The day that Leonard Cohen died

Friday 11 November

Leonard Cohen had a massive influence on my life, twice.

In 1971 I was sharing digs with a group of English girls in Chelmsford, England. One of the girls, Barbara, had just purchased two LPs. Day of Future Past by the Moody Blues and The Songs of Leonard Cohen by himself.

We listened in awe to both albums. It was part of an evening ritual after work and before cooking dinner, with a mug of coffee.

Many years later Hayden announced he had found some new music. He brought his iPod to a family holiday in Fiji, loaded with Leonard Cohen albums. Bruce had an off day and spent the day in bed. He listened to the tracks and fell in love with Leonard’s dark lyrics.

For me it was a memory reinvigorated.

After that holiday Leonard Cohen became a regular choice on the family’s iPod music box.

We were lucky enough to see Leonard Cohen perform twice.

  • At the Rochford Winery in the Yarra Valley in 2009, to celebrate Bruce’s 61st birthday with Evan.
  • At the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne in 2013 with Hayden & Andrea and Evan & Steph.

So today it was with great sadness that I learnt of his passing, but the news brought back so many memories of happy times.

And this is how we started our journey in South Africa, driving from Port Elizabeth to Tsitsikamma, on a grey drizzling day, listening to the songs of Leonard Cohen.