Diamonds in the Mine
Celebrating the film and television recordings of Leonard Cohen
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1934-1955: Growing Up
21 September 1934 - Leonard Norman Cohen born in Montreal, Canada
Home Movies
Leonard's father, Lyon Cohen, made a number of home-movies of the family, some of which can be seen in Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen. But this isn't a full biography, so let's fast-forward to....
21 September 1951 - Enrols at McGill University; plays guitar in The Buckskin Boys band
1956-1969: The Early Years
Spring 1956 - Publication of first collection of poetry Let Us Compare Mythologies
1961 - Publication of second collection of poetry The Spice-Box Of Earth
Early Appearances 1957-1964 - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
As we can see from one of the clips in Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen, Leonard appeared as a literary TV pundit for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (here on a panel chaired by Pierre Berton). He once said "(Up to 1959) I was doing programs for the CBC as a journalist, trying to make a living that way". It has also been sugested that Sam Gesser filmed the making of the 'Six Montreal Poets' album in 1957. So there are possibly a number of early CBC TV appearances prior to Leonard departing for London and Hydra in '59, but whether any have survived remains to be seen. Even in the mid-sixties Leonard had close ties with CBC and once interviewed the pianist Glenn Gould.

1963 - Publication of his first novel The Favourite Game

1964 - Publication of third collection of poetry Flowers For Hitler

1964 - Ladies And Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen - NFBC - 44m
Excellent film capturing the emerging young poet on the threshold of stardom.
"This 1965 Canadian documentary, directed by Donald Brittain, (mostly filmed in 1964) captures Leonard Cohen just as he was poised to translate his notoriety as a novelist and poet into a parallel identity as a singer-songwriter. These glimpses of a still youthful Cohen underscore the Montreal native's prevailing literary sensibilities-even when his poetry readings verge on standup routines, both for his impish wit and the adulation it inspires among his listeners, Cohen's serious craft shines through." (from review).
Poems include: I Have Not Lingered In European Monasteries / Prayer For Messiah / A Kite Is A Victim / Disguises / Beneath My Hands / Here Was The Market / Twelve O'clock Chant / Twelve O'clock Chant (first view of Leonard singing!) / As The Mist Leaves No Scar / The Genius / On Hearing A Name Long Unspoken / Three Good Nights / Alexander Trocchi, Public Junkie, Priez pour nous / Hydra 1963 / The Only Tourist In Havana Turns His Thoughts Homeward / The Music Crept By Us

Out now on DVD from or
DVD also includes In Short: Leonard Cohen which collects the National Film Board of Canada short films , Angel, Poen, A Kite Is A Victim and I'm your Man (see below for details).

1966 - Publication of his second novel Beautiful Losers
1966 - Publication of his fourth collection of poetry Parasites of Heaven
1 May 1966 - This Hour Has Seven Days - CBC TV - 9m
Patrick Watson introduces this interview. 'I always thought of myself as a singer,' Cohen tells Beryl Fox 'and kind of got side-tracked to literature.'

See this online at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Archive

23 May 1966 - Take 30 - CBC TV, Toronto - 19m
Interview promoting Beautiful Losers. But also included Leonard Cohen's first appearance on television as a singer. He performed a 20 minute version of The Stranger Song (which was edited for transmission), Suzanne and So Long Marianne.

See this online at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Archive

1966 - Angel - NFBC - 7m
Experimental short film by Derek May in which a man, a woman and a dog take turns donning wings. Featuring music and an uncredited appearance by Leonard Cohen.

Included on the DVD Ladies And Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen
Out now from or

1967 - The Ernie Game - CBC/NFBC - 2m (film 88m)
A romantic feature filmed in Montreal, a story about "young people who have left their parents' homes but still have not made homes of their own". Directed by Don Owen, starring Jackie Burroughs and Anna Cameron. Music by The Kensington Market and Leonard Cohen, who is shown playing The Stranger Song at a party.

1967 - Poen - NFBC - 4m
Directed by Josef Reeve and produced by Tom Daly. Leonard Cohen reads and re-reads a prose poem from his novel Beautiful Losers as diverse photographs flash by, juxtaposing word and image for a different effect each time.

Included on the DVD Ladies And Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen
Out now from or
  1967 - B.O.N.Y.  (Boys of New York) Directed by Gregg Barrios 16mm Black & White
Cast: Gerard Malanga, Rene Ricard, Ivy Nicholson (Vogue model) and Leonard Cohen (singer). 
Under Warhol’s tutelage, in 1967 Barrios made his own experimental film, titled BONY (Boys of New York). Shot in both black-and-white and color with a 16-millimeter Roloflex Camera, Barrios’s film captures a day in the life of the Warhol “superstars” — the poet Gerard Melanga and Rene Ricard (the poet and art critic who “discovered” Jean Michel Basquiat) — during which they meet Leonard Cohen and Vogue model Ivy Nicholson.

