|Leonard Cohen and his love of Greece|
The legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen has passed away at the age of 82. Leonard Cohen had an immense love for the Greek island of Hydra where he got much of his inspiration for his beautiful music, lyrics and deep poetry.
On September 27, 1964, six days after his 30th birthday, Cohen bought a house in Hydra for $1500, using a bequest from his recently deceased grandmother. This was a "big deal" in the words of one of his friends, a commitment to place and a world that was mysterious and unusual. Buying the house was a complicated act, needing the assistance of his friend Demetri Gassoumis as translator, adviser, and witness to the deed. Cohen later said that it was the smartest decision he ever made.
MUST SEE VIDEO. LEONARD COHEN GOES BACK TO HIS HOUSE ON THE ISLAND OF HYDRA. GREEK FRIENDS GREET HIM WITH SO MUCH LOVE AND FILOTIMO. At the 6:20 mark.
Below is Cohen's Greek Driver's Licence:
The three-story, ancient whitewashed building, with its five rooms on several levels, was run down and had no electricity, plumbing or running water. Yet it was a private space where he could work, either on the large riled terrace or in his music room on the third floor.
What many people do not know is that Leonard Cohen learned the Greek language in his twenties, loved the Greek way of life and carried a komboloi. Cohen lived for 20 years on the island of Hydra.
Cohen performed at concerts in front of tens of thousands of people, but the first concert he ever gave was in the back room of the Katsikas Brothers Grocery Store on the Hydra waterfront in 1960.
One of Leonard Cohen's closest friends, Steve Sanfield, said, "One of the things I wanted to mention… is really how important those Greece years and the Greek sensibility were to Leonard and his development. Leonard liked Greek music and Greek food, he spoke Greek pretty well for a foreigner, and there was no rushing with Leonard, it's 'Well, let's have a cup of coffee and we'll talk about it.' He and I both carried a komboloi."
RIP MR. LEONARD COHEN. THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN ARE DANCING WHILE YOU SING FOR THEM.
LISTEN TO THE HIT "EVERYBODY KNOWS" YOU CAN HEAR THE GREEK INFLUENCE WITH THE BOUZOUKI FILLS IN THE BACKGROUND.