Leonard Cohen Photo And Handwritten Store Endorsement at "Incredible Records", Sebastopol, CA

Photo: Barry Wentzell  circa 1968

November 27, 2011

This morning, I read an article about the January 1, 2012 closing of a record store in Sebastopol, CA which is owned by Jonathon Lipsin. When the owner mentioned in the article that a favourite memorabilia in the store is a Leonard Cohen photo, that really piqued my interest.
One of Lipsin's favorites is a black-and-white photo of Leonard Cohen, with the Canadian singer-songwriter's handwritten endorsement of the Toronto store: “This is the greatest store in the country".
I wanted to ask permission to post the LC photo, so I called "Incredible Records". Jonathon Lipson, the owner answered the phone himself and was an absolute delight. He spoke to me at length then had to ring off as customers wanted his attention.

Before moving to California, his current location, Mr Lipsin first opened "Incredible Records" in Toronto. The following account took place in his original Toronto store in 1993.
Leonard Cohen came in one day and spent 5 hours in the store and spent about a $1000 .He left and came back 10 minutes later and asked for a pen and paper and wrote this. We are all from Montreal and have known each other,his family and mine. He used to hang out with my grandfather who was a yiddish poet. Jonathon Lipsin (Facebook) 
Mr Lipsin added that Leonard Cohen was so pleased with his visit to the Toronto store because he was able to find and replace all the records that were stolen, left behind or were recommended.

The photo and handwritten store endorsement shown above are for sale.
Contact info:  jonathonlipsin@att.net or (717) 824-8099

Jonathon Lipsin (photo: pressdemocrat)

  • The article about Jonathon Lipsin and the closing of "Incredible Records" on Jan 1, 2012 is here
  • Photo info above was supplied by Jonathon Lipsin
  • A link to the photographer's website with another Leonard Cohen photo, dated 1973 is here.


  1. Dear Arlene, you're incredible yourself!

    In addition, it was curious for me to learn about five towns called Sebastopol in California, named after Russian/Ukranian city. It was just today I discussed various American Londons, Moscows, Saint Petersburgs (including fictional hometown of Tom Sawyer) with my pupils...

  2. Thank you, Roman. Duplicate world city names are common in the US and Canada. It is always amusing to visit a small, quaint town bearing the name of a grand metropolis.

  3. Another great Leonard Cohen story even if it is part of a sad event. I wish record stores and book stores like Mr. Lipsin's would never close. Thank you for finding this.

  4. I agree, Rike. I thought exactly the same thing.