Where & When Did Leonard Cohen Perform In 1970?

Toward A More Perfect Record Of The 1970 Cohen Concerts

Perhaps not every individual – or even every admirer of Leonard Cohen – feels the cosmos is sputtering into entropic chaos because the precise 1970 Leonard Cohen concert schedule remains a mystery on 20 March 2012  Still, having grown fond of the weirdness that was the 1970 Tour,1 I have seized upon the opportunity to nudge the universe a few Planck lengths toward equilibrium by adding to the knowledge about the dates and venues played by the Canadian singer-songwriter 42 years ago.

CohenCrowdSourcing

OK, CohenCrowdSourcing is just my fancy schmancy name for seeking help on a Leonard Cohen issue via crowdsourcing, a problem-solving process in which

problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users—also known as the crowd—submit solutions. Solutions are then owned by the entity that broadcast the problem in the first place—the crowdsourcer. The contributor of the solution is, in some cases, compensated either monetarily, with prizes, or with recognition. In other cases, the only rewards may be kudos or intellectual satisfaction.2

Participants can confidently assume that this is indeed, one of those “other cases,” in which the only compensation will be “kudos or intellectual satisfaction.”

The notion underlying this post is

  1. To publish what is thought to be the Best Version Of The 1970 Leonard Cohen Concert Schedule
  2. To publish any new information, whether it confirms or challenges that version of the 1970 schedule
  3. To offer, as it turns out, firm evidence of one concert completely  absent from any currently available 1970 Leonard Cohen concert schedule
  4. To encourage anyone with knowledge about the concerts to contribute that information (especially if documentation such as photocopies of tickets and programs is available) in hopes of correcting date and venue errors, including adding any “lost concerts” that may exist and deleting any currently listed concerts that did not actually take place.
  5. Revise the Best Version Of The 1970 Leonard Cohen Concert Schedule accordingly
  6. Publish the new Best Version Of The 1970 Leonard Cohen Concert Schedule
  7. Solicit reactions
  8. Repeat

The LeonardCohenLive.com 1970 Schedule

The most accurate and complete 1970 Tour schedule is, by consensus, that listed at LeonardCohenLive.com:3

1970 Early concerts in USA
January/April

  • 1970/01/?? Hartford, CT, USA – (Trinity College)
  • 1970/04/11 Washington, DC, USA (08:30pm) – (L’Enfant Plaza Theater)
  • 1970/04/11 Washington, DC, USA (11:00pm) – (L’Enfant Plaza Theater)

1970 Tour in Europe
May

* poetry & novel extracts only

1970 Festivals
July-August

  • 1970/07/11   Washington, DC, USA – (L’Enfant Plaza Theatre?) ?
  • 1970/07/25   Forest Hills, NY, USA – (Tennis Stadium)
  • 1970/08/02   Aix-en-Provence, France – (Festival)
  • 1970/08/??   Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada – (“Strawberry Fields Festival”) **
  • 1970/08/14   Paris, France – (“Ce soir au music-hall”, French TV 1) X
  • 1970/08/31   Isle of Wight, England – (East Afton Farm)

** between August 7 and August 9.

1970 Late concerts in North America
October-December

___________
known recording(s)
X recording not in circulation

More 1970 Tour Information From  Aileen and Elkin Fowler

As previously acknowledged, Aileen and Elkin Fowler have recently provided information that has been especially useful in filling in the blanks about the 1970 Leonard Cohen Tour. This is another such case.

Note: To be fair to the Fowlers, they do not claim their memories are perfect and are helping out at my request – and, as far as I can determine, are motivated only by the opportunity to help out.  There is little gratification – and certainly no glory –  in locking down a singer’s 40+ year old concert schedule.

The response from the Fowlers, after reviewing the above schedule, follows in red with my annotations in blue:

… The Hartford date was the first date we did, and I’m pretty certain that was April 8th.  The only other date in April was Austin, and it was the 28th. We never played Washington, DC.
Thanks to internet mercantilism, this apparent discrepancy was spontaneously resolved with the discovery at an auction site of the promotional piece [seen atop this post]. Leonard Cohen, the ad notes, would be performing solo at those Washington appearances.

