Celebrating the legacy of the brilliant Leonard Cohen ahead of his 87th birthday

Celebrating the legacy of the brilliant Leonard Cohen ahead of his 87th birthday

Celebrating the incredible life of the great late Leonard Cohen, who would have been 87-years-old on 21 September 2021.

Leonard Cohen performs in London in 1979. | Photo by Adam Beeson
Leonard Cohen. Photo by Adam Beeson

In 2016, the world mourned the loss of one of the greatest and most iconic storytellers of our time - Leonard Cohen.

Cohen, born 21 September 1934 in Canada, passed away on 7 November 2016 at the age of 82 with his leukemia playing a major factor in his death. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, depression, sexuality, loss, death, and romantic relationships.

He was one of the most celebrated artists of our generation and his life is one filled with love, brilliance, sadness, and tragedy.

Read more: Celebrate 40th anniversary of Simon & Garfunkel's iconic 'Live in Central Park' reunion 

You can read more about his life in his autobiography, 'I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen', available on Amazon.

"Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential musical artists of the past fifty years—and one of the most elusive. In I’m Your Man, journalist Sylvie Simmons, one of the foremost chroniclers of the world of rock ’n’ roll and popular music, explores the extraordinary life and creative genius of Leonard Cohen." - Amazon

The autobiography is incredibly powerful and documents stories of his childhood as a young Jewish boy growing up in Quebec.

Cohen was laid to rest in Quebec, Canada.

Read more: Special Edition release of 'Let It Be' by The Beatles 

Here are some facts you may not know about Leonard Cohen:

  1. Leonard Cohen has been specially mentioned by other artists in their songs and other singers have found success performing songs penned by Cohen (most notably the beautiful “Hallejuah”), He’s mentioned in many songs by other performers, which include, Nirvana's Pennyroyal Tea“Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld/ So I can sigh eternally.”
  2. He went to Cuba just before the Bay of Pigs invasion — as a “foot solider,
  3. At  the age of 32, he was an established poet and novelist before deciding that songwriting might pay better. When he first tried out as a musician around New York, agents would say to him: “Aren’t you a little old for this game?”
  4. His favorite song is Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill” 
  5. He was a poet and novelist before he was a pop star. He
  6. He was a lifelong manic depressive.
  7. His song Chelsea Hotel No 2, which is about Janis Joplin, may be the only song overtly written by one pop star about sex with another. “You said to me then, you preferred handsome men, but for me you would make an exception … giving me head on the unmade bed, while the limousines wait in the street.”
  8.  “I’m sorry I couldn’t have spoken to the young man. I see a lot of people at the Zen Centre, who have gone through drugs and found a way out that is not just Sunday school. There are always alternatives, and I might have been able to lay something on him.” – Leonard Cohen on the death of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain
  9. “Hallelujah” was first released on Cohen’s studio album in 1984. The song had limited initial success but found greater popularity from 1991. “Hallelujah” has been performed by almost 200 artists in various languages - including the popular rendition by Jeff Buckley.
  10. Leonard Cohen's music sales went up by 400% following the announcement of his death in 2016.

Join us on East Coast Gold on Tuesday 21 September as we play a collection of Leonard's classics in celebration of his greatness.

Read more: The iconic Sting announces details for new album, 'The Bridge' 

Here's a reminder of why we love Leonard so much:

For loads of fantastic 60s, 70s and 80s classics, listen to East Coast Gold via the ECR app or here. We’re also on various other platforms, including Alexa (just enable the ‘East Coast Gold’ skill); MyTuner, Radio Garden; iono.fm, Radioline or OpenRadio.

Who's on-air when?

Gordon Graham, weekdays 6-10am and Sundays 2-6pm.
Jane Linley-Thomas, weekdays 10am-1 pm.
Damon Beard, weekdays 1-5pm.
Dave Guselli, weekdays 5-9pm and Saturdays, 2-6pm.
Guy McDonald, weekends 6-10am.
Alex Jay, Saturdays 10am – 2pm.
Jill Stewart, Sundays 10am - 2pm.

Main image attribution: Leonard Cohen. Photo by Adam Beeson

Show's Stories