September 6, 2005

"I wasn't shattered. But I was deeply concerned."

Leonard Cohen.
I ... saw him driving down the street about three weeks ago. He was driving a 1992 Nissan Pathfinder and had this befuddled look on his face. Now I know why.

UPDATE: Mr. Cohen, so many people love your work. Put out your equivalent of "The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?" and let us help you.

5 comments:

chuck b. said...

From the end of that MacLeans article: "There's an irony here, that a man who has struggled much of his life to distance himself from the material world now, at 70, finds himself in an intense battle with it."

I would say 'how sad' if I didn't find Cohen's financial foolishness so appalling. $5M can't slip away without him owning some responsibility for it.

"And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much
not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger"
--L. Cohen, The Stranger Song.

Ron said...

It certainly doesn't surprise me that he could get fleeced for $5mil! The entertainment business is filled with stories like this over the years! I had a friend in the movie business who would tell me these horrible, horrible stories about how people would get abused in so many ways in the movie biz, but he would always end these stories with "...but at least it wasn't the music business."

Elizabeth said...

Ron, this is an old story, it's true. My friend's father was in a very successful TV series in the 1960s. He recently lost a protracted lawsuit against his manager, who stole pretty much all his savings, and now finds himself in his late 60s with nothing in the bank. He still owns his home, and has gotten a few small roles recently, but that's little comfort. He was betrayed by someone with whom he'd worked for years, and to whom he'd given his trust.

XWL said...

Maybe he should have listened to his own music more often and more carefully,

"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes"

Everybody Knows, L. Cohen

(and seeing him play piano while Julie Christensen sang his songs at an intimate venue is one of my fonder concert memories (it helped that I had just broken up with my first serious girlfriend, what better music for that than his?))

Ron said...

Asking songwriters to keep up with the fiscal chicanery of ill-intentioned accountants and managers is like asking those self-samed accountants and managers to excel in witty, satiric songwriting! Maybe they can,but...which one controls the bank account though?