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Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:00 pm
by somewhat_nifty
It's interesting that this is finally being talked about! I was one of those in Las Vegas who did not get to go - I'm rather out of touch with these things and only realized what was going on when nobody was turning up at the seahorse bar afterwards and other non-chosen ones filled me in! My honest response was that I was absolutely crushed - not so much by missing th opportunity , as I'm actually not sure if I would have 'enjoyed' the experience, I may have found it a bit overwhelming and intrusive (though maybe that's sour grapes!), but more by the secrecy and the sense that I'd been lied to by people I thought were my friends - people being straight up about it would have been appreciated, I'm aware there must have been limited places available. The selection process - hey, that's not my place to comment on, 'who you know' always seems to prevail on these occasions, though I think it would have been nicer to not just to concentrate on getting your mates in - some people had made real sacrifices to get to Las Vegas, someone I know has never met him and it would have made her so happy to do so, that would have been the kind of stuff I thought about when allocating tickets.

So yes, I found the experience upsetting. When people began to straggle out, their crowing behavior didn't help either. No doubt they were on top of the world, but it left a bad taste. I also had the experience of having a pleasant chat with someone, then asking them how they enjoyed the party and have them utterly ignore me, turning away from me - it's been a long time since I experienced such rudeness!

I suppose that limited places at such an event would always cause division, and I'm sure no one meant to cause any upset with what was supposed to be a fun treat, but it has colored my view of the forum a little, and is probably contributory to me not being here as much as I was. It hurt. But I still cherish many of the friendships I made here, and like to participate, I'm just aware no that some people really would sell their granny for a chance to meet LC!

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:48 pm
by LisaLCFan
I am not surprised that those who are posting on this thread are among those who were left out. I mean, really, the people who decided that we were not worthy enough to meet Leonard are hardly likely to come forward and say, "I was one of the people who denied these loyal forum members the opportunity to meet the man that they admire so deeply!"

I knew about the passes before the concert (even though I was never offered one), but it was said by a person distributing them that only the band would be there, and not Leonard. Thus, when I was removed from the venue by the security guard, although I was annoyed by the rather humiliating treatment, I wasn't all that bothered about not getting to go backstage. It was only later, at the Seahorse Bar, that I found out that Leonard had been there, and, like somewhat_nifty, I was absolutely crushed. I had really hoped that I would finally meet Leonard, and to think that it could have happened so easily, had someone decided to give me one of those passes, well, that made it all the more upsetting. Considering the secrecy surrounding the event, I suspect that whoever said that Leonard would not be there was either misinformed or lying. When I saw other forum members at that bar who had also been left out, I didn't understand how people were chosen, since there were many of us who deserved to have been included.

So, what had been a beautiful and magical evening, seeing Leonard Cohen give what I think was the greatest performance of his life, ended up on a sadly sour note for many of us.

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:48 pm
by scubasam
brightnow wrote:
Cheshire gal wrote:Scubasam,

I think it is more interesting to see who has not made a comment about the backstage passes on this thread. ;-)
Now that you mention it Marie, how very unusual for a thread (any thread...) to remain untouched like this! :shock:
I agree Chesire gal, given some of the voluminous cavity-inducing bullshit that some people are famous for, on just about every thread, I am wondering why all we are hearing is crickets over here.
LisaLCFan wrote:I am not surprised that those who are posting on this thread are among those who were left out.
So, what had been a beautiful and magical evening, seeing Leonard Cohen give what I think was the greatest performance of his life, ended up on a sadly sour note for many of us.
I know this may not be of any comfort to you, but there are also many who were at that party that were adversely affected and the issues surrounding Vegas go way beyond people who were not given the opportunity to meet LC at the after party.

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:15 pm
by Cheshire gal
Well at least we did not see any photos of this after show party. I wonder why though. :?: :o

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:26 pm
by MarieM
It is very disheartening to read how so many members of the forum feel excluded, especially those who never had a chance to meet Leonard and now feel they may not get another chance. While a limited number of passes makes exclusion of some inevitable, I think a more open and equitable process of distribution would have at least lessened the blow a bit for those who had been excluded.