September 1967 - Camera Three - CBS
Cohen was featured on this CBS Sunday morning cultural affairs program.
From The New York Times (1968): "He sang a few songs, read some poems, and was pictured peering sensitively into several tawdry Broadway store windows. The impression he made was strong enough to elicit the greatest audience response in the show's fourteen-year history. One viewer berated the network for "letting this cancer loose" on the Sabbath, but most of those who wrote wanted to know more about Cohen. Who was this ambiguous and tortured poet who prowled the urban slag dump proclaiming God is alive. Magic is afoot?"
From a post on the LeonardCohenForum: "The program ran for 30 minutes. One unique thing about the program was that it contained a performance by Cohen of the song God is Alive, Magic is Afoot, which has never appeared on an album or CD. The Camera Three program was very well done -- I think it borrowed some footage from Ladies & Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen, but it also contained an interview segment done expressly for Camera Three and some poetry and songs performed by Mr. Cohen. "

Film lost by CBS...
December 1967 - Release of 1st album: Songs of Leonard Cohen
Track Listing: 1. Suzanne; 2. Master song; 3. Winter lady; 4. Stranger song; 5. Sisters of mercy; 6. So long Marianne; 7. Hey that's no way to say goodbye; 8. Stories of the street; 9. Teachers; 10. One of us cannot be wrong

27 January 1968 - Once More With Felix - BBC UK
Julie Felix, who met Leonard Cohen in Greece introduces him singing The Stranger Song. He also covers Hey that's No Way To Say Goodbye with Julie. Leonard's first UK TV appearance and memorable for the tear he sheds at the end of Stranger. When shown this clip in 1993 by Jools Holland, Leonard commented "I never saw it, you know. I remember the evening, it was the first television show that I ever did in England, and one of the first I ever did anywhere. And Julie Felix invited me over to do it. So I have never seen that clip.... there's an expression of "chops", which musicians have to designate their excellence, their skill, and you say, like, "a musician has great chops". Well, I have one "chop". So you know, er, I'm demonstrating my "chop" there.

1968 - Leonard Cohen sings Leonard Cohen - Paris Theatre, London - BBC - 65m
In summer 1968 Leonard Cohen recorded 13 songs at the BBC studios in London. They were broadcast in two shows, on 31 August 1968 and 7 September 1968 respectively. The first show featured: You Know Who I Am / Bird On The Wire / The Stranger Song / So Long, Marianne / The Master Song. The second show included: There’s No Reason Why You Should Remember Me / Sisters Of Mercy / The Teachers / Dress Rehearsal Rag / Suzanne / Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye / Story Of Isaac / One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong. This is circulating on audio, but the tape is thought to have been wiped.

1968 - Publication of his fifth collection of poetry Selected Poems: 1956-1968

April 1969 - Release of 2nd album: Songs From A Room
Track Listing: 1. Bird on the wire; 2. Story of Isaac; 3. Bunch of lonesome heroes; 4. Seems so long ago; 5. Nancy; 6. Old revolution; 7. Butcher; 8. You know who I am; 9. Lady Midnight; 10. Tonight will be fine

1970-1979: New Skins
1970 saw Leonard Cohen play a number of festivals in the US and Europe and also 7 concerts in Germany, Austria, England and France.
13 May 1970 - Paris, French TV - Arpèges sur Joe Dassin - 8m
Cohen sang The Partisan and improvised on Regina with Joan Baez.

2 August 1970 - Aix-En-Provence Festival, France - A Cause du Pop
The film of the concert, Guitare au Poing includes some Leonard Cohen clips.

30 August 1970 - Message To Love: The Isle Of Wight Festival - 4m
Suzanne was the only song included in the Festival film directed by Murray Lerner.

Out now on DVD from or

March 1971 - Release of 3rd album: Songs of Love and Hate
Track Listing: 1. Avalanche; 2. Last year's man; 3. Dress rehearsal rag; 4. Diamonds in the mine; 5. Love calls you by your name; 6. Famous blue raincoat; 7. Sing another song boys; 8. Joan of Arc


1971 - Dynamite Chicken - 1m (film 76m)
Dated 'hip' documentary which features a clip (to a still photo) of Cohen reading What am I doing Here from Flowers for Hitler. The whole film is a collection of satirical sketches with a lot of clips of Richard Pryor, for some reason doing stand up comedy to the camera on a basketball court.

Out now on VHS from

June 1971 - McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Though not appearing in the film, Cohen's songs enhanced Robert Altman's classic western and established his reputation with a new audience. Includes The Stranger Song, Sisters of Mercy & Winter Lady on the soundtrack.

Out now on DVD from or
1972 - Publication of his sixth collection of poetry The Energy Of Slaves
In March and April 1972 Leonard Cohen played a series of 21 shows across Europe and Israel.

March/April 1972 - Bird On A Wire - 80m
1974 documentary film by Tony Palmer filmed during the 1972 tour includes Bird On The Wire / Avalanche / You Know Who I Am / Seems so Long Ago, Nancy / Sister of Mercy / Famous Blue Raincoat / One of Us Cannot Be Wrong / The Partisan / Tonight Will Be Fine / Passing Through / How We Used To Approach / The Book of Changes: 1966 (Poem)/ Suzanne / Chelsea Hotel / Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye / So Long, Marianne. Shot in Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen and Israel. An outtake of Song of Isaac was included in Tony Palmer's TV series on popular music All you Need is Love.

  3 April 1972 - Kungliga Tennishall, Stockholm, Sweden - 50m
Television footage, broadcasted on June 9, 1973: So Long, Marianne / You Know Who I Am / The Butcher / Famous Blue Raincoat / Story Of Isaac / Joan Of Arc / Hey, That's No Way To Say / Goodbye / The Partisan / Suzanne / Seems So Long Ago, Nancy.

