First We Take Manhattan By Leonard Cohen – The PowerPoint Version

A Different, More Efficient Leonard Cohen Presentation

The delayed start of the 2010 World Tour caused by Leonard Cohen’s recent back  injury  as well as his collapse last year in Valencia underline the mobility and physical stamina required for the type of performance that has characterized the 2008-2009 concerts. Add to that the expense of hiring, transporting, and housing a troupe of musicians and the time-cost embedded in a 3-4 hour show, and the need for a more efficient means of presenting Mr. Cohen’s message becomes evident.

Happily, DrHGuy has – once again – stepped up to proffer a solution: The Leonard Cohen PowerPoint Presentation.

The Traditional Leonard Cohen Presentation

First, consider, as an example of Mr. Cohen’s current format, his performance of “First We Take Manhattan” at the Rosemont Theatre Concert in Chicago on October 29, 2009.

Leonard Cohen, First We Take Manhattan (Rosemont 10/29/2009)

Video from albertnoonan

The physical and emotional efforts expended by the singer are evident and his skipping off the stage, while undeniably entertaining, is also clearly hazardous. Other songs exact an even greater toll; in some instances, Cohen is standing, then he’s kneeling, then he’s standing again, then he’s dancing, then … .

And, “First We Take Manhattan,” although it clocks out as one of Cohen’s shorter songs, nonetheless requires over six minutes to complete.

The Leonard Cohen PowerPoint Presentation

Compare the old-fashioned concert hall performance of “First We Take Manhattan” with the PowerPoint production of the same song.

For best viewing of PowerPoint simulation, click on the image of the first slide, titled “First We Take Manhattan,” located  atop this post and then proceed through the slides by moving the cursor to the middle right border of the graphic and clicking on the arrow that appears.  See illustration at right.

Those seeking heightened verisimilitude may wish to mutter “Next slide, please” just before advancing to the next image.

Most individuals can complete the self-administered PowerPoint presentation in less than 60 seconds. Even allowing extra time for full comprehension of the more subtle bullet points and for the display of those way cool PowerPoint animations, three minutes will easily allow the audience to absorb the same information that necessitates twice that long to convey when it  is extravagantly, redundantly, and  cavalierly rendered by singing.

And as it turns out, many venues already have handy projection screens:

Dublin 2008

Dublin 2008

Slide section enlargement

Now, this change does not obviate the need for Leonard Cohen himself. Fans, after all, crave that personal contact with their icon.


Besides, do you think that laser pointer moves itself?


PowerPoint Slides

Update: These slides can also be viewed as a video at YouTube: First We Take Manhattan PowerPoint

Credit Due Department: Ultimately, the inspiration for the First We Take Manhattan PowerPoint Version was, of course, The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation by Peter Norvig.

2 responses to “First We Take Manhattan By Leonard Cohen – The PowerPoint Version

  1. Hahahahahahaha, this is awesome!! :D:D
    “Percentage of nights practiced VS percentage of people wounded”!! ~that was way over the top! :D

    I’m Your Fan! :D

  2. Excellent start, but when it comes to importing images, you’ve only scratched the surface.
    Imagine the the effect of adding an image of the Manhattan skyline to the presentation, then following with the same image stamped “taken” in big red letters as if it were a library discard. Not to mention what you c0uld do with the monkey and violin.

    The possibilities with this type of visual are endless. Imagine “there is a crack in everything” with a video of that Icelandic volcano with the funny name erupting in the background.

    The laser pointer should glow a little bit, though, like a Jedi light saber.