I knew nothing about backstage passes until intermission when folks started to approach me in various states of anger, frustration and tears. This continued in the lobby after the concert ended. To this day, I have only second, third and fourth hand accounts of how the passes came to be, who had them and how they were distributed. Much of what I have heard doesn't make a lot of sense. I do not believe Leonard's management is in any way responsible for what transpired however. They only know what they are told. As one of the moderators of this forum, I am supposed to be one of the people who keeps Leonard's management informed. Much of what played out in LV began weeks earlier. I knew about that but I failed to inform Leonard's management and for that I am very sorry because it might have prevented some of the hurt feelings.

As for the after party, I was honestly stunned that Leonard was mobbed. We weren't on the street. It was a party with chairs and tables and refreshments. Why folks would mob Leonard the way they did will forever perplex me. I have one good memory however, thanks to my wall buddy. I was standing with another member of the forum against a wall right by the door where Leonard entered the room. When Leonard came in, he gave my wall buddy a big smile and greeted him with a very joyous "hello." Of course, my wall buddy was completely taken aback. It was such a genuine moment. Leonard Cohen comes up to YOU and greets YOU. Every person in that room could have had a moment like that if they had simply allowed Leonard to walk around the room to greet everyone and exchange a few words. Instead, two crew members had to hold people back the entire time just to allow Leonard enough space to breath. Of course, Leonard was still gracious, still the gentleman. That is his nature but he is a human being and like any one of us, he probably found the mob scene quite stressful . My last memory of the LV concert was Leonard being mobbed and that's his last memory too. So, while the title of this thread is whether we would pay to have a meet and greet with Leonard, the better question would seem to be will Leonard ever voluntarily agree to do any kind of meet and greet again.

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:03 am
by musicmania
Cheshire gal wrote:Well at least we did not see any photos of this after show party. I wonder why though. :?: :o
I saw a couple of photos and it is exactly as described. Leonard was mobbed. I wasn't there either and had the same feelings as others of exclusion. Marie you make a good point in that it would have much more enjoyable for those that were there had people just waited for Leonard to walk around. He had just performed an amazing show and must have being tired. Of course for me meeting him the following morning eliminated any upset for not have been in the room. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and yes the distribution could have been handled better but that doesn't take away from the behaviour of some in that room. However judge as we may I acknowledge these people were probably just overwhelmed to have been there and I'm guessing some of them probably regret doing that now.
Somewhat_nifty I know who you are talking about who would love to meet Leonard and I really hope from the bottom of my heart that she does get to meet him and indeed have the same wish for everyone else but that it will happen in a much better situation for them and for Leonard.

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:09 am
by somewhat_nifty
Thanks for your response Marie - I don't for one second blame Leonard's management for any of this, and from pics that I've seen and descriptions I've heard it does sound like rather a crush when LC arrived, and not something I'd like to have been part of, especially as I have already had the pleasure of a chance meeting with the great man which I will always treasure. I'm also aware that there are swirling tides of forum politics surrounding Las Vegas which I don't even want to dip my toe in! I just think it could have been handled a hell of a lot better, which would have avoided hurt feelings and and the sense that though all forum members are equal, some are more equal than others.

musicmania - I too hope that everyone who hasn't yet gets the chance of a serendipitous meeting! And especially for the person we have in mind ;) :D

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:49 am
by KaimiK
I've been quiet these many months since Las Vegas, not out of any sense of secrecy, but rather because of my experiences there and my subsequent sense that I have little idea who I can trust here. I'm confident (or at least hopeful) that these were isolated incidents and don't represent the larger community, but the fact that I don't know leaves me guarded. Even these many months later, I continue to hear of behavior that is disappointing and disheartening.

As far as the backstage passes, I'm happy to share what I know, which isn't much. I was given a pass in the lobby just prior to the Saturday concert. Honestly, I have no idea why it was given to me, but I was incredibly grateful. Though I was involved in Avi's brilliantly conceived and thoughtfully executed Crew Appreciation Project, I didn't expect to go backstage, nor had I heard any rumors that it might happen. Understanding that Leonard usually leaves immediately after the concert, I did not expect him to be there anyway. During the intermission, though it was not stated in so many words, I got the distinct feeling that the person who gifted me with the pass was trying to taking it back. Thankfully, the conversation turned and that was averted.