April 1973 - Release of 4th album: Live Songs
Track Listing: 1. Minute Prologue; 2. Passing Through; 3. You Know Who I Am; 4. Bird on a Wire; 5. Nancy; 6. Improvisation; 7. Story of Isaac; 8. Please Don't Pass Me by (A Disgrace); 9. Tonight Will Be Fine; 10. Queen Victoria


August 1974 - Release of 5th album: New Skin For The Old Ceremony
Track Listing: 1. Is this what you wanted; 2. Chelsea Hotel no 2; 3. Lover lover lover; 4. Field Commander Cohen; 5. Why don't you try; 6. There is a war; 7. A Singer must die; 8. I tried to leave you; 9. Who by fire; 10. Take this longing; 11. Leaving green sleeves
Between September 1974 and March 1975 Leonard Cohen played 55 shows across Europe and America.

1974 German TV? - A Singer Must Die
No filmed record of the 1974 shows is thought to exist. The only clip I'm aware of is an incomplete segment of A Singer Must Die, broadcast on Drehscheibe a German TV programme on ZDF-TV network in May 1976, presumably (but not definitely) filmed at one of the September '74 concerts in that country.

February 1976 - Soundstage (with Judy Collins) - Chicago TV Studios, USA
Leonard thanks Judy for helping get him started and sings The Stranger Song and Suzanne (duet with Judy Collins).

Between April and July 1976 Leonard Cohen undertook a 55 show tour of Europe.
27 May 1976 - Le Grand Echiquier - French TV
Live tribute program presented by Jacques Chancel and dedicated to Charles Aznavour, featuring Bird on The Wire, Lover Lover Lover, Suzanne. Despite my black and white screenshot, this was broadcast in colour.

  14 June 1976 - Vienna, Austria
Short clip from this show.

1977 - A Kite is a Victim - NFBC - 2m
"Worthy, lyric and pure," a line from this early Cohen poem, describes this animated short and the poetry itself. Excerpt from Poets on Film No. 1.

Included on the DVD Ladies And Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen
Out now from or
November 1977 - Release of 6th album: Death of a Ladies' Man
Track Listing: 1. True love leaves no trace; 2. Iodine; 3. Paper thin hotel; 4. Memories; 5. I left a woman waiting; 6. Don't go home with your hard on; 7. Fingerprints; 8. Death of a ladies' man
1978 - Publication of his seventh collection of poetry Death of a Lady's Man
8 February 1979 - Authors - CBC TV - 40m
Literary TV programme broadcast on 8 Feb '79 - probably filmed in 1978 to tie in with the release of the book Death of a Lady's Man. Leonard reads Slowly I Married her.

See this online at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Archive

September 1979 - Release of 7th album: Recent Songs
Track Listing: 1. The Guests; 2. Humbled in love; 3. Window; 4. Came so far for beauty; 5. Lost Canadian (Un Canadien errant); 6. Traitor; 7. Our lady of solitude; 8. Gypsy's wife; 9. Smoky life; 10. Ballad of the absent mare
Between October and December 1979 Leonard Cohen played 51 shows across Europe.
14 October 1979 - Konserthuset Stockholm TV - 15m
Kalinka (Cohen humming with Raffi Hakopian on violin - backstage) / Memories (on the tour bus) / Bird on the Wire / The Partisan / Chelsea Hotel #2 / Passing Through / Suzanne
  22 October 1979 - Invité du Dimanche - Paris - French TV - 7m
The Guests. Recording date is a guess - this is when the tour played Paris. The show was broadcast on French TV on 28 October 1979.

31 October 1979 - Rockpop Special - ZDF Studios, München, Germany - 44m
So Long, Marianne, The Window, Famous Blue Raincoat, Passin' Thru, Memories, The Guests. Suzanne. A fine concert with some nice chat from Leonard between the excellent selection of songs - nice to see Raincoat performed live in a studio setting.

1980-1989: He's The Man
During 1980, Leonard played 7 concerts in Australia (March), 1 in the US (October) and 29 in Europe (October-November).
November 1980 - The Song of Leonard Cohen - CBC TV Documentary
Harry Rasky's acclaimed film of the 1979 European tour and back home in Montreal.
Suzanne, Chelsea Hotel # 2, The Guests, The gypsy's wife, Who by fire, Field Commander Cohen, Un Canadien Errant, Memories, So long Marianne, Lover lover lover, There is a war.

May 1983 - I am a Hotel - 24m
A medley of five videos filmed at Toronto's King Eddy Hotel to illustrate the songs: The Gypsy's Wife, Memories, Suzanne, Chelsea Hotel # 2 and The Guests. The films make up a loose-knit story about the reflection and observations of one of the residents (played by Leonard Cohen). The video won the Golden Rose international television award in Montreux, Switzerland. From In Every Style of Passion by Jim Devlin: "Getting the project off the ground and onto the screen ran into severe problems when the original backers, C Channel Pay-TV, went bust six days before shooting began. CBC came to the rescue and the rest is graphic imagery. The stars were Toller Cranston, the skater, in his first acting role and Anne Ditchburn who was also responsible for the choreography. It was set in the luxurious Victorian splendour of the King Edward Hotel in Toronto. Guests there over the years have included Candice Bergen, Rudolph Valentino, The Beatles, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling and Liciano Pavarotti. Filming lasted two weeks in May 1983 under the direction of Allan Nicholls, an associate of Robert Altman, with additional scenes directed by Don Allan. The producers were Leonard's long-time friends Barrie Wexler and Moses Znaimer, and it was the first production by their new Blue Memorial Video company, so-called in honour of Leonard's late musician friend David Blue (born Cohen, no relation), who had died the previous year and to whose memory the film is dedicated."

