On not meeting Leonard

Recollections from Leonard Cohen's pre-2008 tours, YouTube clips
richardrj
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Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:55 pm
Location: Vienna, Austria

On not meeting Leonard

Postby richardrj » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:35 pm

In 1993 (or maybe it was 1988) I went to the Royal Albert Hall with a load of rare Cohen hardbacks in my bag, determined to get them signed. (This mission, incidentally, was very much secondary to enjoyment of the concert.) As an experienced autograph hunter, I knew the form. After the gig was never a good idea. There were record company parties, schmoozing to be done... it was also quite possible that the artist would leave the building quietly by a side exit. I knew that before the gig was my only chance. I also knew that it was unlikely that I would get to meet Leonard myself. That didn't matter, as long as I got my books signed. So I would need help. I also knew the best place to go. With a good while still to go before the concert started, I stationed myself, not by the stage door outside the venue, but by an artists-only entrance inside. Within a few minutes, one of Cohen's musicians - a tall guy with glasses, I believe it was the drummer Steve Meador - passed me on the way in. I stopped him and chatted briefly to him; he was (as far as I could tell) not pissed off to be accosted in this way. (Maybe he was just being polite.) I showed him the books; he was impressed. I asked him politely if he would mind taking them to Leonard and getting them signed; he said he would see what he could do. He went inside with the books. A few minutes later, he emerged again. Each of the books was now inscribed with Leonard's unmistakable signature, making me a very happy Cohen fan indeed.

So Steve, if you happen to be reading this - thanks a million.
John Etherington
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Re: On not meeting Leonard

Postby John Etherington » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:21 am

Hi richardrj,

Great story! It reminds me of my own first (of two) encounters with Leonard...It was my 25th birthday, July 7th 1976, and I went to see Leonard at the New Victoria Theatre in London (now called, I believe, the Apollo - where "Wicked" is being staged). I was with my old friend Johnny Rogan, the music writer, that evening (we were both working down the road in a record store, at the time). After
the show, I said "I have to meet Leonard tonight!". Therefore we waited by the front stage door along with several other people. Howver, not much seemed to be happening, so I suggested we went round to the back door. Nothing was happening there either, so we went back to the front, and so on and so on. Finally, on the verge of giving up, I suggested we take one last lap of the building.
As we passed the back entance, a limousine pulled up. We stopped in our tracks. The door then opened, and out walked Leonard with two other people...looking exactly like he does on the "Death of a Ladies" man cover. I shook his hand and thanked him. He looked at me in a zen-like way, as if he was looking into the depths of my being! Then (since it was a bit uncool to ask for autographs at the time), I said "Mr Cohen, would you mind inscribing your name on my programme?". "Sure, man" was his reply. Hence, a very happy birthday for me!

All the best, John E
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lizzytysh
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: On not meeting Leonard

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:25 am

Oh, those moments 8) !!!

Thanks to both of you for sharing your stories.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde

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