Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:03 am

B4real wrote: I am with you in spirit. While you are there just know that each time you are happy and each time you shed a tear, you do it for me too!
I loved this. I haven't commented, because I understand this anniversary, although not easy for anyone here, is especially hard. And to be honest, I didn't know what to say, but you can be sure I will think of you many times in the coming days, so yes you will be there. Like Alan will be there, especially if there is someone singing just to me, and Jean will be there whenever I can't find the words I need.

I know there are other people that have read our thread but haven't commented who won't be there either. Whether it's because they refuse to go or they are unable to go (and both reasons are valid). I will still feel they are there too.
Jean Fournell wrote:...I was a German teacher
I am not surprised that you were a teacher of language.
"I hug your spectre at times"
...Well worth the effort and time. Thank you for sharing.

I will try to stay off our thread until I get back from Montreal, because I have a one track mind on that right now and our thread is much more than that.

Vickie
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:58 pm

Now that the "Tower of Song" event is just days away, I am wondering which mood will predominate in my mind, the excitement and happiness that surround attending a concert and seeing old (and new) friends, or the sadness from realizing the finality of the situation.

The weather forecasts show little possibility of the St. Lawrence River freezing, but they are predicting rain on Sunday and Monday. I will be thinking, "The rain falls down on last year's man..."

Our household is one of the few on the planet that does not own a camera, but I am sure Vickie will be taking some photos. Hopefully she will share a few here.

B4, Jean and Alan, we will be thinking of you, hold down the fort here!

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
MaryB
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby MaryB » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:25 am

vlcoats wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:05 am
When I saw that his son Adam had asked for people to comment on his Instagram site regarding what songs they would like to hear at the tribute in Montreal, I messaged him. After introducing myself and telling him that I have no right to ask for anything, I requested “anything that is the bare bones of him would be perfect; anything that didn't require backup or orchestration”. He said “Thank you”. .

[
Vicki (and this is directed mainly to you) and everyone else contributing to this thread,

I apologize to everyone else giving input on this site and interrupting the train of thought, but can you tell me please how you were able to communicate with Adam on his instagram site? I can find no way to do this.

I also have to apologize for not contributing to this thread. Curt gave me great incentive to do so, but, I have to admit that all of your posts are so erudite and insightful that I am somewhat intimidated to offer my 2 cents. We will see what the future will bring....

Kindest regards,
Mary
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:56 pm

Hi Mary!

After I read Adam's invitation to message him on Instagram if we wanted to give him any input, I just searched commandercohen on Instagram, clicked on his name and then clicked on 'message'. Maybe it was only accessible for a short time?

Oh please don't be intimidated here. Once you meet me, you will find that I am not so erudite and seldom insightful. However, I am sometimes lucky in finding myself around others who don't mind. I hope we do hear more from you!

Now it's Montreal or Bust! Talk to you all again soon!
Vickie
MaryB
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby MaryB » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:13 am

Thank you so much Vicki. I'll give it a try.

Looking forward to meeting you in Montreal!
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:15 pm

Well, the Big Event is over and we are back home. I thought that part of my desire to attend was to achieve some sort of closure regarding Leonard's passing. But if closure means attaining the ability to forget, or to diminish, a loss, the past few days made me realize that it is not something that is possible or even desired.

I thought others here who were unable to attend would like to read an account of what transpired, so here it is:

"When they poured across the border"

It is about a 7-1/2 hour drive to Montreal. The trip was rather uneventful except at the border itself, where we had to deal with this question: how can two passports, which had been in the passenger's hand only minutes before, now be lost? This required diversion into the "suspicious" area, where fortunately a 10-minute search proved successful (the passports had somehow willed themselves back into the very bottom of Joann's purse underneath itineraries, tickets, etc.) So you might say, we oozed across the border. Arrived at the Best Western Ville Marie (where many forum members were staying) without incident and retired early to rest up for Sunday.