1984 - Publication of his eighth collection of poetry Book of Mercy
December 1984 - Release of 8th album: Various Positions
Track Listing: 1. Dance me to the end of love; 2. Coming back to you; 3. Law; 4. Night comes on; 5. Hallelujah; 6. Captain; 7. Hunter's lullaby; 8. Heart with no companion; 9. If it be your will
From January-July 1985 there was a 77 concert world tour taking in the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and Israel
9 February 1985 Copenhagen - Danish TV
The six final songs were broadcast from the Copenhagen show: Sisters of Mercy / Memories / So Long, Marianne / The Night Comes On / Passin' Thru / Bird On The Wire

1985 - Ohne Malkorb - German TV - 15m
Interview to promote Various Positions - extensive use of clips from the 1979 Stockholm TV profile.
February/March 1985 - ZDF, Germany
Hallelujah sang on an eloborate set for a German TV show,

5 March 1985 - Mustermessehalle - Basel, Sweden - Karussell, DRS-TV
Soundcheck - Sisters Of Mercy / Dance Me To The End Of Love / Interview

  Other known 1985 television appearances:
22 February 1985 - Paris
- Interview on TV News
7 March 1985 - Konzerthaus - Vienna, Austria - Austrian TV - Soundcheck - Tennessee Waltz / The Law / Dance
22 March 1985 - Warsaw - NBC TV - Film shot for NBC TV.
20 May 1985 - Mike Walsh Show - Australian TV - Dance Me To The End Of Love / Interview.
30 June 1985 - Oslo, Norway - Kalvoya Festival - Jim Devlin reports that some songs from this shows were televised.
24 May 1985 - Midday Show with Ray Martin - Australian TV - 15m
Interview / Coming Back To You.

13 July 1985 - Guehenno, France - Elixier Festival
There Is A War / Dance Me To The End Of Love / Hallelujah / Suzanne / Lover Lover Lover / Tennessee Waltz / The Partisan / / Memories / Passin' Through / So Long, (Colour broadcast, just my screenshot that's black & white for reasons that are too tedious to go into).
  9 September 1985 - Personenbeschreibung- New York/Germany ZDF TV
Georg Stefan Troller interviews Leonard in New York, Berlin and Paris / clips from the New York rehearsals with the band (recorded on 7 January 1985) / a recitation of Hallelujah. Broadcast on ZDF-TV as "Personenbeschreibung: Hallelujah in Moll" on 9 September 1985.

1985 - Dance Me To The End Of Love promo - b&w - 4m
The promotional video was directed by Dominique Isserman, a French photographer and Leonard Cohen's close friend.
In interview Leonard has said "The video I did with Dominique Isserman for Dance Me to the End of Love, I think it's beautiful... but I think that's her work, I don't think of that as my own work".

1985 - Miami Vice: French Twist - USA - 1m
This episode of the popular 1980s TV series features Leonard Cohen's acting debut as Zolan, a senior executive in the French Secret Service engaged in an illegal operation to blow up Greenpeace boats. Cohen was persuaded to take the role by his son Adam who was a fan of the show. French Twist was episode 18 of the second series of Miami Vice and first aired on 21 February 1986. Leonard appears in two very short sections on the end of a telephone, speaking in French.

1987 - Jennifer Warnes' First We Take Manhattan Promo
After helping Jennifer Warnes on her album of cover songs, Famous blue Raincoat, in 1986 Leonard also appeared in the promotional video for Jennifer's single, First We Take Manhattan.
  1987 - Moving Picture - NFBC/CBC - 53m
Canadian art film directed by Jurgen Lutz which includes a scene showing a rehearsal at a ballet studio. Leonard Cohen has a supporting role as a visitor to the studio. The leading actress is Ann Ditchburn (who is also the Gypsy Wife in the I am a Hotel video). Two Cohen songs are heard in the background: First We Take Manhattan (with a different, earlier lyric) and Famous Blue Raincoat (Jennifer Warnes version).

  November/December 1987 - North America
Interview recorded with Denise Donlon for the Canadian music programme MuchMusic.

This year represents the peak of television activity from Leonard. TV shows, concert films, interviews, documentaries and promotional videos in support of the new album, I'm Your Man. Leonard Cohen made himself available to the media throughout 1988 and many interview and concert clips are available. The year breaks down into three neat sections - A European media tour, a 59-show European concert tour and a 25-show tour of the USA and Canada:

January-February 1988 - European Promotional Tour for I'm Your Man
In January and February there was a European media tour of interviews to promote the album. Where a song was required we either got the Dance Me To The End of Love promo or Leonard and the girls miming to First We Take Manhattan. There were doubtless more appearances than I've documented here, but they generally all covered the same ground and had the same set piece arrangement for the 'live' Manahattan.
From In Every Style of Passion: "January and February 1988 took Leonard across Europe to France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, England, Austria and elsewhere to contend with the barrage of media interviews. Compared to previous tours, the PR machine this time round was firing on all cylinders. He appeared on several TV shows, performing - truth be told, miming - First We Take Manhattan in front of Dutch, German and Swedish studio audiences, in all cases with two gyrating female back-up singers. In Oslo, he chose 'Ain't No Cure For Love' and 'Take this Waltz'. Very often, clips of, or in some cases, the whole of, the video 'First We Take Manhattan' accompanied television and radio reports. Of particular interest was a 40-minute documentary on Finnish television in February, neatly subtitled so we heard Leonard without the nuisance if the overdub, and we got to see most of the 1985 German TV-video of 'Hallelujah'.

