Why I Celebrate Leonard Cohen’s Birthday

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I Celebrate Leonard Cohen’s Birthday Because

Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt & malevolent.

Watch We Love Leonard Cohen Birthday Video

“[Leonard Cohen’s] show is perfect, the most perfect show I think I’ve ever seen” Elvis Costello

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I remember going to see Leonard Cohen (in concert) and thinking, `He’ll never be on Spectacle [Costello’s interview series] because he doesn’t need to do it.’ He need never do another interview for anybody, because the show is perfect, the most perfect show I think I’ve ever seen. Everything is explained to the degree that I think is appropriate, anything else I feel would be an intrusion into his life that I wouldn’t want to make.quotedown2

Elvis Costello

 

Elvis Costello on the prospect of Leonard Cohen appearing on his interview/jam series, Spectacle. From Salem: Elvis Costello And Stars Who Won’t Talk by Rob Salem (The Star: Dec 11, 2009). Photo by marco annunziata from Italy – elvis costello, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted December 11, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Looking Back At Leonard Cohen’s 45th Birthday With His Romanian Friend

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Happy Birthday, Leonard

Judy Green of Sweet Cottage Charm, perhaps inspired by the recently featured posts, Leonard Cohen Celebrates 76th Birthday With Marseille Concert and  The Ten Most Seductive Leonard Cohen Songs, writes to point out a photo from Ira Nadel’s “Various Positions,” of Leonard Cohen, according to the caption, “celebrating his 45th birthday on the Greek Island of Hydra with a friend from Romania.’

Or Just For The Heck Of It

Heck Of A Guy readers may recognize the “Romanian friend” from this similar photo appearing in  “Leonard Cohen” by John Walsh from the September 1994 issue of Mojo, which was first posted at “The Best Leonard Cohen Article You’ve Never Read – At Least Not Recently. Online. Probably.”

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Bonus: Leonard Cohen’s Furniture

OK, Leonard Cohen has previously declared that he finds a good wooden table “voluptuous.” So, who noticed the voluptuous table in each of these photos?

Note: Originally posted Jan 27, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Revisiting The Video Celebration Of Leonard Cohen At 75

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Happy Birthday, Leonard

In celebration of Leonard Cohen’s 75th birthday, September 21, 2009, Cohencentric offers a video of favorite scenes featuring the singer-songwriter/poet/icon.1

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The Leonard Cohen At 75 Birthday Video

Credit Due Department:
Special thanks are owed Phil Celia and Allison Crowe, both of whom generously permitted their music to be used in this video.2

Note: Originally posted Sept 15, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. I know it’s not his birthday yet. I’m posting this video early because (1) with all the to-do over official fan celebrations and gifts, the concert in Barcelona, and other festivities taking place on Cohen’s birthday, I fear my incredibly unofficial, less than spectacular, way imperfect offering will be lost in the crowd, and (2) given that the interest in a video tied to a birthday ends at midnight of that birthday (unless the video features Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”), publishing my effort now extends its potential viewing life from 1 pitiful day to a slightly less pitiful 6 days. []
  2. Neither Ms Crowe or Mr Celia asked for even a web site link as compensation. []

“It isn’t really Leonard’s birthday. He doesn’t have an age.” Adrienne Clarkson On Leonard Cohen – Sept 21, 2014

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From Leonard Cohen leaves a shimmer on Montreal by Ian McGillis. The Gazette:September 19, 2014. Photo by Andrew Rusk – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted Sep 21, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Recalling Leonard Cohen’s Marseille 76th Birthday Concert

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Leonard Cohen Feted With Flowers & Birthday Serenade

The audience at the Sept 21, 2010 Leonard Cohen Marseille concert paid tribute to the singer-songwriter on his 76th birthday with applause, flowers, candles, and song. In the above photo, Fanfan Solazzi presents a birthday bouquet to Leonard Cohen.

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Audience Opens Tower Of Song With Happy Birthday To Leonard Cohen

flowers-900The audience delays “Tower Of Song” with a spontaneous rendition of  “Happy Birthday.”

Leonard Cohen – Tower of Song
Marseille: Sept 21, 2010
Video by albertnoonan

Candles Accompany Performance Of “Suzanne”

Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" alight with candles in Marseilles audience

Credit Due Department: Concert photos by Albert Noonan.

Note: Originally posted Sep 22, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Pitchfork Looks At Leonard Cohen Live Rarities

I’m a fan of Leonard Cohen’s improvisations, one-off performances, unreleased music, and all those songs often subsumed under the title “rarities.” Consequently, I approached 8 Leonard Cohen Live Rarities That Show His Onstage Evolution by Tyler Wilcox (Pitchfork: 21 September 2017) with guarded optimism.