"The smokey life is practiced everywhere"

The first cigarettes of the day are the most enjoyable (nonsmokers will have to indulge me here), so when travelling I start the day by throwing on some clothes, buying a cup of coffee, and going outside to practice my habit. (Joann quit smoking three or so years ago, so she stayed in our room to leisurely get ready for the day.) At Ville Marie there are usually one or two smokers under the canopy at the entrance, and Sunday was no exception. I struck up a conversation with Leha, a woman enjoying her cigarette. When she told me her name, I joked, "Leia like the princess?" only to discover I had encountered one of the two people on earth who has never seen a Star Wars movie (I am the second, I only know about Princess Leia from reading about the movies). So not off to a good start at striking up a conversation, I took another tack and asked if she was here for Leonard's Event. Of course she was, and we traded at least two cigarettes' worth of stories about all things Leonard. Leha is from Israel and told me that when she was very young she attended the 1972 Jerusalem concert--the one that Leonard could barely just begin before an emotional breakdown forced him to give up trying. She told me Leonard was crying, which of course made most of the audience start crying...one tearful mess. This was the first of my daily talks with Leha, see what you nonsmokers are missing?

"One by one the guests arrive. The guests are coming through"

Sunday's schedule was a busy one. First on the itinerary was a bus tour of Leonard's Montreal, and all those signed up (enough to fill two buses) were to meet in the Ville Marie lobby at 10:15. We went downstairs at about 10:00 to encounter this happy scene: many, many chattering fans all excited at being able to pay homage to Leonard and, in many cases, at seeing old friends from past concerts and meet-ups. From all points of ingress, more people were joining the group as 10:15 approached. We chatted with some acquaintances, and then finally had the pleasure of meeting Vickie and Dave who were staying elsewhere. It seemed like Sunday was going to be one big party.

"You met him at some temple"

The first bus tour stop was Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in the Westmount section of Montreal where Leonard, his father, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather all worshiped. Rather than a perfunctory stop, Shaar Hashomayim proved to be one of the most interesting places on the tour. We were met by Cantor Gideon Zelermyer, who first filled us in on the Cohens' connections with Shaar Hashomyim (which was established back in 1846), and then enthralled us with the story of how he and his choir wound up being a part of "You Want it Darker." Gideon was quite a story-teller, in another life he could have made a living in the entertainment business.

"I choose the rooms that I live in with care"

After drive-bys of Leonard's schools and a quick stop at his boyhood home (with the park and tennis courts behind where he arranged his first guitar lessons), the bus took us to Parc du Portugal in the eastern part of Montreal. Parc du Portugal is a small (one block by one block) community park with trees, benches, and a little pavillion. The home Leonard used as an adult whenever he was in Montreal faces the park. Bagels and coffee were made available so that we might relax and ponder the park and Leonard's residence as he would have often done. The house and neighborhood are very ordinary, I recall reading that Leonard loved living there "with the people." While pondering, we struck up a conversation with a young woman named Sari (I should interject here that there were a number of younger folks in attendance, so Leonard's work is definitely penetrating generations other than ours) who had an amusing tale to tell. She said that a number of years ago (perhaps in the early 2000's), she was at Parc du Portugal with a friend, and wanted the friend to take a picture of her knocking on the door to Leonard's house. The friend agreed, so Sari went up to the door and pretended to knock...and Leonard opened the door! She said he was very cordial, but that she was so embarrassed that all she could do was apologize and leave.

"Our lady of the harbour"

The last bus stop was down near the St. Lawrence River at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel of "Suzanne" fame. Arrangements had been made for all of us to go into the Chapel, where we were greeted by Sylvie Simmons and her ukulele! Sylvie was accompanied by Li'l Andy (a Montreal musician and film maker and Leonard fan), and we were treated to a medley of songs in a unique atmosphere. (Due to restrictions or other reasons no amplification was used, so unfortunately we could not fully appreciate the efforts made.)