April-July 1988 - 63 show European/US Tour
From April through to July we had the first leg of the world tour, mainly focusing on Europe. Local TV crews were often allowed to film several songs for broadcast and some interesting programmes - often supported by new interviews appeared. Among the filmed highlights are:
20 May 1988 -San Sebastian - pretty much the entire concert was filmed;
May-July 1988 - Songs from the Life of Leonard Cohen – The classic BBC documentary;
24 June 1988 -
Reykjavik, Iceland - Nice film of the Iceland visit;
29/30 June 1988 - Jacob's Backstage - one of the more amusing TV appearances - Leonard on a boat;

October-November - 21 show US/Canadian Tour
As usual for the States, little media interest in Leonard Cohen - but we did get the October Austin City Limits show- the first major US TV appearance and an excellent 9 song set.

February 1988 - Release of 9th album: I'm Your Man
Track Listing: 1. First we take Manhattan; 2. Ain't no cure for love; 3. Everybody knows; 4. I'm your man; 5. Take this waltz; 6. Jazz police; 7. I can't forget; 8. Tower of song

January/February 1988 - First we take Manhattan – b&w – 5m
Another promo video made with Dominique Isserman. Shot in Trouville, France. Clips from the shoot turn up in a couple of the inteview segments filmed around this time - UK Night Network show and the French A La Folie programme.

January/February 1988 - Backstage - Swiss TV - 13m
Interview and video clips.

January/February 1988 - Offbeat - German TV - 10m
Interview and video clips.

January/February 1988 - Night Network - UK TV - 10m
Interview with Anne Nightingale, including some clips of the shooting of the First We Take Manhattan video.

21 January 1988 - Kiepevel - Holland TV - 15m
Interview and video clips.

16 February 1988 - 'Mike' - Belgium TV - 13m
Leonard sings along to Take This Waltz and First We Take Manhattan on a Belgian TV show.

17 February 1988 - Na-Siensie - German TV - 5m
Leonard mimes First We Take Manhattan on a German TV show.

21 February 1988 - A La Folie - French TV - 15m
Another film with clipsfrom the set of the First We Take Manhattan video, plus Leonard and the girls doing their mime-act to the track and an interview in French.
21 February 1988 - La Haye D'Honneur - French TV
Leonard and the girls mime First We Take Manhattan on a French TV show.

April 1988 - Finland TV - 2m
Interview - intercut with Dance Me to the End of Love promo.

16 March 1988 - Cargo De Nuit – Belgium - 7m
Interview in French - probably filmed at the same time as the 'Mike' show on 16 February as film of the recording of Take This Waltz is included .

  1 May 1988 - Oslo, Norway
Eight songs were filmed. along with a supporting interview, for Norwegian TV. During the interview, Leonard shared some of his sketches and drawings.

May 1988 - Take this Waltz – 6m
The promotional video was filmed in Spain, in the city of Granada and in the house of Federico Garcia Lorca, who wrote the original poem on which Take This Waltz is based.

17 May 1988 - Leonard Cohen in concerto dal Teatro Orfeo di Milano –Italy
Suzanne, Take This Waltz, Who by fire, First We Take Manhattan live in Milan.

20 May 1988 - Leonard Cohen en Concierto - San Sebastian, Spain
Almost full length concert film (20 songs) -
Dance me to the end of love / Ain't no cure for love / Who by fire / Bird on a wire / Avalanche / Chelsea Hotel #2 / Tower of song / Sisters of mercy / One of us cannot be wrong / First we take Manhattan / Everybody knows / Joan of Arc / Hallelujah /  Take this waltz / Partisan / Suzanne / Heart with no companion / Coming back to you / I can't forget / So long Marianne. The TV show also included a pre-concert interview in a cafe near the arena, you can read a transcript of this interview here. This is a fine film and the most complete of the professionally filmed shows released to date.

  28 May 1988 - Paris, France
Ten songs were filmed from this show for French television - Bird on the Wire / Ain't No Cure For Love / Suzanne / Joan of Arc / So Long, Marrianne / Hallelujah / Tower of Song / I Can't Forget / Sisters of Mercy / The Partisan. They were featured in the 1989 CBC documentary An Evening with Leonard Cohen (see below). Leonard also appeared on French TV news with a short interview to plug the gig.

May-July 1988 - Songs from the Life of Leonard Cohen – Omnibus BBC - 1:10
Another landmark Cohen documentary, this time from the BBC. Directed by Bob Portway it takes Leonard back to his roots in Hydra and the Chelsea Hotel and includes lots of songs, mostly from the 1 June London Royal Albert Hall concert: First We Take Manhattan / Suzanne / Chelsea hotel # 2 / Take this waltz / Hallelujah / Who by fire / Bird on a wire / Red river valley / So long Marianne / Famous blue raincoat / The partisan / Joan of Arc / Ain’t no cure for love / Tower of song / Dance me to the end of love. All from London except The Partisan which was filmed at the Athens show on 19 June, plus Famous Blue Raincoat from the dressing room rehearsal for the same show. Much of the interview material was filmed in Paris in February. This film had a commercial video release in 1989.

5 June 1988 - Prince's Gala Trust - London
Every year the Prince's Gala Trust organizes a big concert in London. In 1988 Leonard Cohen performed for the trust at the Royal Albert Hall and an edited clip of his contribution, Tower of Song, is on the 1988 DVD.

24 June 1988 - Leonard Cohen a Islandi - Reykjavik, Iceland
TV programme featuring concert and interview footage: Joan Of Arc, Dance me to the end of Love, Hallelujah, The Stranger song, Bird on the wire, So Long Marianne, Take This Waltz. The film includes original drawings illustrating the songs Joan Of Arc and Hallelujah.

