I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons (New Zealand Herald)

Excellent effort by British music journalist Simmons to untangle the complex life of the enigmatic singer-writer – with his co-operation but not his approval, if you can fathom that. Women are one common thread in Cohen’s life, from childhood (his father died when he was 9), flowing into a series of intense relationships throughout his life, including a short affair with Joni Mitchell (who called him “a boudoir poet”) and engagement to actor Rebecca De Mornay, after which he became a monk. Spirituality is undoubtedly Cohen’s sustenance – significantly, Zen Buddhism. But real life intruded: when he emerged in 2004 from a five-year retreat at a Zen centre, he discovered his business manager had cleaned him out and he had to resume recording and touring, much to the delight of his fans worldwide. A must for Cohen obsessives. There is no other kind of Cohen fan.

by Linda Herrick for the New Zealand Herald

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