"And here they take their sweet repast"

Sunday concluded with dinner at Moishe's Steakhouse, an old and revered Montreal restaurant that Leonard regularly frequented when he was in Montreal. We dined with Vickie and Dave, it was a great chance to get to know each other. The food and drink were excellent. In an email to Vickie before this trip commenting on finally meeting someone you have been in correspondence with I said, "what if we find we hate each other?" Towards the end of our meal I told her, "I don't think we hate each other."

"And no one knows where the night is going"

Monday was concert day, and we did little other than drive around Montreal a bit after lunch. No one really knew what to expect at Bell Centre, would it be a sad or a happy occasion, could we enjoy the impurity of others singing Leonard's songs, etc.? We arranged to eat at a Portuguese restaurant at 5:00 and then proceed to the venue for the 6:30 doors-open time. Dinner was great, and so was our timing, we got to Bell Centre shortly after 6:30. Our seats were on the second level on the left side and gave us a decent view of the stage as well as the left side display screen, we were very pleased with them. Vickie and Dave arrived a few minutes after us (I had procured their tickets when I bought ours, so we were seated together). As soon as the show started, I realized this would be mostly a joyous occasion, and I think most of the audience shared that view. It is understandable that some songs would receive treatments different from Leonard's, and so rather than lamenting when that occurred I tried to remember that everyone was appearing as a gesture to Leonard and his work, and that Leonard had said many times himself that he appreciated other artists covering his songs. This was a long show (almost three hours I believe) with many songs, videos, and other tributes, so I am not going to attempt to review everything. Instead I will offer a few comments:

(1) For me the most memorable song of the concert was You Want it Darker performed with Leonard's voice from the record and Gideon Zelermyer and the Shaar Hashomayim Choir live.

(2) My votes for best-in-show (not in order) are I'm Your Man (Sharon Robinson), Famous Blue Raincoat (Damien Rice), and So Long Marianne (Adam and the Webb Sisters). These were all just outstanding performances. At the end of So Long Marianne (but still as a part of the song) Adam recited Leonard's final letter to Marianne; this was another memorable part of the show, I don't think there could have been a dry eye in the house.

(3) Some second-tier performances (second-tier only because the ones listed above were better) include Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye (Feist), Who by Fire (Patrick Watson), Suzanne (Ron Sexsmith), Sisters of Mercy and Anthem (Sting), Chelsea Hotel (Adam and Laura del Rey), My Secret Life (Bettye Lavette), If it Be Your Will (Borns and Webb Sisters), The Partisan (Adam, Damien Rice and Coeur de Pirate), Bird on A Wire (Elvis Costello), and Hallelujah (K. D. Lang).

(4) Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie gave a nice tribute speech, it was clearly evident that they are true fans as was Justin's father Pierre (Leonard was an honorary pallbearer at Pierre Trudeau's funeral).

(5) The house band (and a small orchestra) all performed well, especially considering that there was probably very little time to rehearse. In addition to Sharon and the Webb Sisters, Leonard's touring band was represented by Javier Mas and Neil Larsen. Neil was situated towards the back and not really showcased, but Javier's music was there throughout and played an integral part in several songs. It should be noted that when the members of the house band were individually recognized, Javier received the loudest applause. I like to think that others from the touring band would have been present if other commitments or health issues had not intervened.

(6) Adam deserves a lot of credit for putting together a show that exceeded everyone's expectations. The behind-the-scenes planning and preparation must have been significant and exhausting, all handled at a very troubling time in his life.

(7) Adam's voice is so much like Leonard's voice in the early years (on his first three albums), and of course he bears a striking resemblance to the younger Leonard. During his songs, one didn't need much imagination to think they were watching Leonard live circa 1972. You will see this for yourself once the DVD comes out!