26 June 1988 - Take this Waltz – Oslo, NRK TV Norway
Interview & First we take Manhattan, Joan of Arc, I'm your man, Chelsea Hotel # 2, Hallelujah, Tower of song.
Dance Me To The End Of Love
clip also show on local TV news.

29/30 June 1988 - Jacob's Backstage (Med Noje Pa Dalaro) – Stockholm, Sweden
Interview with host Jacob Dahlin / I'm Your Man / Tower of Song - with Leonard and the girls singing on a boat. This is a fun film!

2 July 1988 - Live Fra Roskilde Festival '88 – TV2 Denmark - 36m
Dance me to the end of love, Everybody Knows, First we take Manhattan, Take This Waltz, Hallelujah, Suzanne


Other known 1988 television appearances:
21 April 1988 - Rapido, France -
14 May 1988 - Champs-Elysées, French TV -
Manhattan mime act and interview
24 May 1988 - Paris, France, Antenne 2
- Interview segment.
24 May 1988 - Barcelona, Spain -
A number of songs were filmed for Spanish TV.
27 May 1988 - Paris, France
- TV News clip with short interview
1988 - John Archer pursues Leonard Cohen
- Interview
1988 - Ain't No Cure for Love - Promotional film for the release of the I'm your man album.
And no doubt several others.... Note these dates are by and large when the clips were shown rather than when they were recorded.

31 October 1988 - Austin City Limits 1988 – 57m
First first major performance on US TV. First we take Manhattan / Tower of song / Everybody knows / Ain't no cure for love / The partisan / Joan of Arc / Jazz police / If it be your will / Take this waltz.

  11 November 1988 - CBS News Nightwatch
Short interview in which Leonard references the King James version of the Bible as the book he went back to most often.

13 February 1989 -Sunday Night Live (Night Music) - USA NBC - 18m
Tower of Song / Who by Fire (with Sonny Rollins). Introduced by Jools Holland, with backup vocals by Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen. Producer Hal Wilner describes “what I consider the most successful and magical of my genre-free collaborations/collisions (was) a segment of the “Night Music” television show with Leonard, Julie, Perla, & Was (Not Was) performing “Who by Fire” with his honor Sonny Rollins.”

  3 March 1989 - An Evening With Leonard Cohen - CBC
Documentary featuring interviews and live clips from Paris 1988. Jennifer Warnes, Harry Rasky, Judy Collins, Moses Znaimer provided comments and clips from the BBC Songs from the Life of Leonard Cohen were also included.
21 September 1989 - Adrienne Clarkson's Summer Festival - CBC
"Leonard was 55 on September 21. CBC celebrated with Adrienne Clarkson's Summer Festival, in which her conversations with Leonard in his Montreal house at work on his Collected Poems was the main focus of the programme. Leonard was also filmed in a variety of informal locations: shopping for olives, inside a supermarket (the same on as in Ladies and Gentlemen... in 1965), sitting on a bench and talking to the camera in a snowy Parc du Portugal just outside his home, and then inside, at work on his computer, entering the lyrics of The Stranger Song, at which point an extract from his first ever appearance on Canadian TV (Take 30, hosted by Adrienne Clarkson. on May 23, 1966) singing this very song, was shown." (From In Every Style of Passion by Jim Devlin).
  3 December 1989 – Leonard Cohen: A Portrait in the First Person – The Originals, CBC
Interview with Jim Hanley, introduced by
Moses Znaimer. The transcript can be read here.

1990-1999: Into The Future
  March 1991 - 21st Anniversary JUNO Awards - Vancouver, Canada
Leonard gets inducted into the JUNO Hall of Fame. Moses Znaimer read Leonard's citation and Suzanne Vega, Aaron Neville and Jennifer Warnes performed cover versions of his songs. In his acceptance speech, which included a recitation of some verses from Tower of Song, Leonard commented "Two women of genius among all that masculine prominence. It causes me to reflect that it's going to be hard to get a date in the Hall of Fame."

October 1991 - Much Music - International Festival of Authors, Toronto
Interview by Denis Donlon with Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen on the occassion of Irving being honoured International Festival of Authors in Toronto. Leonard recited some words from an unfinished song which later turned up in The Future.
  30 October 1991 - Order of Canada Investure
On this date Leonard was received into the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottowa. I've not seen any confirmation that this was covered by TV News, but it's hard to believe it didn't get a passing mention.

  8 December 1991 - CNN Showbiz Today
Interview with Leonard Cohen on the release of the tribute album I'm Your Fan. He said that two of his favourites were REM's version of First We Take Manahattan and The Pixies I Can't Forget.

  1992 - Megamix - Network M6, France
TV spot looking at I'm Your Fan. It includes an interview with Leonard in Paris. Ian Mc Culloch sings Lover, Lover, Lover and Christian Fevret explains the genesis of the 1991 tribute LP I'm your Fan.

  1 March 1992 -Interview - Antenne 2, France
Leonard interviewed whilst driving around Los Angeles in his car, playing tracks from the forthcoming album.

  1992 - The Future Press Kit - Conversations with Leonard Cohen
Interview filmed in New York in November 1992.

