Leonard Cohen was already dead and buried by the time the news came out a week ago today. After a traditional Jewish ceremony, he was laid to rest in a Montreal cemetery.
His manager, Robert Kory, released this statement on Leonard’s death: “Leonard Cohen died during his sleep following a fall in the middle of the night on Nov. 7. The death was sudden, unexpected and peaceful.”
The New York Times reports the following:
In the months before his death, Mr. Cohen was busy. Even as his body was growing frail and he was experiencing pains in his back, he was working diligently to bring several projects to completion, according to friends and colleagues. In addition to finishing his last album, “You Want It Darker,” which was released in October, he was working on two other musical projects and a book of poetry.
“He felt the window getting narrower,” said Patrick Leonard, a producer and songwriter who had worked closely with Mr. Cohen on his last three albums. “He wanted to use the time as productively as he could to finish the work that he was so good at and so devoted to.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Beast reports on a wake at the site of the Chelsea Hotel in New York, a place that Leonard used to call home.
There was a Leonard Cohen shrine on either side of the Chelsea Hotel front door as I arrived and Cohen’s throaty ruminative music was swelling out onto the sixth floor of the Chelsea as I approached the suite of Tony Notarberardino, the Aussie photographer who had organized the wake for Cohen, one of whose most beloved songs is called ‘Chelsea Hotel No. 2,’ and which opens memorably:
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
I was trying to remember what floor had I been in when I first stayed in the hotel. The eighth? Virgil Thomson, the great composer was there, and would die in the hotel two decades later, as was Charles James, the couturier, whose designs so impressed Halston.