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Tour Memories

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:48 am
by Joe Way
"Now tell me there is a pause
where we know there should be an end;
then tell me you too imagined it this way."

John Glenday, "The River"

There was certainly an autumnal quality to Leonard's last tour. Many times during the tour, we thought we had attended our "last" concert. But like the abundance in Keats' poem, "To Autumn,"

"to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,"

We managed to attend more and still more.

Now we don't know if this will be the end or only a pause, but it certainly came unexpected. I thought that the 1988 and 1993 tours was Leonard in his prime which I missed by a combination of the business of raising children and the lack of knowledge without having an engine like "The Leonard Cohen Files" to know about the concerts. None were scheduled for Madison and I didn't follow Chicago or Minneapolis newspapers which would have let me know about the concerts scheduled there. In passing, I learn that Anne and the kids and I were in Washington, D.C. just one week before one of his concerts there in 1993.

Tim Hardin sang of Hank Williams, "Goodbye Hank Williams, my friend, I didn't know you but I've been to the places you've been." And, "in Richmond where he'd just been, for some the seats could not be found, but we planned to see him again, next time, Hank Williams is in town." And Hank Williams unexpected death made those last concerts precious.

Now we wonder about how "the last" or " the end" will present itself-will it be like the last baby bottle that you ever wash that you don't realize has happened until some sort of retrospective or will it be like a final concert in Las Vegas with a sense of finality.

I'm starting this thread which I think should be under "World Tour 2010" or so. I want to start to share the memories that this most extraordinary three years have given us.

For Anne & I, after reading about the rehearsals, the beginning of the tour and the first night in Frederickton, we made plans to see Leonard early in the tour. We drove to Kitchener, Ontario and spent the evening before to make sure that we wouldn't be delayed and miss this start. We drove around "Circle in the Square" and I think we saw the Webb Sisters sitting outside before the sound check. I believe that "Circle in the Square" seats a little over one thousand people and we had tickets in the 2nd row. It was an amazing intimate experience. The crowd would shout out to Leonard and he would answer sometimes looking to the band to clarify what was the question. We were treated to the premier of "Waiting For the Miracle." People always ask which was our favorite concert and since this was our first concert since 1970, it is easy to say that the excitement here was hard to overcome.

We left to rain and traveled on the next day to Hamilton, Ontario where we stayed at the Sheraton Hotel and met our friends, Blonde Madonna and her husband, Jim to attend two more concerts on three consecutive days. My good friend, Steve who is a huge Pink Floyd fan said, "Joe, I wouldn't attend three Pink Floyd concerts in a row!"

I have much more to tell, but I'll leave it for now. On our return trip to the U.S., when we were stopped at the border, the guard asked me why we had been in Canada, and I answered, "To attend a concert in Hamilton." He said, looking at our passports, "that's a long way to go to attend a concert." To which I replied, "It was Leonard Cohen, eh?"

Joe

Moderators please feel free to move this to a more appropriate location.

Re: Tour Memories

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:01 am
by Cheshire gal
Joe,

Those are wonderful memories. Thank you for telling us about them. I really feel that Leonard, if at all possible, will be back on the road in the future. He just gets better and better. I think the fans give him the will and love to go on.

Re: Tour Memories

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:22 am
by Natalie
Everyone has a story about how they attended a Leonard Cohen concert. I recently put Elation Press on Twitter and was amazed to find LC_Tour_Notes which captures behind-the-scenes footage of the tour. I think they were posted by a production assistant of the tour (not quite sure).
I saw three Leonard Cohen concerts in 2009/2010. Two in Victoria and one in Vancouver. Today, on Christmas Day, I can honestly say that I am blessed to have seen one of my mentors three times! And, I thought I'd never get the chance.

Merry Christmas to all the Forum members.

Peace and blessings,
Natalie :roll:

Re: Tour Memories

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:02 am
by almarks
Happy memories! I saw five Leonard concerts, Edinburgh, Glasgow(2), Manchester and Madison Square Garden, my first visit to New York. Never thought Leonard would tour again, so if he doesn't return in 2012, hope he has a happy retirement!

Re: Tour Memories

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:47 pm
by TipperaryAnn


I suppose most people have recorded their tour memories long ago on the various concert report threads, which accounts for the lack of response here. All sorts of "stuff" gets on there which has nothing to do with concerts or reports!!!
It WAS a great year, or two, or three, though, wasn't it? Sometimes it seems like a dream, "too flattering sweet to be substantial" as Shakespeare said. (He and Leonard between them have said most things worth saying! )
In spite of all the excitement of travelling to LC concerts abroad, one of my most treasured moments will be the "high" coming out of the O2 in Dublin on July 22 nd 2009, having missed much praised Kilmainham the previous year, and gone to this just to say "goodbye" to Leonard, not expecting much. We looked at one another in disbelief, and one person asked what she thought of the concert replied in one word: "Perfect".

Re: Tour Memories

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:26 am
by zodkavombie
I feel privileged to have attended 7 concerts since 1998, first one in London at the O2. I missed out in the past which was very unfortunate but the memories I have of all the concerts are to cherished for ever and a day. Leonard has brought so much into all our lives with his music and tours and no words can begin to express what we all feel.
Thank you for all your hard work Monsieur Cohen.
Victorine

Re: Tour Memories

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:43 am
by wondercookie
Thanks for starting this topic Joe....the memories of my first Leonard Cohen concert, Chicago May 2009 include you and Anne! and Steve and Ann, and now I feel like we're friends. That's what Leonard Cohen community is all about. I couldn't be satisfied with two LC shows in one year however and had to drive to Tampa with friends from Fort Myers when Leonard was in town....I regret that I only saw him 3 times! And I'd love the chance to do it again....

Re: Tour Memories

Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:16 pm
by Joe Way
Hi Alice,
Thanks for reminding me of the wonderful time that we had in Chicago. Of course the concert was terrific in the beautiful Chicago Theater. We still have pictures of the marquee with Leonard Cohen emblazoned on it. We had such fun joining you and Steve & Ann at the Irish pub before hand and for the drinks afterward. And the architectural tour that you arranged the next day was such great. In fact, we are going to try to incorporate an architectural tour into the pre-event portion of the Leonard Cohen Event that will take place in Chicago and Madison in 2012.

Anne & I just spent a weekend in Chicago in early January and while I would recommend a warmer time of year, Chicago is just a fantastic city. We spent an afternoon at the Art Institute and looked at Millenium Park and the "bean." There are wonderful restaurants and nightclubs and we spent a great night at a Jazz club on Friday and another great night at a Blues club on Saturday.

I hope that all are well and relishing these great memories from the last few years. I, too, don't know if Leonard will tour again, but he certainly seemed to be enjoying himself and the great band that he put together so it wouldn't be a big surprise to see him do it again.

All the best to you and everyone else.

Joe