Also included is a youtube link to the Partisan at the Beacon and a great photo of LC and Bob in concert.
http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainme ... 5&srvc=rss
Hallelujah! Hub guitarist’s gig with Leonard Cohen is heavenly
By Daniel Gewertz
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Bob Metzger has spent a lot of time playing guitar at such local roots music strongholds as Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville.
But not lately. For the past year, Metzger has been plying his trade in front of big crowds on Leonard Cohen’s world tour.
This week, Metzger gets to play for a hometown audience again. He’ll back Canadian singer/songwriter (and poet and novelist) Cohen - who’s onstage again after a 15-year break from touring - at shows Friday and Saturday at the Citi Wang Theatre.
“Leonard has had a huge influence on my life,” Metzger said before a show last week at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. “He’s a very wise and moral person and someone of such intellectual rigor. When I write a song now, I invest more in my lyrics because of my work with Leonard. He makes everyone around him better.”
At age 74, Cohen - a sometimes reclusive Zen-practitioner - is hot again. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year and in 2006 he was the subject of a documentary, “I’m Your Man.” Now hehas a new double-CD, “Live in London,” as he continues to tour for adoring critics and fans eager to catch a legend while they still can.
“Considering his long absence from the scene, it became less and less likely he’d ever tour again,” said Metzger, who moved to Boston from L.A. in 2004 when his wife, Leanne Ungar, got a job at Berklee College of Music teaching engineering and producing.
Metzger and Ungar’s marriage is the stuff of music industry fairy tales - and Cohen played the role of fairy godmother. The two met in 1988 while working on Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” tour.
“Leonard is very much the cupid in my life,” Ungar said, “and an inspiration for love. I’m extremely grateful to him for hiring Bob.”
Ungar, 56, started working with Cohen in 1974, when the then-20-year-old was the assistant engineer on his “New Skin for the Old Ceremony” album.
“I’ve consistently engineered Leonard’s records since 1984,” she said, “and produced a couple.”
On Cohen’s current tour, Ungar is in charge of the stage monitor mixes. And she gets to travel with her husband.
“We’re doing songs from a 40-year span of Leonard’s career,” Metzger said. “He’s such an expert at putting a compelling show together, selecting a set list. We’re filling some sports arenas, but without the fireworks and histrionics. It’s pure music.”
Cohen claimed he was robbed of millions by his former manager and a jury awarded him $9 million in 2006. But he is unlikely to collect that much. With his bank account depleted, he decided to take a break from his semi-monastic lifestyle for what’s turned out to be the most profitable tour of his career.
“I’m so happy he’s getting this adulation,” Ungar said.
When not playing with Cohen, Metzger still performs as much as possible. One of his local gigs is playing with the Patsy Hamel Band, which contributed a track to the new “Song For Sally” compilation CD, a tribute to Sally O’Brien’s.
“If you don’t play regularly,” Metzger said, “you won’t evolve. You’ll shrivel.”
Leonard Cohen at the Citi Wang Theatre, Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $77-$253; 617-482-9393.