Note: Corlynn Hanney, backup singer along with Aileen Fowler,  independently recalls a concert in Austin.

Amsterdam, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, London/Albert Hall, Paris, Leeds are all correct.

The other London date is unfamiliar to me, as is the second Paris TV date.
The Fowlers and I suspect the Paris TV date escapes their recall because it, like the Washington concerts, was a solo show.

Nice to see the names of the theaters we played in Germany and Austria.  They were beautiful concert halls, many of them.  The Munich venue is aptly named ‘circus.’  It was more like a circus arena.

Forest Hills is correct.  Aix was the 1st of August, not the second.
After discussion with Aileen and Elkin and consideration of the documentation re Aix, it appears their memories are errant in this case.

Isle of Wight, of course, is correct.

Never heard of Moncton, or ‘Ce soir’ in Paris.
The Moncton date refers  to the August 7, 8, and 9, 1970 Strawberry Fields Festival that was actually held at Mosport, Ontario. Leonard Cohen was scheduled to attend but did not perform. Details about that event can be found at Signs Of Leonard Cohen But No Sign Of Leonard Cohen – Strawberry Fields Festival 1970. Moncton would have to wait until May 23, 2008 for that Leonard Cohen concert.

Kingston may be right — I seem to remember it, but it’s odd that it is separate from the other Canadian dates.

Madison, LA, Berkeley, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal — check.

The second Montreal date I don’t recognize.

I wonder if the NY, NY date was the Brandeis concert that we remember, not Stony Brook.  Don’t remember Stony Brook.

Miami is missing from the list — don’t know when we were there, but we were for sure.  Also Halifax.

In a separate email, the Fowlers write,

Here are the dates Leonard and the Army played in 1970, not in chronological order:

Hartford, CT (April 8th or 9th, auditorium)
Austin, Tx (I’m pretty sure it was April 28, auditorium)
Amsterdam
Hamburg
Frankfort
Munich
Vienna
Paris (Olympia)
Leeds
London (Royal Albert Hall)
Montreal
Toronto
Ottawa
Halifax
Brandeis University
Miami (can’t remember if this was at the U of Miami or in a civic auditorium)
Madison, WI (same as above — can’t remember if it was at the U or in an aud)
UCLA
Berkeley
Forest Hills
Aix festival
Isle of Wight

The European dates were in the month of May.  I would never have guessed that the Canadian dates were in December.

And What About The Princeton Gig?

While there is no listing of a 1970 concert from any Cohen source I’ve checked, the reliably written, albeit now defunct trade magazine, Amusement Business (purchased by Billboard, which was itself purchased by Nielsen), notes a December 6, 1970 Leonard Cohen concert held at McCarter Theater on the Campus of Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

Confirmation is afforded by this text from an ad published in the Daily Princetonian, Volume 94, Number 115, 17 November 1970 — Page 7, Column 2:4

Another McCarter First
In Person, A Rare Concert Appearance By Canada’s Poet, Songwriter And Folksinger Leonard Cohen (Suzanne — Bird On The Wire — Sisters Of Mercy) McCarter Theatre Sat., December 5
8 P.M. Tickets Now On Sale: Orch. $4.95, & $4.00; Bale. $4.50, $3.50 & $2.50

And as a bonus, I offer into the  record this review of the Princeton Concert by Bill Adams, published in the December 10, 1970 Franklin News-Record (Somerset, NJ).

Responses

Please forward any information relevant to the 1970 Leonard Cohen concert schedule to DrHGuy AT 1HeckOfAGuy.com.

  1. For confirmatory examples of said weirdness, check the posts listed under the tag , []
  2. Wikipedia []
  3. Note: The LeonardCohenLive.com site is available only in the form of pages from the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine, to which the LeonardCohenLive.com link points. []
  4. Princeton University Library. The Larry DuPraz Daily Princetonian Digital Archives: 17 November 1970. Accessed 20 March 2012 []

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