"So we started up the mountain"

The Ville Marie is a long uphill walk from the Bell Centre, and both Joann and I have back issues that don't help. Our plan was to walk a few blocks to escape the masses leaving Bell Centre and get a taxi, but that was just a fantasy. So we started the trek up, slowing down with each block. We would have stopped at pretty much any bar or eatery we encountered, but nothing was open along the path we took. I guess we should have just stayed at Bell until taxis became available. We slept well Monday night.

"You strike my side by accident

Tuesday was our final day in Montreal, it was the day when forum members could see the Leonard Cohen exhibit at MAC (Musee d'Art Contemporain). There are many components to this exhibit, all interesting and some very intriguing. We spent 4-1/2 hours there and could have stayed longer. This exhibit will stay in Montreal until some time next spring, then it will travel to other cities. If it is coming someplace close to you, I highly recommend making time to see it. Towards the end of our museum visit, we literally bumped into Marie and Albert from Dublin. When we attended our very first concert in Las Vegas in 2010 as "newbies," Marie and Al were kind enough to help us enjoy the concert experience, introduce us to others, etc., so it was a pleasant surprise to run into them. We had assumed that this Montreal Event would be our last Cohen-related excursion and mentioned that to Marie. Her response was something like, "nonsense, there is Hydra in 2019, and of course, the Budapest event next year." And, you know, she has us thinking (well, me anyway).

"And where do all these highways go" / "We asked for signs"

Wednesday was departure day. We got an early (for us) start, but that was all quickly offset. Montreal is in a road-construction boom, and there are torn up streets and detours everywhere, particularly between our hotel and Pont Champlain that takes us out of the city. We did well...until we missed a turn and found ourselves speeding along on a limited-access highway heading in the wrong direction. One hour and ten minutes later we crossed Pont Champlain and headed home.

"Go back, go back to the world"

Back at my desk, back at work. I am already missing our little Leonard Cohen fantasy world. Once again I have written far, far too much, so just skip what does not interest you.

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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AlanM
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby AlanM » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:30 am

Hi 4.
I'm in the wilds of Sydney with only my phone so this'll be short.
Thank you so much for your report- you had me right beside you all the way. I can even feel your back issues.
Far from being too long, I enjoyed every word and will indulge again later.
I hope that it will not take long for the DVD to be released.
Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:27 am

Thank you 4,

I love the way you have catagorised events as LC lines in your report and I agree with Alan that it wasn't too long! Not like my answer here which is far too short :)

I did listen live to the CBC radio 2 streaming of the concert so I have an audio idea of how it went and I've watched a few videos from it. So Long Marianne was for sure the most moving one! I Also saw the video of the inauguration of the Crescent St mural from the fine arts museum with LC watching from afar ..... But I realise those moments were only part of the whole experience. Glad you got to meet Vickie and Dave plus old and new friends and made it there and back safely :D
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:16 am

4! I loved your commentary on Montreal. This is the first I have had a moment to breathe since getting home; otherwise I would have posted sooner. If I were to choose a song title or lyric that would describe my experience in Montreal, it would be Love Calls You by Your Name.

I love being anywhere in Canada, but this was our first trip to Montreal—hopefully not the last. Even without the Leonard connection, it would rival Victoria or Vancouver in my opinion, but in light of that, it is now hands down my favorite Canadian city.

I apologize in advance if this gets too long and I will try to rein it in, but as you can imagine, that is not so easy. If you will indulge me, I will go day by day.

Friday, Nov 3rd- We arrived late after 3 flights through 3 time zones, and the construction in Montreal along with driving in a strange city threw us for a loop. When we arrived at our short-term rental apartment, our host (who lived nearby) met us at the door. His warm welcome and sincere pleasure when we told him we were there for Leonard Cohen settled me down. By the way, we highly recommend VRBO. You can usually get an entire home (or apartment) for near the same cost as a hotel room (if you make your own meals). We stayed in a 2Br 2BA apartment across the street from McGill. There was a grocery store a few blocks away and in no time, we were pretending to be locals-- locals that didn’t understand a word of French, lol!