November 1992 - Release of 10th album: The Future
Track Listing: 1. Future; 2. Waiting for the miracle; 3. Be for real; 4. Closing time; 5. Anthem; 6. Democracy; 7. Light as the breeze; 8. Always has always will; 9. Tacoma trailer

November 1992 - Promotional Interviews
Leonard hit the promotion trail again for The Future. Known TV spots include:
18 November 1992 - Morningside with Pete Gzowski (Toronto)
19 November 1992 - Canada a.m.
Then it was off to Europe with appearances on Norwegian, Danish, French and Swedish programmes - usually miming to a track from the new album - Closing Time or The Future.
5 December 1992 - Talkshowet - Danish TV
Interview / Seems So Long Ago, Nancy. During the interview with Jarl-Friis Mikkelsen, Leonard mixed a couple of his own 'Red Needles' drink (from In Every Style of Passion by Jim Devlin).
December 1992 - Le Cercle de Minuit - France 2 TV Network
Interview / The Future / Closing Time. You can read a transcript of the interview here.

30 November 1992 - Closing Time - b&w - 6m
Promotional video directed by Curtis Wehrfritz at the Matador Club Country Music in Toronto. Cinematography by Miroslaw Baszak. This won 'Best Video' award at the 23rd Juno Awards in 1993. Leonard gave an interesting interview to Ian Pearson whilst filming which you can read here.

1992 - Culture Rock - Network M6, France
Clips of recordings from French TV (1970, 1976 & 1985) and the Roskilde Festival (Denmark 1988) and an interview, mostly in French. Though the programme put the Lover Lover Lover clip at 1974, it seems to be clearly from the 1976 Aznavour tribute show. The inteview is in colour, despite my black and white screenshot!

1993 - Publication of his ninth collection of poetry Stranger Music
  1993 - View from the Typewriter - Canada - film 47m
Documentary celebrating the works of Canada's finest writers. Includes clips from several CNFB documentary portraits of Canadian writers, including Leonard Cohen.

  1993 - The Future promo - 4m
Promotional video.

1993 - Waiting for the Miracle
Film of Leonard in a hotel room amusing himself watching TV and reading whilst Waiting for the Miracle plays. In the mid-section there's a pause on the soundtrack whilst Leonard reads one of the verses. Not sure who filmed this or when it was first shown.

21 March 1993 -JUNO Awards - Toronto
Leonard receives the Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year ('Only in a country like this..' comments Leonard in his acceptance speech.


16 April 1993 - Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Cohen sang an abridged version of The Future changing the risque line to "Give me speed and careless sex." He commented in the following banter 'it was very gracious of you to invite me to chop this song in half'.
Also around this time: The David Letterman Show - The Future

The 1993 Tour saw Leonard Cohen play 63 shows between April and July 1963 across Europe, USA and Canada.
29 April 1993 - Primetime - Helsinki, Finland
Interview and performances from Finnish TV: The Future, Hallelujah, Democracy and Sisters Of Mercy.

12 May 1993 - Later with Jools Holland - BBC UK
The Future / Democracy / Dance me to the end of love / Interview (during which a clip of the Julie Felix 1968 show is played). You can read a transcript of the interview here.

12 July 1993 - Austin City Limits - 45m
A return to this popular US music show for Leonard and the band. This time they perform The Future / Bird On A Wire / First We Take Manhatten / Democracy / Sisters Of Mercy / There Is A War.

  Other known 1993 television appearances:
10 February 1993 - Late Night with David Letterman
- The Future
12 February 1993 - Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui
- CBC Canada - Closing Time / The Future / interview
6 March 1993 -In Concert
- ABC TV - Leonard appeared as host DJ, introducing Mick Jagger and others
15 May 1993 - Barcelona
- Closing Time, Sisters Of Mercy, I can't Forget, I tried to leave you, Hallelujah
May 1993 - French TV - Arte Channel - Interview

November 1993 - Prime Time - CBC - 1m
Short clip of Leonard receiving one of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for lifetime achievement.

3 December 1993 - Prime Time - CBC - 10m
Interview hosted by Laurie Brown.

See this online at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Archive

  22 June 1994 - Nulle Part Ailleurs - Canal+, French TV
Interview with Antoinnes DeCaunes
1994 - Dance Me To The End Of Love promo - 6m
Another video of this song, this time to promote the Cohen Live! album.

June 1994 - Release of 11th album: Cohen Live
Track Listing: 1. Dance me to the end of love; 2. Bird on the wire; 3. Everybody knows; 4. Joan of arc; 5. There is a war; 6. Sisters of mercy; 7. Hallelujah; 8. I'm your man; 9. Who by fire; 10. One of us cannot be wrong; 11. If it be your will; 12. Heart with no companion; 13. Suzanne
  1996 - US Poetry - PBS, USA
PBS broadcast this five-part series The United States of Poetry in February and March 1996. Features Leonard Cohen reading part of Democracy from The Future. Cohen starts off part 3, The American Dream. This was once available on video.

1996 - I'm Your Man - NFBC - 4m
Animation Set to the Leonard Cohen song of the same name. This irreverent animated film plays on the conventions and clichés of romance.

Included on the DVD Ladies And Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen
Out now from or
1996 - Spring '96 - 52m
Armelle Brusq visits Leonard at Mount Baldy in California. Includes an early performance of A Thousand Kisses Deep as well as film of Leonard working with Roshi and the other monks on Mt Baldy. Extensive interview with Leonard on his life there. This was once available on video. More info on this release at The Leonard Cohen Files site.

1997 - Beautiful Losers - Arte Network, France - 34m
Interview for French TV, broadcast on 29 July 1997.

September 1997 - Stina möter Leonard Cohen
Interview with Stina Dabrowski and Leonard in L.A. (at Mount Baldy). Directed by Agreta Wirberg. Stina catches up with Leonard again in the 2001 Stina om Leonard Cohen Biography interview.