Here’s the breakdown: The selections are interesting. If, however, you are a hardcore Cohenite, especially one that follows Cohencentric, you’ve probably already heard these selections – as well as several others. There is at least one factual error (see below). More to the point, I don’t comprehend how these eight Leonard Cohen performances  “show his onstage evolution.” Of course, that may be why I post on my own blog rather than at Pitchfork. I’ve excerpted one selection to give a sense of the article (and point out an error):

“Hallelujah” at the Montreal Jazz Festival, 2008

Even its author grew tired of lukewarm “Hallelujah” covers, as the song became a soundtrack perennial and go-to vehicle for any singer in search of readymade gravitas (for this writer, John Cale’s is the only cover worth hearing). “I think it’s a good song,” Cohen told the CBC with a chuckle. “But too many people sing it. I think people ought to stop singing it for a while.” Fortunately, Cohen didn’t include himself in that assessment. He performed “Hallelujah” at most of his latter-day concerts, giving the song an appropriately dramatic reading that often saw him falling to his knees, his eyes tightly shut with emotion. In his hands, it was still a song that cut to the quick, right up to the end.

First, I’m not sure how this qualities as a “live rarity.” It is one of the earliest performances of Hallelujah in the 2008 tour, but Leonard sang this classic hundreds of times during the 2008-2013 Tours. And, it was not performed live at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival, as is explained in this excerpt from Video: Leonard Cohen’s Splendid Performance Of Hallelujah – Halifax 2008 posted Nov 20, 2015 at Cohencentric:

Shot by Lian Lunson, Director of the Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man documentary, this black and white video of Leonard Cohen’s performance at Halifax early in the 2008 Tour (the video was screened at the Montreal Jazz Festival on June 23, 24, and 25, 2008) was one of the first professionally shot recordings made available on mass media (this video aired Nov 9, 2008 on CBC).

P.S. Re “Do I Have to Dance All Night?” in Paris, 1976

Do I Have To Dance All Night (1976) is a great choice for this listing, but the title does not include a question mark, and I immodestly suggest that my own video is preferable to the one employed by Pitchfork.

Note: The graphic atop this post is from Cohencentric’s own collections of Leonard Cohen rarities:

“Cohen’s career now enters its fourth phase, After the End” + Photos Of Leonard Cohen At Home

Leonard Cohen At Home: Photos By Henry Diltz

These photos taken of Leonard Cohen at his Los Angles home by Henry Diltz are offered on the occasion of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s birthday by Harvey Kubernik, author of Leonard Cohen Everybody Knows (more information about this volume in the final section of this post).

After the End By Dr James Cushing

Included in Leonard Cohen: Agency of Yes by Harvey Kubernik © 2017, a “multi-voice narrative memoir tribute to Cohen,” are observations by Dr James Cushing of the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo English and Literature department that I find especially insightful:

In 2016, those of us lucky enough to have seen Cohen in concert became even luckier, but sadder, as lucky people often are. It was a dark year, filled with farewells. Leonard Cohen’s exit was neither the most shocking nor the most painful. His body was old and full of days. His songs had long been varying the theme of Farewell, and in his last tours, every concert felt like a valediction. But in 2017, his absence (for me, anyway) has become an empty space as large as the ones Bowie or Prince left behind. You Want It Darker, which illuminates that empty space, is actually much in the same spirit of Bowie’s Blackstar: a sublime farewell, but from a different tradition. Only Cohen could fuse an authentic Jewish melancholy with the elaborate merriment of European art-song and the ghost-whisper cleanliness of digital synthesizers. Cohen’s career now enters its fourth phase, After the End — the phase that Cohen’s colleagues Allen Ginsberg, Irving Layton, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin have been in for decades. Is there “previously unreleased material,” written, recorded, and/or filmed? Let us hope so. Let us also hope that university literature departments will devote more attention to Cohen’s poems and novels especially 1966’s Beautiful Losers. For me, this lyrical dream-novel of friendship and loss outdoes Kerouac’s On the Road for its joy, compassion, and vivid sense of the sacred.

Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows By Harvey Kubernik

frontcoverMore information about Harvey Kubernik & Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows, recently issued in paperback in the UK by Omnibus Press, is available at

Fan Presale For Montreal Leonard Cohen Tribute Now Online

Presale Codes & Links

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VIP 1 – GOLD PACK
Sales links
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VIP 2 – SILVER PACK
Sales links
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VIP 3 – BRONZE PACK
Sales links
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VIP 4 – VIP PREMIUM PACK
Sales links

 

Ticket Presale:  10 a.m. EDT, Sept 21, 2017

Presale Links, Presale Codes, and other information will be posted on Cohencentric at 10 am today, EDT

Below is the list of VIP Packages and a Welcome Package which will be offered during the ticket presale. Each VIP package will have its own link during the presale.

