What’s In Your Bag? The Leonard Cohen Version: Snake Tattoo, Girlfriend Photo, Airplane Tickets, AIDS Test Card

The Scene

It is early 1988. Leonard Cohen is being interviewed in the restaurant of a Covent Garden hotel. The interviewer reports “a tall man in a black suit suddenly approaches our table and hands Len a small black travel bag. Len lets out a huge sigh of relief. The man bows and disappears.”

The Excerpt

[Interviewer:] What’s that then, Len?

[Leonard Cohen:] I left it in the car last night. It’s got everything. My tattoo.

[Interviewer:] You’ve got your tattoo in your bag?

[Leonard Cohen:] It’s one of those stick-on ones, a big snake, a present for my daughter. Here’s my airplane tickets. Cheque books. A picture of my girlfriend.

[Interviewer:] Can I have a gander, Len?

[Leonard Cohen:] Sure. I took it myself.

[Interviewer:] Very beautiful. What’s that bit of paper there?

[Leonard Cohen:] That’s my AIDS test result. Negative. It’s good to carry that around. ‘Hi, I’m Leonard, here’s my card!’ It’s like being let out of prison, getting one of those.


Source: Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Posted Dec 3, 2015 (the excerpt itself is from a 1988 interview). The photo atop this post was taken in Milan in 1989 by Guido Harari.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Dec 28, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com.

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