 years to recognize that she was, in fact, much smarter than me, and then another 2 years to forgive her for that. She was also good-looking and unabashedly sexy.
And, we fell madly, irredeemably, unflinchingly in love.
Complementing the unlikely story of how Julie and I met, fell in love, and - 9 years, 2 husbands, 1 wife, and 2 careers later - got together to spend an outrageously wonderful 20 years together before her death, a video, set to the poignant "In My Secret Life" by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, is now available that evokes the role Julie, who died 10 years ago, continues to play in my life.
Clicking on Taste of LC - Heck Of A Guy and Taste of LC - DrHGuy finds posts from those sites that feature Leonard Cohen's choices in furniture, clothing (including suits, fedoras, caps, berets, other hats, boots and other footwear, swimsuits, and in at least one case cut-offs), art, jewelry, food, books, magazines, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, ... - all of which offer a different perspective on Leonard Cohen.
This Heck Of A Guy compilation includes unreleased Leonard Cohen performances over a 30+ year period.
Track List: Vol 1
1. Feels So Good (The Other Blues Song)
2. Book Of Longing
3. The Darkness
6. Do I Have to Dance All Night (1976)
7. Blues By The Jews
Track List: Vol 2
1. Red River Valley
2. Never Got To Love You (Duet with Anjani)
3. Can't Help Falling In Love
4. Ride Around
5. The Union Makes Us Strong
6. We Shall Not Be Moved
7. To Love Somebody
8. The Hypnotist (Poem)
9. Chelsea Hotel #1
10. There's No Reason Why You Should Remember Me
11. Streets Of Laredo
12. Do I Have To Dance All Night (1980)
Now, Another Other Leonard Cohen Album, the second collection of unreleased Leonard Cohen songs joins the popular The Other Leonard Cohen Album to offer fans of the iconic singer-songwriter a total of 3 CDs of musical treats. Another Other Leonard Cohen Album includes the following tracks plus liner notes by Sylvie Simmons.
1. Je Veux Vivre Tout Seul
2. Kevin Barry
3. Die Gedanken Sind Frei
4. Store Room
5. As Time Goes By
6. Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-on
7. Blessed is the Memory
8. Silent Night
9. Dead Song
10. Another Saturday Night
11. Ballad of the Absent Mare
13. The Butcher
14. Un As Der Rebbe Singt
15. Song to the Machines
16. If It Be Your Will
17. Thirsty for the Kiss
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep
19. I Tried To Leave You
20. Whither Thou Goest
21. Mr Cohen Must Be Going
Heck Of A Guy celebrates Leonard Cohen’s 77th birthday (September 21, 2011) with a video of scenes from Leonard Cohen’s life and photos of fans expressing their affection for Mr. Cohen, all set to “I Love Leonard Cohen” by Robin Grey.
Video – Jennifer Warnes’ Way Down Deep & Leonard Cohen’s A Thousand Kisses Deep
The video begins with Jennifer Warnes singing the gorgeous but routinely overlooked "Way Down Deep," which is followed by Leonard Cohen's recitation of "A Thousand Kisses Deep" in Dublin to juxtapose the earliest performed precursor of Cohen's now classic "A Thousand Kisses Deep" with the most recent version.
Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen had a fling in the 1960s that, for unspecified reasons, was short-lived, with Cohen instigating the parting.
It was then and is now a complex connection. In 1988, Cohen said, I'm still very friendly with Joni - I had dinner with her before the tour, and I have the same admiration for her as you do. But I think it was Noel Harrison who came up to me in the LA Troubadour and said "How do you like living with Beethoven?"