The Delightful Back Story of Lisa Kline's Leonard Cohen Unified Heart Tattoo

February 7, 2013
Portland Nov 11,12, Lisa Kline (upper right and bottom) & Arlene (upper left)

On Nov 11,12, Lisa Kline and I were both in Portland for Leonard Cohen's concert at the Rose Garden.  In the morning,  I invited Lisa, a fellow Canuck, to my hotel room to watch the November 11th Remembrance Day memorial on my laptop. The ceremony in Ottawa was to be streamed live at 11 am on the CBC network

Lisa brought us coffee and when she removed her UHTC jacket, her UHTC tattoo was revealed.  She told me the story about it which I thought was delightful. So I asked her to please send me her story to post on the LC Scrapbook and she did.  Thank you, Lisa.  Here it is in her own words.
For years, I thought that I might like to get a tattoo, but the problem was deciding what image to have permanently inked into my skin. It had to be meaningful, and it had to be something that I would be happy with for the rest of my life. After I saw Leonard Cohen in concert during the 2008-2010 tour (which was a profound, life-enhancing experience), it occurred to me that a unified heart would make a perfect tattoo. Not only is it a beautiful symbol, but it is a great reminder of those sublime concerts. However, thinking about getting a tattoo and actually getting one are two different things, and for quite a while I never had the guts to do anything about it. How it finally became a reality is as follows:
In 2011, I went to Montreal with my good friend Rachel, a fellow Leonard Cohen enthusiast, who also shared my interest in the idea of a unified heart tattoo (but like me, she had never mustered the nerve to do anything about it!).One afternoon, we were walking along Blvd. St. Laurent (or “St. Lawrence Blvd,” as Anglophones may say), a few blocks from Leonard Cohen’s house. We came upon a tattoo parlour, and we both started laughing because we simultaneously remembered a delightful interview with Leonard Cohen from 1966. In the interview, Leonard jokes that he is thinking of changing his name (to “September Cohen”) and getting a tattoo. When the interviewer asks of the latter, “Where?”, Leonard smiles and says, “There’s this place on St. Lawrence Blvd.” After a brief moment of discussion and contemplation, Rachel and I realized that we simply could not pass up such a wonderful opportunity! A few hours later, we each proudly had a unified heart tattoo, and whenever anyone asks us “where” we got them, we can smile and say, “There’s this place on St. Lawrence Blvd…”
From the 1966 CBC interview (approx 4.50 depending on how many ads at the front)
Leonard Cohen: ... I thought that I would ... get a tattoo
Beryl Fox: Where?
Leonard Cohen: There’s this place on St. Lawrence Blvd.

  • Lisa Kline is LisaLCFan on the leonrd cohen forum
  • Not all CBC archived videos are accessible outside of Canada.  So a big thank you to Lisa for finding the one above.
  • Another video and full transcript of the CBC Beryl Fox interview can be found at Speaking Cohen Webheights here  
  • For background about the poppies Lisa and I are wearing and Nov 11th Remembrance Day, see Leonard Cohen Commemorates November 11th Wearing The Emblematic Poppy  

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth Bacon-SmithFebruary 7, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Ha! You're right... delightful back story! Thanks for sharing it, Lisa and Arlene [and, of course, Rachel]. Great story all the way around... perfect accompaniment for your tattoos.