Other known 1997 television appearances:
October 1997 - Icons interview
- Los Angeles - 11m
October 1997 - CTV-W5 interview - Los Angeles - 16m
1997 - Valeri Pringle Show - Canadian TV
1997 - Bravo! Star of the Week - Interview -

  1999 - Age of E - Divine Enlightenment - Wisdom Television
Age of E is an alternative lifestyles series that was produced entirely in Canada. Created and Hosted by Lois Larimore and co-produced with Wisdom Television. The epsiode "Divine Enlightenment" featured a short interview which was trailed as "Leonard Cohen shares his sense of the mysteries of the interior life in words and music. He talks about the growth that is available to all of us through the processing of experiences that break our hearts. He claims that every broken heart is an opportunity for spiritual growth, as, in our pain, paths of growth open up to us. These paths can lead to great experiences if we have the will and courage to take them."

2000>: The Third Act
February 2001 - Release of 12th album: Field Commander Cohen - Tour of 1979
Track Listing: 1. Field Commander Cohen; 2. Window; 3. Smokey Life; 4. Gypsy's Wife; 5. Lover Lover Lover; 6. Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye; 7. Stranger Song; 8. Guests; 9. Memories; 10. Why Don't You Try; 11. Bird on a Wire; 12. So Long, Marianne
October 2001 - Release of 13th album: Ten New Songs
Track Listing: 1. In My Secret Life; 2. A Thousand Kisses Deep; 3. That Don't Make It Junk; 4. Here It Is; 5. Love Itself; 6. By The Rivers Dark; 7. Alexandra Leaving; 8. You Have Loved Enough; 9. Boogie Street; 10. The Land Of Plenty
2001 - Thoughts on Ten New Songs
Leonard recorded some commentary on seven of the Ten New Songs around the same time as the Secret Life promo shoot. These can be seen on the Multimedia section of
2001 - In My Secret Life promo
Promo of the song In My Secret Life. Canadian director Floria Sigismondi shot this Juno award nominated video in Montreal and Toronto. You can see clips of Leonard and Floria making the video in the Multimedia section of

2001 - Stina om Leonard Cohen - 50m
Interview by Stina Lundberg in Paris, following up on her earlier 1997 film Stina möter Leonard Cohen. (Yes, it is the same Stina!). This is a touching interview and it's nice to see Leonard so content with his life.

October 2004 - Release of 14th album: Dear Heather
Track Listing: 1. Go No More A-Roving; 2. Because Of; 3. The Letters; 4. Undertow; 5. Morning Glory; 6. On That Day; 7. Villanelle For Our Time; 8. There For You; 9. Dear Heather; 10. Nightingale; 11. To A Teacher; 12. The Faith; 13. Tennessee Waltz (Live)
2005 - 'Because of' Promotional Video
A jolly romp directed by Lorca Cohen.
19 May 2005 - 'Tower of Song' with U2
They hardly ever get a day off but yesterday, in between a clutch of shows in the New York area, U2 got together to do some recording with legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Filming for an upcoming documentary on Cohen, directed by Lian Lunson, the band turned up in a burlesque lower east side venue known as ‘The Slipperoom Club.’Passers by could barely believe it as the cars arrived in the area and decanted the members of U2. Leonard himself turned up on foot, sharing vocal duties with Bono on a recording of one of his best known tracks Tower of Song.
  5 February 2006 - Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
A highlight of the evening was a poignant tribute made by Former Governor General, The Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, to the ever-modest Modern Era Inductee, Leonard Cohen. Visibly moved with his hand on his heart, Cohen accepted his Northern Island award and noted, "If I knew where the good songs came from, I would go there more often."
Cohen was honoured by some very special guests: a weathered Willie Nelson, who sang "Bird on a Wire," and Rufus Wainwright who delivered a campy version of "Everybody Knows." Concluding this magical night of music was k.d. lang with her heart-wrenching version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which reduced the audience to tears.
27 March 2007 - Anjani Promotion
Leonard introduces Anjani at Private gigs in London, Oslo and Warsaw and joins her for a couple of songs. There was also a filmed interview at the Radisson SAS Hotel, Warsaw, Poland on 31 March 2007.
May 2007 - Norwegian TV Interview
Norwegian TV interview filmed in Montreal in Leonard's kitchen. They talk about his new book and what 'longing' meant, if he had been longing a lot etc. He said that when he completed a work he forgot all about it. "I'm blessed with very active amnesia".
Also, around the same time, a Laurie Brown CBC interview was recorded.
  10 March 2008 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Leonard Cohen's towering songbook fits no category save its own, but they finally found a house big enough to hold it. Cohen's overdue induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came during Monday night's ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.
 Lou Reed took the podium to offer generous commentary on his old pal. "I first met Leonard Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel," Reed said. "We were talking and - I thought it was sweet of him - he said 'You wrote a song called I'll Be Your Mirror and it made me want to keep writing songs'."
The 2008/2009 World Tour saw Leonard Cohen play over 100 shows across Canada, Europe, Australia and the USA.
March 2009 - Release of 15th album: Live In London
Track Listing:
Disc: 1  -  1. Dance Me To The End Of Love  2. The Future  3. Ain't No Cure For Love  4. Bird On The Wire
5. Everybody Knows 6. In My Secret Life 7. Who By Fire 8. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye 9. Anthem
10. Introduction
Disc: 2 - 1. Boogie Street 2. Hallelujah 3. Democracy 4. I'm Your Man 5. Recitation w/ N.L. 6. Take This Waltz
7. So Long, Marianne 8. First We Take Manhattan 9. Sisters Of Mercy 10. If It Be Your Will
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