Former manager sells rare Leonard Cohen reels

By Jennifer Lipman, January 24, 2011
Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Almost 300 pieces of rock music history are up for grabs after a Jewish lawyer from Hackney decided to sell his valuable collection of Leonard Cohen films.

Steven Machat is offering up 294 reels of footage of the Jewish singer, a former client of his and of his late father, music manager Marty Machat.

The previously unseen clips include scenes of the Hallelujah singer as a child at home and at concerts in cities including Jerusalem and Paris.

The partnership with Mr Cohen ended badly, but not before Marty Machat funded a film about the young Cohen’s career, recording him on stage and behind the scenes of his 1972 European tour.

The reels disappeared in 1980 and their whereabouts have been the subject of a feud between Mr Machat and Mr Cohen ever since.

Mr Machat acquired the reels from Mr Cohen in 2009 and last year had them restored. They subsequently formed the basis for a remake of a documentary about the singer called “Bird On A Wire”, broadcast on BBC Four last year.

Mr Machat, 58, said he was selling the reels because he believed that the fans should have the chance to own them, and because he wanted to give his father back his legacy.

Last updated: 5:14pm, January 24 2011