“Leonard Cohen has given me 200 franc!” Temporarily Destitute Interviewer Benefits From Leonard Cohen’s Graciousness

Having published a couple of posts featuring Leonard Cohen in mock conflict with interviewers,1 I thought it only fair to offer an an example or two of Leonard’s over the top graciousness with reporters. Today, it’s Leonard gifting a destitute interviewer with cash. Next, it will be Leonard forcing scarfs on interviewers.

“It sounds like the beginning of a crime novel,” says Leonard Cohen and chuckles quietly when I tell him how my coat was mixed up with another man’s coat on the Air France plane, one and a half hours ago at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Leonard Cohen wants to hear the whole story before starting the interview here in room 204 at Hotel Raphael. And once again I have to explain how I didn’t discover the mistake until one quarter hour after the landing while standing at the train station outside the airport about to buy a ticket for Gare du Nord. In the inside pocket of the coat was another man’s passport and return ticket and in the outside pocket a red tie – but no money. After 15 heavily sweaty and panicking minutes I managed to get an airport employee to call Leonard Cohen’s hotel and tell the people from the record company that I was late and couldn’t get anywhere without money. While waiting to get through to the hotel, the airport woman smilingly noted that if my coat was a Hugo Boss and his a Cessario it wasn’t a good swap.

Leonard Cohen laughed again: “Did you get in contact with the man?” And I did. At the hotel there was a message and a mobile number waiting and I discovered that the man with my coat was sitting in a meeting at the cosmetics company Givenchy. “Was he able to see the amusing aspect of the situation?” asked Leonard Cohen – and yes, the man had laughed on the phone and we had arranged to meet.

“Does that mean that you are broke?” asked Leonard Cohen, and when I shook my head he grabbed inside the inner pocket of his jacket and pulled out 200 franc, handed them across the table and the two coffee cups and insisted that I should take them.

Leonard Cohen has given me 200 franc! What a fantastic start.


From Leonard Cohen Gave Me 200 Franc by Martin Oestergaard (Euroman, Denmark: September 2001).

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 7, 2018.


  1. See, for example, Leonard Cohen’s Short Response To A Long Question About His Depression and “Let’s kill him” Leonard Cohen Plots With Anjani To Murder Interviewer []

2 thoughts on ““Leonard Cohen has given me 200 franc!” Temporarily Destitute Interviewer Benefits From Leonard Cohen’s Graciousness

  1. 200 francs in 1998 was worth about $36,30 cents USD. The Euros replaced the French franc in 1999. The 5-star Hotel Raphael on Avenue Kleber costs $600 USD a night for a single today. At the time its posh Rococco-style interiors led to the movies “Love in Paris” and “Place Vendome” to filmed there in 1996 and 1998. Leonard was always ready to give a small handout. He gained many loyal fans.

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