I Can’t Forget: The Leonard Cohen Timeline

The Life Of Leonard Cohen: Poet, Novelist, Singer-Songwriter, Icon

1934-09-21 00:00:00

Leonard Cohen Born

At 6:45 AM, Leonard Cohen was born, the son of Nathan and Masha Cohen at Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

1934-09-24 00:00:00

Grows Up In Westmount (Montreal)

Leonard Cohen spends his childhood with his parents and older sister, Esther Cohen, in the Westmount family home (pictured) at 599 Belmont Avenue. More information about LC's childhood can be found in the accompanying video.

1944-01-14 00:00:00

Father Dies

The impact of his father’s death when Leonard Cohen was nine (Nathan Cohen was 52 when he died) was important to his growth as an artist even though its psychological impact remains ambiguous. First the ambiguous part – it’s an oft repeated anecdote that weeks after his father’s death and burial, Cohen buried one of his father’s bow ties wrapped in a paper containing a few lines of verse. While some have identified that act as an especially significant point in Cohen’s artistic development, Cohen himself accounts it as “just a singular gesture,” going on to note, “I don’t know why I did that.” On the other hand, his father’s death also resulted in Cohen receiving an inheritance large enough to allow him to pursue the afore mentioned artistic development as a poet and novelist as well as to live, to some extent, as he wished without the immediate urgency to earn enough money selling poetry and prose to pay the rent.

1947-01-01 00:00:00

Bar Mitzvah

Leonard Cohen has his bar mitzvah at 13 at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. (Note: exact date in 1947 unknown)

1949-01-01 00:00:00

Discovers Spanish Poet Federico García Lorca

Also purchases first guitar. (Note: These events took place in 1949 but exact dates are unknown)

1951-09-09 13:48:36

Enrolls McGill University, Montreal

1955-10-01 00:00:00

Receives BA - McGill University, Montreal

1956-05-01 00:00:00

Let Us Compare Mythologies Published

1957-01-01 22:55:30

8 Poems Released On Six Montreal Poets LP

Leonard Cohen reads: For Wilf And His House (1955), Beside The Shepherd (1956), Poem (1955), Lovers (1955), The Sparrows (1955), Warning (1956), Les Vieus (1954), & Elegy (1955) Note: exact release date unknown

1958-04-08 22:55:30

First Professional Performance

Leonard Cohen read his poetry while Maury Kay & members of Kay’s band played at Dunn’s Jazz Parlour, Montreal

1959-12-01 22:55:30

Awarded Canada Council Grant, Moves To London

Leonard Cohen moves to 19b Hampstead High Street in London. He purchases an Olivetti 22 typewriter and works on "Beauty at Close Quarters," which is completed in winter of 1959-1960.

1961-01-04 00:00:00

The Spice-Box of Earth Published

1961-01-04 00:00:00

Arrives In Hydra. Greece

Leonard Cohen arrives in Greece, settling in Hydra. He purchases a home on the Island on September 27, 1960 and later that year meets Marianne Ilhen. He will begin writing "Beautiful Losers" in 1964 in Hydra

1963-10-01 00:00:00

The Favourite Game Published

1964-01-01 00:00:00

Flowers For Hitler Published

Note: Exact date in 1964 unknown

1965-01-01 00:00:00

Ladies And Gentlemen...Mr. Leonard Cohen Released

National Film Board of Canada releases Donald Brittan's "Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Leonard Cohen"

1966-01-01 00:00:00

Earliest Recording Of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne – The Stormy Clovers 1966

A year before Leonard Cohen or Judy Collins performed his music on stage, the Stormy Clovers were playing Cohen’s songs at festivals and in clubs, coffee houses, and campuses in Toronto, Montreal, and other Canadian cities and towns (Note: While this performance & recording took place in 1966, the exact date is not known)

1966-04-28 00:00:00

Beautiful Losers Published

1966-09-01 00:00:00

Parasites Of Heaven Published

1966-11-29 00:00:00

Arrives Edmonton For 5 Week Stay

Invited by University of Alberta to serve as a writer-in-residence, Cohen was in the process of shifting from poet to singer-songwriter.

1967-04-30 00:00:00

Professional Singing Debut

Leonard Cohen professional singing debut with Judy Collins at the SANE Against The Vietnam War concert at New York Town Hall.

1967-06-01 00:00:00

Selected Poems 1956-1968 Published

1967-07-16 00:00:00

Plays 1967 Newport Festival

Leonard Cohen participated in the Songwriters Workshop along with Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, David Blue, Mike Settle, Tom Paxton, and Eric Andersen.

1967-08-13 00:00:00

Plays Mariposa Folk Festival

1967-12-27 00:00:00

Songs Of Leonard Cohen Released

Debut album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen", released. Suzanne Master Song Winter Lady The Stranger Song Sisters of Mercy So Long, Marianne Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye Stories of the Street Teachers One of Us Cannot Be Wrong

1969-04-07 00:00:00

Songs From A Room Released

Bird on the Wire Story of Isaac A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes The Partisan Seems So Long Ago, Nancy The Old Revolution The Butcher You Know Who I Am Lady Midnight Tonight Will Be Fine

1970-04-08 00:00:00

First Tour Opens: 1970

A concert at Trinity College in Hartford opened Leonard Cohen’s 1970 Tour. The show took place April 8, 1970 before a crowd of a few hundred. The Tour included about 30 (records conflict) stops in North American & Europe.

