120921 Sylvie Simmons on Leonard Cohen


Sylvie Simmons, author of I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, Friday, September 21st

Sylvie Simmons is one of the foremost journalists chronicling rock’n’roll. A winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for her liner notes to Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970, she is the author of the biographies Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes and Neil Young: Reflections in Broken Glass, and the short story collection Too Weird for Ziggy. She was born and raised in London, England and currently lives in San Francisco, California.

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, is based on a wealth of research, including exclusive interviews with Cohen himself. This is the definitive work on Cohen’s life and career. Simmons also spoke to over a hundred key figures in Cohen’s life—among them Cohen’s main muses, the women in his life, close childhood friends, producers and artists who have worked on his albums, and contemporary artists that have worked with Cohen or have been influenced by his work (such as David Crosby, Philip Glass, Judy Collins, Rufus Wainwright, Jackson Browne and many more).

Starting in Montreal, Cohen's birthplace, and where he first found fame as a poet in the fifties, I'M YOUR MAN follows his trail, via London and the Greek island of Hydra, to New York in the sixties, where Cohen launched his career in music. From there it traces the arc of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat, when in the mid-nineties, on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress and enjoying the success of his best- selling album to date, he entered a monastery on a rocky mountaintop—returning to find his bank accounts bled dry and forced back onto the road, at age seventy-three, for a wildly successful three-year world tour.

Whether navigating Cohen's journeys through the backstreets of Mumbai or his countless hotel rooms along the way, Simmons explores with equal focus every complex, contradictory strand of Cohen's life—from the halls of academia to the arenas of rock 'n roll, she presents a deeply insightful portrait of both the artist and the man whose vision, spirit, depth and talent continue to move people like no one else.

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