In September 2016 Leonard Cohen gave his ever last to David Remnick of The New Yorker.
Remnick said that “when I visited him in Los Angeles he was suffering from cancer but keeping it very private. He was in deep pain from compression fractures on his spine and he had to sit in a big, blue medical chair to ease that pain”.
Remnick confirmed, “he was very thin already maybe 105/110 pounds (around 50 kilos) but knew were he was going”.
Leonard Cohen’s new album ‘You Want It Darker’ was recorded in his living room sitting on the medical chair.
During the interview with Remnick Leonard Cohen spoke of his own father’s funeral, when he was nine years old. “My father’s funeral was held in our house. We came down the stairs, the coffin was in the living room and it was open. It was winter. I was thinking ‘it must be hard to dig’. I went to the plot and saw my father buried. Then I came back and went to his closet and found a bow-tie. I cut one of the wings off and I wrote something on it. I think it was some kind of farewell to my father and buried it in the backyard. It was a reaction to the ritual”.
Leonard Cohen died on Monday, 7 November, 2016 at the age of 82. Listen to the last Leonard Cohen interview with David Remnick.