It’s probably hard to pick one [Leonard Cohen song], but what are your favorites?
I have no favorites. My favorites are my friendship with the man himself. I don’t care about the music on some level. I care about the man. I care about the man and what he gave and what we stood for. What he showed and how he led, with gentleness and kindness and tenderness. And how he respected women, the overwhelming gentleness always shocked me because I was raised in a rougher universe. I came from that situation where men didn’t treat women well, so to be around somebody so overwhelmingly gentle, you kind of put everybody else on the back burner. I wanted to be around him because I wanted to be around that radical kindness. And I think people sensed that he was like that, but as a woman to be around that? It was the reason why everybody wanted to be his girlfriend or his boyfriend or whatever. He was revolutionary in the stance that he brought to the world. So the music is gorgeous and the body of work is huge. And, you know, he is Dylan’s equal. But I would say when all is said and done, what I’m going to remember are a few tones of voice and the look in the eyes and his impeccable timing when you were in pain, those kinds of things. I’ll remember that I woke up from a surgery to see him in there sleeping in the hospital, and I’ll remember him at my mother’s funeral. That’s what I’ll remember.
From ‘Born to be his conduit’: Jennifer Warnes remembers her friend and collaborator Leonard Cohen by Randall Roberts (LA Times: Nov 14, 2016).
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 Mar 31, 2018.