It will rankle me for life that I never met Leonard Cohen but my dog did.
What happened was we were rehearsing for a tour, I think it was possibly 2006. We were at a rehearsal place for a few weeks then we went off on the tour and it just so happened that Leonard Cohen took over our rehearsal room the day after we left.
The girl who worked at the front desk would occasionally house-sit and dog-sit for me, so I left Bobby Jr with her. He had been coming with me to rehearsals every day – he was that type of dog – he was like a person who could just hang out. And so he became part of the family at the rehearsal place over those three weeks that we rehearsed.
I have puppies now and they are a constant reminder that Bobby was the perfect dog
Bobby was still there but I was gone when Leonard Cohen came in and apparently Leonard and Bobby really hit it off. He would come out of the rehearsal room on a regular basis just to pet Bob and talk to him and stuff.
I was only gone a couple of days and I get this photo sent to me of my dog with Leonard Cohen and I’m like, what the fuck? They look so happy. That hurts. You’re 100 miles away already and he’s like, ‘Look I’ve replaced you with the greatest artist ever’. It hurts on so many levels.
Leonard Cohen wasn’t really someone I was aware of growing up. My sister had really good taste in music but he was one that eluded her. Why did my sister have Meet the Beatles and Magical Mystery Tour but not the White Album and Sgt Pepper? Teenagers get what they get, they don’t get every album. She was really into Neil Young and Tom Waits but there wasn’t any Leonard Cohen around so I had to get into that much later.
Bobby Jr was half Bassett Hound and half German Shepherd, which is a strange mix. He had a birth defect where his front leg was screwed on sideways. He was very mellow and laid back, as far as dogs go.
And then they both died [Leonard Cohen on November 7 2016, Bobby Jr on January 9 2017]. So there. They’re both hanging out in heaven together.
I have puppies now and they are a constant reminder that Bobby was the perfect dog. After Bobby, I was like, no more dogs for me. But I was married and the person I was married to thought otherwise and decided she wanted to get puppies, which I now have 99 per cent custody of. And they’re nightmares.
I got the dogs, and now I’m stuck with them. They’re called Manson and Bundy because they’re terrifying.
They’re very cute in appearance, but you know, that’s how Ted Bundy got ya. But I love them, I can’t help it.
Eels’ new album The Deconstruction is out now. They play London, Manchester and Glasgow in July. eelstheband.com