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The amazing fainting Leonard Cohen


The enigmatic Cohen has recovered well.

Admired cult figure and baritone extraordinaire Leonard Cohen collapsed and fainted onstage in Valencia, Spain last Friday. The venerable singer songwriter’s tumble was not due to any serious health problems. Instead the incident was due to what was reported as food poisoning. Cohen was apparently recovering well and even opted to perform the following night in Barcelona, which consequently was the musician’s 75th birthday. (Video of the incident is at the end of the article).

Cohen, a legendary cult figure known for his unparalleled reclusiveness (he once lived on the Greek island of Hydra), was performing his beloved song “Bird On a Wire” when he staggered and eventually toppled to the ground. His band stopped in mid-performance to tend to the fallen hero. According to his manager, Cohen even considered continuing the show despite his continuous bouts with “stomach cramps and fits of vomiting.” Never one for compromise, he was eventually convinced otherwise and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Canadian born Leonard Cohen began his music career in 1967 with his debut LP Songs of Leonard Cohen which was too moody and mystical to attract commercial success. Due to his deep baritone and encyclopedic lyrics, which touched on a myriad of human subjects such as romance, sensuality, death, religion, depression and politics, Cohen was an acquired taste for many but a cult icon of mythic status to innumerable others. His life has been undeniably enigmatic and fascinating, including his widely regarded literary career as a poet and novelist (his first book of poetry Flowers for Hitler was published in 1964) and his ordainment as a Zen Buddhist monk in 1996.  His songs have been covered by many including Jeff Buckley and Johnny Cash and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. 


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