Once the concert was over, the lobby began to clear out and those with passes remained behind. But, even those remaining behind were left wondering what we were doing there. Some people were being escorted downstairs and a few band members came up to see friends. Obviously everyone wanted to go downstairs where the action was. I lost track of time, but we were up there a long time! I was one of the last to go down, I'm assuming because I had no particular connections and/or was not being forceful as some others were. When I walked into the green room, I was greeted by a mob scene and couldn't believe my eyes that Leonard was there in the midst of it. It turned my stomach and my first thought was that this is why his tour is “closed” to visitors. I waited a few minutes, hoping for a turn, but saw that nothing less than elbows-to-your-neighbor's midsection would get you closer, so with a lump in my throat, I moved off to talk to other friends and a few band members. Leonard left shortly thereafter. (An interesting tidbit: Someone involved in the tour asked me how many concerts I'd been to. I replied that it would have been five if I'd been able to stay for Red Rocks. His reply was that I was a "lightweight"! :shock: My immediate thought was that the only thing lightweight was my bank account and he'd feel differently if traveled all over the country with two children under the age of four, one a colicky infant and all the accompanying baggage which practically requires a yak and a sherpa! But, I just smiled and moved on.) I am truly sorry for those who were excluded, I know I would have been very hurt as well. I hope that everyone gets to experience that magical moment, but free from the negative atmosphere and actions that accompanied the LV events.

The next morning fortune smiled on me (or maybe it was karma) and I was able to meet Leonard in an unplanned, natural setting with nobody else within earshot. (This was around the time Gwen met him as well.) It was a dream come true, but I was a bumbling, near-speechless igit. :roll: I did manage to thank him, share a photo and be on my way.

You know, I have very mixed feelings about Las Vegas. Certainly the concerts were unforgettable, I was incredibly lucky to meet Leonard and I got to know some lovely people that I adore and consider true friends. On the other hand, I learned of strife and competition within the forum that I never realized existed. I encountered people who lied straight to my face about plans and projects when I was only politely inquiring about them because their existence was news to me. I was genuinely interested in and appreciative of any plans that were implemented in a true spirit of inclusiveness and with good intent, but I was accused of pumping them for information – why I'll never know. When attempting to join in on conversation with those I considered friends, I was left standing alone as the group stopped talking and moved off to continue talking out of my earshot. And since Las Vegas, I've learned of those who have spoken/written ill of me, and even questioned my integrity in regard to my financial audit of the Crew Appreciation Project. I believe in and choose to live my life with the highest standards of integrity, honesty, kindness and really just trying to be the best person I can be. That some called that into question hurts deeply. At one point, I gave people the benefit of the doubt and attributed all of this to emotions running high as we all dealt in our own way with the end of the tour. Now I'm not so sure...

Frankly, I am tired of all the behind the scenes drama. There should be no room for gossip, backstabbing, maneuvering, manipulation, or unkindness of any sort. There should be no elites here, nor commoners. So, if people approach you and try to stir up controversy or try to tell you about what so-and-so did, or why you should no longer be friends with them, please take a moment to ask yourself if you want to be part of all this negativity or if you'd rather take the high road and choose to have faith in people until they personally give you a reason to lose that faith. If someone offends you, approach them and address the issue at hand. Think about whether or not a person is being inclusive or exclusive, kind or cruel, community-building or destructive. This forum should be a genuinely welcoming place where people can feel at home – a community based on our admiration for Leonard and his work. I truly hope it can be that for everyone. Just my two cents...

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:57 am
by leonardmtl
I believe that many Forum members, because of their extraordinary passion for Leonard, contemplate a meeting with Leonard as akin to the Holy Grail, which made invitations to the after party in LV so touchingly important and caused so much pain because of the abuse we have all read about in their distribution.

It makes me so sad to hear about these passions being undermined by contaminated behavior . Our Forum is a cozy corner where we can experience being touched by a "living treasure' , who we all wanted to thank for being so meaningful in our emotional world for the past three years, and longer.

I had been reluctant to become involved in this thread because, as a recipient of a pass ( and indeed, Marie's wall buddy!) I did not want to have to justify myself and be drawn into a negative conversation. But I would like to bring some balance to the discussion and hope that my opinion will not be considered incendiary.