Saturday, Nov 4th- The first place I wanted to be, without giving it any thought, was the Shaar Hashomayim Congregation Cemetery on Mont Royal. Not being members of either the temple or the Cohen family, one could argue that we had no right to be there, so forgive me anyone whom that offends. But having never seen Leonard in person, I needed something, anything, that would prove to me he was actually here on this earth. Remember, I have never been to a concert of his or even had the luxury of following his music in the years that I should have.

The sun was shining when we arrived, and we had no trouble finding the Cohen plot. In fact, the whole thing happened so quickly and smoothly that before I knew it, I was standing at the foot of his grave. I hadn’t given any thought ahead of time as to how that would make me feel. If I had, I doubt that I would have expected to be overcome with emotion, but standing there, he suddenly became real to me in a way he never had before. He wasn’t a mythical being after all, but a real person. It was not the last time during our trip that I remembered B4 saying, “…each time you shed a tear, you do it for me too.”

So there I stood, speechless in the sunshine, with my heart beating like a rabbit’s. Behind me, I heard Dave say quietly, “You know Mr. Cohen; she didn’t even know you until this year.” I just shook my head because it was so true. A thousand heartbeats later, he added, “I hope you know, she has spent a pretty penny on you since then.” Of course that made me laugh…that Dave!

I wanted to bring a special stone for his grave and had one picked out, but I was afraid it wouldn’t make it through TSA or customs, so I left it at home. But, I had to leave something! I rummaged through my pockets and frantically sent Dave back to the car, but of course as a rental car, it had nothing to offer. Then I remembered the one thing that I did have in my pockets, the only thing I can never be without… my chapstick. It was a humble offering I know, but every time I reached for it the rest of the day, I was reminded of that moment. I liked to think that Leonard, being Canadian and having kissed more than his share of women, understood the importance of it.

After placing my offering, we wandered through the congregation’s cemetery a bit and then returned to say a last goodbye, but by then there were others there and for me the fuzz was off the peach. Seeing later photos of his graveside, I was saddened to see that at some point my chapstick had been removed. Maybe someone thought it was disrespectful, but if so, I wish they hadn’t judged. I think Leonard would have understood.
Leonard gravesite 2.jpg
Sorry for going on about our visit to the cemetery. I know it will make this sure to be too long post even longer-- but it had the biggest impact on me of the whole trip (Followed closely by a few other moments that I will share). The remainder of our day was spent on Mont Royal. Hopefully it will not be the last time we visit there.

Sunday, Nov 5th- The time zone change and the luxury of no whining pets, clucking chickens or braying donkeys to wake us up allowed us to sleep in! Even though we were only a 10 minute walk away, we practically ran through the McGill campus to meet the tour bus at the Ville Marie.

Our friend 4 describes it as a happy chattering crowd, but to me it felt like mass of strangers while I searched every face for the likeness of 4 and his wife from the picture he had emailed me. At last there he was! As you know from 4’s post regarding the time we spent at dinner that night, he reported we didn’t hate each other. For me, I knew even before that. In fact, it was before we boarded the bus. For anyone who has met 4 and his wife Joann, that would come as no surprise. However, I must say that it was not the first time that I wished B4 and Alan and Jean were there too.

