Introduction: This entry was originally published Aug 26, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com but was lost when that site was terminated.
I guess they won’t exchange the gifts
That you were meant to keep.
From A Thousand Kisses Deep
By Leonard Cohen
The Leonard Cohen Wedding Theme
“I think marriage is the hottest furnace of the spirit today, much more difficult than solitude, much more challenging for people who want to work on themselves… Naturally, I feel ambiguous about it.”1
It’s an amazing thing – the Duchess not only persists in her claim that she will marry me tomorrow [at time of original post: Aug 26, 2011], but has also arranged for me to receive a couple of especially endearing and impressive gifts in celebration of those nuptials. Atop this post is a photo that may well be recognized by readers, friends, family, casual acquaintances, Leonard Cohen fans, that Indiana State Police officer who stopped me to chat about my predilection for traveling at a velocity considerably in excess of the posted speed limit…
Now, the photo of Leonard Cohen and me isn’t new. It was taken backstage by Lorca Cohen before the October 29, 2009 Leonard Cohen Chicago Rosemont Theatre concert). What is new, however, is that inscription on the photo (dated August 27, 2011, the day and year of our wedding).
Similarly, I already owned the record sleeve of Do I Have To Dance All Night, a 1976 Leonard Cohen song never released on an album but published as a 45 rpm record for sale in Europe, the propagation of which throughout the cosmos has become my primary moral imperative (see Do I Have To Dance All Night – The Best Leonard Cohen Song You Probably Never Heard). It’s the note from Leonard that has been added.
Bonus: Book Of Mercy By Leonard Cohen
The word on Boogie Street is that Leonard Cohen is a gracious fellow.
He has, in fact, previously written a brief note to me, employing the title page of his Book Of Longing as stationery.
Note: I continue to receive email asking about the story behind the inscription from Leonard Cohen to me on the title page of Book Of Longing shown in the video. As a result, I am including that anecdote here:
It’s just another re-enactment of the age-old story:
Boy (that would be me) finds girl (Anjani) while writing a review of girl’s new album (Blue Alert). Boy, on reading comparison of girl to Holly Cole and Tanita Tikaram, makes the obvious move, using the first part of the review to suggest a four-way consisting of him and the three female singers. Girl leaves comment, thanking boy for positive review. Boy publishes post interpreting girl’s comment as indication girl is torn between running to him and staying with her boyfriend, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lenny Kravitz, Leonard Nimoy… Lennie somebody. Negotiations ensue re four-way Vs three-way and personnel composition of each but eventually girl sends a ”Dear DrHGuy” letter and it’s splitsville. Boy gets autographed poetry volume from boyfriend/poet as consolation prize.
It’s the kind of thing that happens every day.
Consequently, one supposes it should be no surprise that, in addition to autographing the photo and record sleeve as requested by the Duchess, this blog’s favorite and featured Canadian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist-icon also included in the return mailing a copy of his Book Of Mercy with another note and autograph.
Nonetheless, the Duchess informs me that she is a tad overwhelmed by this wondrous lagniappe from the man whose music and poetry played no minor role in the courtship that led to tomorrow’s wedding.
Credit Due Department: Special thanks and gratitude are owed and hereby proffered to Kezban Özcan, Leonard Cohen’s Assistant, who went far beyond her job description in colluding with the Duchess to assure that these autographs were executed, prepared, packaged, and shipped in timely fashion, extending in the process courtesy and warmth.
- Leonard Cohen: The Romantic in a Ragpicker’s Trade Paul Williams. Crawdaddy: March 1975. [↩]