The fact is that many Forum members have contributed much time effort and even money over the years, selflessly, to express, in differing activities, the sentiments we all hold dear about Leonard.

At the after party I saw several of the moderators, who we all know have worked continuously for decades to provide a balance to the Forum. I also saw Forum members , some who participated with Avi in the extraordinarily imaginative and well excuted Crew Appreciation Project, and others, who were a part of the Plaque Celebration at the Chelsea Hotel,

Could it be that these passes were in recognition for this effort? Perhaps I am being naive.

Please understand that I am in no way trying to be critical of the many members, because of time availabilty, "geographical or financial inconveniece" could not participate to the same extent.

Maybe I am being idealistic...but I honestly believe that this work may have, perhaps unfairly, provided a basis for this thoroughly unexpected gift. I must admit, when I received mine before the second set, I levitated!

In the green room, Marie and I just watched the crowd, in fact not realy feeling we were apart of it, . They seemed to know each other well, so we just "held up the wall". (although frankly we didn't articulate that we were "never any good")...it was like being awkward at a cocktail party. It wasn't that big a deal.

When the door that was about five feet from me opened and Leonard approached me with that smile and outstretched hand,I must admit my levitation became orbital!!!.

I really don't want to sound offensive to those who have been hurt by not being included....and I am truly sorry all of us, in an ideal world, couldn't have been there.

All I do want to point out is that there is another perspective for some of us who were gifted with passes. I wasn't part of the abuse and don't really understand how I could be eligible otherwise.


Just to answer those who might wonder how was it I was invited.....and please understand I am making this disclosure, not to "toot my horn" but because I am sure some are wondering....I did work on both of those projects mentioned.... so I guess I came to the attention of others much, much closer this magical world we feel inspired by.

Again, I feel sad about how this has affected the conversation on the Forum

Leonard from Montreal

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:51 pm
by somewhat_nifty
Well I was part of Avi's crew project in that I edited all of the letters (a lesser role than some I'm sure, but it took some time I can tell you), and no one gave me a pass! So I think there was more to it than that. But thank you those who have shared their experiences of being there.

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:07 pm
by MaryB
I am having conflicted feelings about posting this because I don't want to cause anymore discord, but feel that since so many others have come forward, that I should do so also.

I was backstage. When two forum members had told me earlier in the afternoon that they had gotten backstage passes, I was thrilled for them. Then when they told me that they had gotten a backstage pass for me also, it literally brought tears to my eyes. I felt that my work on the LV plaque project was finally being recognized and appreciated - I was overwhelmed.

After the concert, I tried to connect with the person who had my pass - over and over again. I then just proceeded to the lobby. When I finally got the opportunity to talk to the person, I was told very adamantly that I had already been given the pass. I thought, d__n, here we go. It took some convincing for that person to realize that I had never gotten the pass. Marie, bless her heart, offered to help out in any way she could, but I told her that I didn't want her to have to try to fix this situation - it was not a problem that she had caused and I didn't feel it should be her responsibility. Meanwhile, security was starting to very forcefully and sometimes rudely moving people without passes out of the area. In the last minutes, said person came running up to me with an extra pass for me. They had gotten this pass at this last minute from Robert Kory. The problem was fixed and profuse apologies were made. We were on the last elevator down.

The scene downstairs was pure bedlam. As others have said, there was a mob around LC. I was horrified. It wasn't just the crush of people around him, it was also the fact that certain people tried to monopolize their time with him. Some did say a few words and then moved on, but others, when they reached LC, seemed to feel that they were the only ones there. Common courtesy was not in their vocabulary. I stood briefly outside the perimeter to get some overhead pictures of a few people whom I knew would like to have a memeto of them with LC - 4 minutes according to the timing on my camera photos, then backed off - it was enough just to be in the same room with him.

I think the the reason the backstage with LC hasn't been discussed until it was now brought to light, is because that for so many of us, it was an uneasy, awkward situation and that what was happening downstairs was not in the best interest of LC - too many were seeking personal gratification with no regard for the man or others around them - I am surprised that some were bragging about being there.