Since 4 has given a perfect account of the tour, I won’t bore you with my account except for our experience at the first stop. As 4 said, the one of the biggest highlight of the tour was our time with the Cantor. At the end of our visit with him, seated in the temple, he asked if anyone had any questions. When he was asked, “Will you sing for us?” the Cantor casually reached for his phone to find his “pitch”. He opened up into song with a voice that was like the heavens themselves had parted. Dave, not knowing the role of Cantor was to do just that, later told me that he about lost it when that happened! For some reason, that pleased me very much. The tour was followed by dinner at Moishes’ which pleased Dave very much, so we were even! Not that I didn’t enjoy it.. the steak was maybe the best I have ever had, and our dinner companions couldn’t have been better. I would have enjoyed a quieter and less crowded spot more I think.
4 and I at Leonard's boyhood home:
4 and me 2.jpg
Monday, Nov 6th- The day of the concert!! We spent the day exploring Old Montreal. Did I already mention how much we loved this city? It was so much fun. We visited the Notre Dame Basilica. After entering the hushed cavernous church, with its overwhelming scent of burning candles and soaring ceilings and brooding statues, carved pews and heart wrenching paintings, Dave whispered in my ear, “Those Catholics sure knew how to scare the hell out of someone!”
Afterwards, I wanted to get a good view of the river and the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel so we drove down by the harbor, parked and walked about for maybe 15 minutes. It was a beautiful afternoon, marred only by the $53 parking ticket we received for not understanding the parking rules (in French), but ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The Concert- Again 4 has given a very good account of the concert experience, as have many others on the forum, and as B4 has pointed out, you have likely heard the audio and seen several YouTube videos by now, so I will add only a few personal observations. Before I start though, I want to add that our experience would have not been the same if we had not been sitting with 4 and his wife.

Our favorites, in no particular order… other than maybe my memory of when they appeared, are as follows:

First off, I want to say that every performance by Adam Cohen especially those sharing interaction with Javier Mas were the most touching and memorable parts of this concert for me. I don’t know why. (Maybe Alan does) Maybe it was my visit to the grave. Maybe it was the fact that the owner of the bagel shop told us that Adam was at his father’s Montreal home with other musicians rehearsing for the concert days before, and I can imagine him trying to connect it all, and I am guessing Javier was among those rehearsing with him. Maybe I am touched by his vulnerability after losing his father only a year ago and then having to spend these past months trying to bring together this group of people to honor his father in a way that would satisfy all of his very particular fans. That vulnerability was never more evident to me than at the opening for The Partisan (I think that was the song) when Adam was turned towards Javier as the older man played the opening rifts, and I saw the wink that Javier gave him, as if to say, “You got this.” Did anyone else see that?

Who by Fire- Patrick Watson. It was the ending that got me on this one, “And who shall I say is calling?” not only because it is my favorite line of this song, but because it was the first of the few times in the concert that I was reminded of Alan’s comment that if I felt the performing was speaking just to me, then I would know they had channeled Leonard correctly. It is one of the songs I am looking most forward to seeing again on the DVD (along with all of Adam’s).

I’m Your Man- Sharon Robinson. This was Dave’s favorite. When I asked him why, he said he respected the fact that she was a longtime collaborator of Leonard’s and he liked her take on it.

Famous Blue Raincoat- Damien Rice. Again, it was the ending that got to me, and another moment that the performer was singing just to me. The 2 words in this song that always got me were “Brother… Killer…” The repetition of those lyrics was for my benefit alone.

If It be Your Will- Borns and the Webb Sisters. Maybe it is because after seeing the cover of this song by Anthony on the DVD I’m Your Man, I was predisposed to love any performance of this song that Adam felt was worthy to be at the tribute. Or maybe it was because I was struck by the vulnerability of the performer. Either way, I was touched.

You Want it Darker- Leonard and the Shaar Hashomayim Choir. Enough said.

The Partisan- See above under First off.
Adam (400x290) 2.jpg
Adam (400x290) 2.jpg (72.53 KiB) Viewed 530 times
Family videos- Although I am mentioning them last, they by no means had the least impact. There were several videos that we all have seen before, but for this concert Adam also shared videos that I believe were family videos not shared like this before. The most memorable was Leonard explaining something to a child. I was struck that the concept being explained seemed beyond the child but at the same time the child seemed to understand, and for some reason it made me think of Jean on the forum here.

So there you have it. After the concert, we walked back to our place in what felt like 30 seconds.

