Sylvie Simmons

Five Things I've Learned About

The Life of Leonard Cohen

Presented in partnership with The Contemporary Jewish Museum

LIVE: Thursday, October 75:00pm pacific / 8:00pm eastern

Join author, journalist, biographer, and singer-songwriter Sylvie Simmons in this live 90-minute class and discover the five things she’s learned about Leonard Cohen – and all she still learns from him five years after he passed away.

Online Event Details

  • 90 minutes

Price

  • Single ticket for session - $40.00
Add to Calendar 10/07/2021 05:00 PM 10/07/2021 06:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Sylvie Simmons | The Life of Leonard Cohen

Join author, journalist, biographer, and singer-songwriter Sylvie Simmons in this live 90-minute class and discover the five things she’s learned about Leonard Cohen – and all she still learns from him five years after he passed away.

https://myfivethings.com/class/sylvie-simmons-the-life-of-leonard-cohen/
Don’t get that ticket just yet!

This is just one of four Five Things I’ve Learned sessions devoted to the life, music, and legacy of Leonard Cohen.

Join Sylvie Simmons, Perla Batalla, John Lissauer, and the legendary Judy Collins – and get special Series Ticket pricing.

Learn More

Join me for this live 90-minute class and discover the five things I’ve learned about Leonard Cohen – and all I still learn from him, five years after he passed away.

Hello, my name is Sylvie Simmons. The short version of my life is that I’ve spent it in a world of music and words. I am an author, music journalist, a biographer of musicians, an essayist, short-story writer, poet and singer-songwriter. When I was a child in London – where I was born and raised before I ran off to L.A in 1977 to be a rock writer – I was a singer-tapdancer too, and when the show was done I’d take out my notebook and write a rave review for an imaginary magazine.

Over the decades I’ve written countless articles and essays about music and musicians, published a bunch of books, won some awards, released a couple of albums, and interviewed many, many musical greats. My upcoming Five Things I’ve Learned class will be about just one of them: Leonard Cohen.

I was Leonard Cohen’s biographer. My book I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, published in 2012, was written with his participation and support.

To write a biography of someone still living, even with their blessing, is to immerse yourself in that person’s life to a degree that would probably get you locked up in any decent society. You learn a whole lot about a person. In fact,  I’ve never stopped learning about – and from – Leonard Cohen. Something he said or did still comes to mind whatever the situation – be it making the perfect ginger smoothie (Leonard was quite the chef) or those dark nights of the soul, when just I’m just trying to make sense of it all.

In his conversation, as in his songs, his poems, his novels and his artwork, Leonard Cohen could skewer the human condition like no-one else. He was wise and funny – and unflinching. He looked things in the eye that others would shy from. Like death. Or the depression that he battled during most of his life. Just some of the things I will share with you in our class.

I have been thinking about those remarkable shows that Leonard gave on his late-life comeback tour. He was in his seventies, he’d not been onstage in 15 years, but after discovering his former manager had emptied his savings, he had no choice. He turned the adversity into triumph. If you saw one of those shows you’ll know that there was nothing like them: The Rat Pack Rabbi in his suit and fedora, the unwavering quality of the performances, the hushed attention, the humility – and also that camaraderie, the sense of fellow-feeling that we were all in this together, all in the same rickety boat making our way through the dark, every one of us broken but maybe all of us holy too.

There’s so much I’d like to share with you about this extraordinary man – the poet who became a popular music star; the Jew who became a Buddhist monk; the eternal ladies’ man; the perfectionist who knew and accepted that there was a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in.

I hope that you, like me, will learn something new and meaningful in this class. I’m very much looking forward to seeing you and to answering your questions.

Sylvie Simmons

Sylvie Simmons is Leonard Cohen's biographer. Her book I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen - written with Cohen's participation and support - was hailed on publication by critics and fans alike as the "Bible" on Cohen.  Janet Maslin, in the New York Times, called it: "The definitive portrait, fearless and smart. Mesmerizing. The major, soul-searching biography that Cohen deserves." The L.A Times called it: "A new gold standard of biographies." Rolling Stone wrote: "It makes every other Cohen book practically unnecessary". A book that gets right to the heart and soul of the revered Canadian poet, singer, songwriter and artist, it is an international bestseller, published in 30 languages - including Hebrew.