It's over, it's done, I just hope that in the future those that deserved to have been included, to have the opportunity to have a one-on-one with LC. I know that if I would ever be privy to a backstage pass (or something similar) again, I would gladly give it over to one of you.

Kindest regards,
Mary

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:50 pm
by scubasam
somewhat_nifty wrote:Well I was part of Avi's crew project in that I edited all of the letters (a lesser role than some I'm sure, but it took some time I can tell you), and no one gave me a pass! So I think there was more to it than that. But thank you those who have shared their experiences of being there.
All I can say is that Avi and I were not consulted on who to give passes to at any time, nor did we ever have any passes to give out as was intimated by certain people more than once.

We were lucky to get backstage on the Friday evening, and we did not go backstage on the Saturday evening. If we had been given backstage passes for the Sat, we likely would have passed them on to the other two people from the Crew Project who worked so hard and did not get them (somewhat_nifty and imaginary_friend). I am sorry you guys were left out of this.

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:57 pm
by its4inthemorning
I am glad this thread appeared, both because the green-room "party" was (is) news, and to give the frustrated a chance to vent. Now maybe it's time to move on.

I was at the Friday concert with my wife and we stayed at Caesar's Saturday night as well, but I (foolishly) did not get tickets for Saturday's finale. I knew nothing of the meet-up, and to be honest, would have loved to have received passes; but let's face it, being excluded from an event is just a part of life. There were only a certain number of passes, and most would not get one. It is unfair to resent those who got passes, or those who determined the distribution process, things just happened as they did, and certainly no maliciousness was intended.

And there is a silver lining: based on the meet-up decriptions portrayed on this thread, I think many non-attenders will conclude that they really did not miss something memorable. I am quite content that when I reflect back on that weekend I envision Leonard and the band "giving everything we've got" rather than mayhem in the green room.

Curt

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:17 pm
by somewhat_nifty
scubasam wrote:
somewhat_nifty wrote:Well I was part of Avi's crew project in that I edited all of the letters (a lesser role than some I'm sure, but it took some time I can tell you), and no one gave me a pass! So I think there was more to it than that. But thank you those who have shared their experiences of being there.
All I can say is that Avi and I were not consulted on who to give passes to at any time, nor did we ever have any passes to give out as was intimated by certain people more than once.

We were lucky to get backstage on the Friday evening, and we did not go backstage on the Saturday evening. If we had been given backstage passes for the Sat, we likely would have passed them on to the other two people from the Crew Project who worked so hard and did not get them (somewhat_nifty and imaginary_friend). I am sorry you guys were left out of this.
Hi Sam - no I never thought that you and Avi were involved in handing out passes, I only mentioned it because leonardmtl thought that maybe those who were involved in this project were given passes, and I wanted to point out that wasn't so! I didn't go into that project looking to get something out of it, and would do it all again if I had the chance. :D

Re: Would you pay to meet and greet Leonard Cohen?!

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 4:05 pm
by scubasam
somewhat_nifty wrote:
scubasam wrote:
somewhat_nifty wrote:Well I was part of Avi's crew project in that I edited all of the letters (a lesser role than some I'm sure, but it took some time I can tell you), and no one gave me a pass! So I think there was more to it than that. But thank you those who have shared their experiences of being there.
All I can say is that Avi and I were not consulted on who to give passes to at any time, nor did we ever have any passes to give out as was intimated by certain people more than once.

We were lucky to get backstage on the Friday evening, and we did not go backstage on the Saturday evening. If we had been given backstage passes for the Sat, we likely would have passed them on to the other two people from the Crew Project who worked so hard and did not get them (somewhat_nifty and imaginary_friend). I am sorry you guys were left out of this.
Hi Sam - no I never thought that you and Avi were involved in handing out passes, I only mentioned it because leonardmtl thought that maybe those who were involved in this project were given passes, and I wanted to point out that wasn't so! I didn't go into that project looking to get something out of it, and would do it all again if I had the chance. :D
:) I know you didn't think we were involved, but we have been accused of this more than once and I wanted to set the record straight.

I do not think there was malicious intent on the minds of Jarkko or Leonard's management whatsoever. In fact, from what I understand they were both very generous with the tickets to those who were in the right place at the right time.