Tuesday, Nov 7th- Our last day in Montreal started out with that “day after your birthday” feeling, where you are flooded by the joy of the day before and the sadness that it is over. We drove out of town to see the area surrounding the city, both out of curiosity and to kill time because we didn't have tickets to the museum for the preview of the Leonard exhibit like it seemed everyone else did. It was fun to see that things got even more French as we left town… not at all like the western side of Canada where I am from.

That afternoon, we walked down to the museum anyway. I guess I just wanted to be around it and thought we could at least see the permanent exhibits, but when we arrived they said the museum was closed entirely except for those with tickets for the special event. We just stood there for a moment and then backed away but I didn’t leave... and suddenly someone came up to us and said they had 2 extra tickets and did we want them? Heck yes we wanted them! I was so surprised and shocked that we walked inside and never got the name of the kind person that allowed us to be there! So that is how we got into the exhibit! We felt like kids who had snuck under the tent at the circus!

The first thing we did was search for 4 and Joann and despite the rabbit warren of dark rooms that twisted about the exhibit to the point where you didn’t know where the beginning or end were, we found them, so we got to spend a few more moments with them. The best parts of the exhibit for us were the montage of videos highlighting Leonard’s career, the poetry organ, and the little room that had microphones hanging from the ceiling where there was the music for Hallelujah playing in the background and if you sang the words for the song into one of the microphones, the floor under your feet would vibrate, more so the deeper you went. But the best part for me was the room set up to be Leonard’s home in Los Angeles. It was a meticulous recreation of a room with his Apple computer, his guitar, his reading glasses, his keyboard, his desk and chair… that you could walk among and touch. Then out the window, was a hologram of him sitting with his back to you on his balcony. I was the only one for a moment because Dave had left the room and it was another of those moments that I knew you were there with me B4. Just as I was looking around and getting teary eyed, I looked at the hologram of Leonard again, and stared in stunned silence as he slowly turned around and smiled at me! I realized later that it was all part of show, but at that moment, I seriously questioned my sanity, heightened by the fact that I was the only one in the room at the time.

Wed, Nov 8th- We woke at 3 am, traveled through another 3 time zones, this time on 4 flights, and arrived back in Idaho at 9:30 pm, got up at 4:30 the next day and went to work.

Sorry this is so long. I have spent as much time as I can to reduce it but I am tired, so as 4 said, just read what interests you and ignore the rest. I wanted to add more pictures, but it seems that you can only add three at a time?
Vickie
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:46 pm

Thank you very much, Its4inthemorning and Vickie.

I'm glad to learn that Leonard Cohen's yahrzeit was honoured so successfully.
And no, your accounts are not too long, not at all!

A rare thing: I'm at a loss for words...

Thank you so much, both of you, and all the others who posted elsewhere!
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:03 am

Vickie,
Thank you so much for your report - I totally enjoyed it! And don’t worry; it could have been longer still! The photos were great too!

As I was reading from, “I was standing at the foot of his grave” .... I confess there was more than one tear in my eyes and lo and behold, reading further right on cue you said, “I remembered B4 saying, ‘....each time you shed a tear, you do it for me too’.” And I loved that you felt I was in LC’s virtual room too and especially when he turned around and smiled! I haven’t seen any images of that room online but I have a feeling the window holographic image as you say “sitting with his back to you” was a black and white photo and he was holding a cane in his right hand and gazing in contemplation across the street. If so, it was the last photo that his long-time friend Dominique Issermann took of him in September 2016. Or maybe it was a home video taken at the same time.

Either way, I feel that I truly was there in spirit :)

btw - with posting actual images, yes it is limited to three in one post but if it is a link, any number can be listed in one post.
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:08 am