1970-08-31 00:00:00

Isle of Wight Festival

Leonard Cohen performs an acclaimed set at the Isle of Wight Festival.

1971-03-19 00:00:00

Songs Of Love And Hate Released

Avalanche Last Year's Man Dress Rehearsal Rag Diamonds in the Mine Love Calls You by Your Name Famous Blue Raincoat Sing Another Song, Boys (live at the Isle of Wight Festival 31 August 1970) Joan of Arc

1972-01-01 00:00:00

The Energy Of Slaves Published

1972-03-18 00:00:00

1972 Tour Opens: Europe and Israel

March 18 to April 19: 21 concerts in Ireland, England, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, France, and Israel

1972-09-17 00:00:00

Birth of Son, Adam

Birth of son, Adam to Cohen and Suzanne Elrod

1973-04-01 00:00:00

Live Songs Released

Minute Prologue (London) Passing Through (London) You Know Who I Am (Brussels) Bird on the Wire (Paris) Nancy (London) Improvisation (Paris) Side 2 (Recorded in 1970 and 1972) Story of Isaac (Berlin) Please Don't Pass Me By (A Disgrace) (London) Tonight Will Be Fine (Isle of Wight) Queen Victoria (Tennessee)

1973-09-01 00:00:00

1973 Tour: Israel

LC played several concepts and military bases during the Yom Kippur War (exact dates & venues unknown)

1974-01-01 00:00:00

Birth Of Daughter, Lorca

Birth of daughter, Lorca to Cohen and Suzanne Elrod Note: Year of Birth is 1974; Date unknown

1974-05-07 00:00:00

Bird On A Wire Documentary Released

Bird on a Wire, Tony Palmer's documentary of the 1972 tour, is released; it is re-released in re-edited format in 2010

1974-08-11 00:00:00

New Skin For The Old Ceremony Released

Is This What You Wanted Chelsea Hotel #2 Field Commander Cohen Why Don't You Try There Is a War A Singer Must Die I Tried to Leave You Who by Fire Take This Longing Leaving Green Sleeves

1974-09-01 00:00:00

1974 Tour Opens: Europe & US

September 1 - October 19: 29 concerts in Belgium, France, England, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Austria, and Spain November 29 - December: 12 concerts in New York and Los Angeles

1975-01-27 00:00:00

1975 Tour Opens: USA and Canada

January - March 4: 14 concerts, three more in November

1976-04-22 00:00:00

1976 Tour Opens: Europe

April 22 - July 7: 55 concerts in Germany, Ireland, England, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, France, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland

1977-11-13 00:00:00

Death Of A Ladies' Man Released

True Love Leaves No Traces Iodine Paper Thin Hotel Memories I Left a Woman Waiting Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On Fingerprints Death of a Ladies' Man

1978-01-01 00:00:00

Death Of A Lady's Man Published

1979-09-27 00:00:00

Recent Songs Released

The Guests Humbled in Love The Window Came So Far for Beauty The Lost Canadian (Un Canadien errant) The Traitor Our Lady of Solitude The Gypsy's Wife The Smokey Life Ballad of the Absent Mare

1979-10-31 00:00:00

1979 Tour Opens: Europe

October 13 - December 15: 51 concerts in England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland Picture - Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Brighton, England, December 15, 1979

1980-03-06 00:00:00

1980 Tour Opens: Australia, US, Israel, Europe

March 6 - March 14: 7 concerts in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney October: Bread and Roses Festival and Berkeley October 24 - November 29: 29 concerts in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Germany, Spain, and Israel Poster advertises the November 16, 1980 concert at Velódromo de Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain and the November 17, 1980 concert at Palacio de Deportes, Barcelona, Spain

1984-07-05 00:00:00

I Am A Hotel Film Broadcast

I Am A Hotel was broadcast for first time, it features five songs and won the Golden Rose award at Rose D'Or festival in Montreux

1984-10-12 00:00:00

Book of Mercy Published

Book of Mercy wins the Canadian Author's Association Literary Award for Poetry

1985-01-31 00:00:00

1985 Tour Begins - Europe, Canada, US, Australia & Israel

January 31-March 24: 42 concerts in Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Austria, Poland, and Italy April 30 - July 21: 35 concerts in USA, Canada, Australia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France, and Italy

1987-01-01 00:00:00

Jennifer Warnes Famous Blue Raincoat Released

“Jennifer’s record [the Famous Blue Raincoat album by Jennifer Warnes] did do a lot in resurrecting my credentials.” Leonard Cohen (Note: released Jan 1987; exact date unknown)

1988-02-02 00:00:00

I'm Your Man Released

First We Take Manhattan Ain't No Cure for Love Everybody Knows I'm Your Man Take This Waltz Jazz Police I Can't Forget Tower of Song

I Can’t Forget: The Leonard Cohen Timeline

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