Ticket Seller: Evenko (Canada)
The packages offer an advanced museum viewing. The museum viewing times and dates available through the packages are:
Monday, November 6 and Tuesday, November 7
‎Hours: noon – 5 p.m.

VIP 1: $1,000.00 – GOLD VIP LOUNGE PACKAGE
VIP 2: $750.00 – SILVER VIP LOUNGE PACKAGE
VIP 3: $500.00 – BRONZE VIP PACKAGE
VIP 4: $375.00 – VIP PREMIUM SEAT PACKAGE
Welcome Package: $235 – can be added to any open seat purchase

GOLD VIP LOUNGE PACKAGE – $1,000

  • One premium reserved ticket in the first three rows (A-C) from the stage
  • Invitation to the Pre-show & After-show Lounge with, hot & cold food, beer & wine
  • One commemorative VIP Laminate
  • Specially-designed Leonard Cohen lithograph made exclusively for the VIP package
  • Specially-designed Leonard Cohen merchandise item made exclusively for the VIP package
  • Souvenir event poster
  • Early entry into the venue with pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity before doors open to public
  • Advanced viewing of the Leonard Cohen exhibit at Musée d’art contemporain
  • On-site VIP hosts

SILVER VIP LOUNGE PACKAGE – $750

  • One premium reserved ticket in Rows 4 to 13 (D-N) from the stage
  • Invitation to the Pre-show & After-show Lounge with, hot & cold food, beer & wine
  • One commemorative VIP Laminate
  • Specially-designed Leonard Cohen merchandise item made exclusively for the VIP package
    Souvenir event poster
  • Early entry into the venue with pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity before doors open to public
  • Advanced viewing of the Leonard Cohen exhibit at Musée d’art contemporain
  • On-site VIP hosts

BRONZE VIP PACKAGE – $500

  • One premium reserved ticket in top-price level
  • Specially-designed Leonard Cohen merchandise item made exclusively for the VIP package
  • Souvenir event poster
  • Early entry into the venue with pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity before doors open to public
  • Advanced viewing of the Leonard Cohen exhibit at Musée d’art contemporain

VIP PREMIUM SEAT PACKAGE – $375

  • One premium reserved ticket in second price level
  • Specially-designed Leonard Cohen merchandise item made exclusively for the VIP package
  • Souvenir event poster
  • Early entry into the venue with pre-show merchandise shopping opportunity before doors open to public
  • Advanced viewing of the Leonard Cohen exhibit at Musée d’art contemporain

WELCOME TO LEONARD COHEN’S MONTREAL PACKAGE
(The Welcome Package is not a VIP package ‎and can be added to any open seat purchase) – $235

  • One commemorative VIP Laminate
  • Specially-designed Leonard Cohen lithograph made exclusively for the VIP package
  • Specially-designed Leonard Cohen merchandise item made exclusively for the VIP package
  • Souvenir event poster
  • Advanced viewing of the Leonard Cohen exhibit at Musée d’art contemporain
  • Photo montage of Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

Regular Tickets

P1 $276.50
P2 $188.00
P3 $117.00
P4 $63.00
P5 $40.25

Note: Check the link for the seating chart.

All prices listed are inclusive of tax and s/c. Handling fee of 5.75 CAD to be added. All prices are in CAD

If You Really, Really Want Tickets To The Montreal Leonard Cohen Tribute …

As before, I recommend that fans invested in attending this program also check in asap at LeonardCohenForum: MONTREAL: TICKET & PRESALE INFO. This section offers more information about tickets, prices, etc than any other source I’ve discovered. Fans may also want consider joining the Forum, although this is not a requirement for the pre-sale.

Leonard Cohen “There is a kind of sexual dance going on with woman and a kind of war-dance going on with men”

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So I find I can enjoy both men and women, because even when you meet men there is a kind of war-dance going on; there is a kind of sexual dance going on with woman and a kind of war-dance going on with men. And it’s very agreeable to have those dances confined to one or two steps rather than the acrobatics that usually attended them.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, from his 2001 interview with Stina Lundberg.  Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric February 23, 2011

If You Really, Really Want Tickets To The Montreal Leonard Cohen Tribute …

Cohencentric will post the Montreal Event pre-sale code and info when it becomes available (currently scheduled for tomorrow, 21 September 2017), My recommendation, however, is that fans invested in attending this program also check in asap at LeonardCohenForum: MONTREAL: TICKET & PRESALE INFO. This section offers more information about tickets, prices, etc than any other source I’ve discovered. Fans may also want consider joining the Forum, although this is not a requirement for the pre-sale.