Sylvie has been writing about music and musicians for more than 40 years, since leaving her native London for California in the late Seventies - a kid with a crazy dream of becoming a rock writer. She would go on to become one of very few women counted among the rock writing elite. She's interviewed countless musical greats - Joni Mitchell to Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson to Metallica - for the world's leading music magazines. Her essays have appeared in a large number of books. An award-winning author, she has written biographies of Neil Young and Serge Gainsbourg; collaborated on books with Johnny Cash and Debbie Harry; published a cult fiction book of rock-related short stories; and co-authored the book of the Montreal exhibition A Crack In Everything, currently on show at CJM in San Francisco, Sylvie's current hometown.

After the unorthodox epic book tour she undertook for I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen - taking her book and a ukulele across the globe to talk about Cohen and sing his songs - Sylvie was offered a record deal for her own songs. She has since released two albums. The Times called her songs "Poetic, guileless - reminiscent of a female Leonard Cohen."

Buy Ticket

Don’t get that ticket just yet!

This is just one of four Five Things I’ve Learned sessions devoted to the life, music, and legacy of Leonard Cohen.

Join Sylvie Simmons, Perla Batalla, John Lissauer, and the legendary Judy Collins – and get special Series Ticket pricing.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Your ticket entitles you to ongoing access to this class — even after the live session concludes.

If you purchase a ticket in time to join the class live, you can view the archive as soon as it’s posted, as often as you like. Look for an email with information about how to access the course archive within 48 hours of the end of the live class. Once you get it, you’ll have all the information you need to access it as you like across any and all devices you own.

If you purchase a ticket after the live class takes place, you can view the archive immediately, and you can return to it as frequently as you like

If you’d like a refund, we can happily credit the card you used to register for the session. Please send a note to pre.event@extendedsession.com , and we’ll confirm receipt as soon as we see it (We don’t need your credit card info – just your email address and date of purchase.)

There are two things to know:

  • Unfortunately, we can only accept cancellations and refunds up to 48 hours before a scheduled session.
  • There is sure to be a lapse in time between the time we refund your order and the time a corresponding credit appears on your credit card statement. So that you’re not left waiting and wondering, we’ll contact you as soon as we’ve processed the credit in our system.

For reasons we hope you’ll understand – the biggest of them the fact that we make a point of compensating the folks who host Five Things I’ve Learned classes as quickly as we can – we can’t accommodate refunds for tickets purchased within 48 of the start of a scheduled live event. We can also accommodate refund requests for the purchase of an archived session only within 24 hours from the time of purchase.

If you’ve purchased a ticket for this online class and you find that for some reason you can’t make the live session, you have two choices:

  • The first: View the session archive. You can view the session archive as soon as it’s posted – or any time, as often as you like. We’ll make an archive of this class available within 48 hours of the live session, and we’ll send every ticket holder details on how they can view it. As a ticket holder, you’re able to view this full session archive any time– as often as you like.
  • The second: Request a refund. Just send a note to pre.event@extendedsession.com, and we’ll help sort things out. Please keep in mind that we can only accommodate refund requests made more than 48 hours from the start of a live session.

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Still have a question? We’d be pleased to hear from you. Send a note to: pre.event@extendedsession.com.

The receipt you receive via email immediately after you register is all you need to confirm you’re set for the upcoming session.

About 48 hours before the live class is scheduled to begin, we’ll send you a personalized email confirming that everything’s on schedule and containing easy instructions for accessing the class.

We’ll send another reminder on the day of the class itself, and we’ll be available online just before the class begins to make sure you have no problems joining when the time is right.

Have a question in the meantime? We’d be pleased to hear from you. Send a note to: pre.event@extendedsession.com.

If you’ve not received confirmation of your purchase, it’s not because we haven’t sent it. In fact, we send an immediately confirmation to the email address you share with us to ensure that we can reach you with class details.

If you don’t receive a confirmation within 10 minutes or so making your purchase, please first check your “junk” or “promotions” email first — some people’s email programs group unfamiliar emails in these types of folders. The email date and time should match closely the time you purchased your ticket online.

If the confirmation email is not there, there’s a small possibility that your email address wasn’t entered as you intended when you registered. (You’d be surprised, but this happens.)

In any case, we want to make sure we can reach you. And we want to make sure you’re registered for the class you want. if you can’t find your confirmation email, please send us a note at pre.event@extendedsession.com. We’ll get back to you right away.

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