Hi B4!!
I think you are right about the image of Leonard on the balcony. Here is a collage of the room. Of course, I could not keep my hands off the guitar. ;-) I think we were so very lucky to be there at that particular moment because I doubt I would be all alone in that room any other time. I apologize for the poor lighting. Our only camera was on our phone. And although they actually were quite good, I had to reduce them to upload.
Mac inside.jpg
We didn't think we would get inside the exhibit at the MAC, so I asked Dave to take a picture of me on the outside. That is in the collage below, along with 2 other photos we took once got inside. The one of me sitting at the organ is the "Poetry Machine". It is a favorite. It was a very cool machine. Whenever you pressed a key, you would hear Leonard's voice reciting a poem from a different speaker (many which I have never heard before, because this has been a musical discovery.........so far). Plus our friends 4 and his wife Joann were there with us!
Mac outside.jpg
The final picture I wanted to share regarding the MAC is of me walking up the steps of a beautiful church on our way back home to our apartment. I wanted to share it because it represents a quintessential Montreal moment for me. We didn't know about this church, but all of the sudden it was there. There are so many beautiful chapels and churches every time you turned around! Can you imagine growing up like Leonard, surrounded by this? Maybe some of you did, but I didn't. I can totally understand now, after seeing the synagogue and churches in his area, why he would be so overcome.
after the MAC (252x450).jpg
What a beautiful town. I swear I would beg Dave to move there if it were not for the fact that our son Nick would be so far away and I might miss my pine trees.
Vickie
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:22 am

Vickie,
Thanks very much for the photos and info! Wonderful memories for you to have! Looking at the photo with Leonard’s back, his body angles are slightly different from the b & w photo at Dominique Issermann’s Instagram page. It’s as if it was the previous or next shot in line or maybe there actually was someone else taking a video at the same time. Interesting!

And about that Poetry Machine, I’ve posted something here ;-)

viewtopic.php?f=80&t=37762&p=367745#p367745
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:49 am

B4-
I am glad you have brought up the Poetry Machine because as much as I loved it (and I really did), I also had a hard time with it. I could not even begin to absorb listening to Leonard’s voice recite his poems feeling that others were not only watching me, but waiting for their turn! I couldn’t think! I would have loved more time with the Poetry Machine. If I lived in Montreal, I would be using my MAC membership card to visit the Poetry Machine during times when nobody else was around, so I hope we can have access to what it holds some day soon. If I lived there, I would be revisiting other places too.

Today I was driving home from work, listening to SOLAH, and I was overcome with tears out of nowhere, during Last Year's Man I think. It reminded me of what Dave said to me before we left for Montreal, “Will this get him out of your system?” I don’t think he expected me to answer because maybe he knew what I would say. But, I have to admit that even I was wondering if I would be over ‘him’ to some extent when we came home. But since then, Dave hasn’t asked me that again, because he himself has said more than once, “Dang it, that song is stuck in my head!" And out of the blue, he has shared something he read about Leonard or Adam or the tribute concert online. So now maybe Leonard is getting into HIS system a little bit too. (Finally!)

I have to admit that listening to his music has definitely changed since we came back, but only in that it has added another dimension to it. Like I said, standing at his grave, I realized that he wasn’t a mythical beast after all but a real man, and it has changed how I feel about him but in a good way.

On another note, I have been reading Beautiful Losers and am surprised by how much I like it. I don’t know why I thought I wouldn't.

Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:06 am

Vickie, (I think Dave is slowly seeing how the light gets in, ha!)
Poetry seems to be the flavour of the day :) I recently watched a short video of Leonard’s words illuminated on silo 5 with the MAC centre tribute and thought you might be interested in what they mentioned in certain verses. The excerpts from the video and written below are from a poem called “Style” originally released in Flowers for Hitler 1964 and later in Selected Poems 1956-68 and Stranger Music 1993.

I know you know that technically donkeys are not mules but people do use that word generically. Or maybe one of your male donkeys has been messing around with a female horse and you could have the resulting mule ;-)

“I hear a thousand miles of hungry static
and the old clear water eating rocks
I hear the bells of mules eating ....

I don’t know what will become
of the mules with their lady eyes
or the old clear water ....

Interesting to see in this short selection a few now familiar words that germinated in LC’s early days. eg thousand, hungry, static, clear, the bells, lady, eyes.
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal

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