Make It “5 Things Concerning Leonard Cohen in Paris”
It was my good fortune to receive an email from Martin Colyer thanking me because my Heck Of A Guy “site was really helpful … in putting this [5 Things I Saw & Heard This Week post] together:”
While the acknowledgement was, of course, gratifying, the real benefit was that I became aware of Martin’s enlightening and entertaining essay based on the Sept 30, 2012 Leonard Cohen Paris Concert.
I’ve pilfered two items as representative of the delights to be found in this piece:
1. The perfect description of Leonard Cohen’s stage movements and postures:
The older-type singer (the ones who aren’t Mick Jagger, anyway) are very fond of the prizefighter pose. Len takes this even further than the bob-and-weave and sings at least half the set on his knees on the patterned rugs that cover the stage, James Brown-style. It also emphasised the supplicant nature of many of the songs: to God, to Poetry, to lust, love, the musicians and to the audience, who he always addresses as “Friends.” His ability to get back up from his knees with grace is very impressive.
As a bonus, Martin includes in a reply to my questions, this immediately recognizable description of Bob Dylan variation on this motif:
When Dylan steps out from behind the keyboard he does the boxing thing, hunched over, arms in tight to the body, mic clutched in both hands.
2. The exquisite photo atop this post, captioned, in the original post, “Leonard, Hand In Pocket, photograph by Michelle Clement.”
The photo is from the first Leonard Cohen show Martin attended (which is also mentioned in his post). He was good enough to provide this additional information:
I think it was Portsmouth, May 15th  (or somewhere near that date) … At that show, Michelle was a fellow student and my friend the hotel manager had given me two tickets. We had the Chelsea School Of Art black Pentax Spotmatic, and took turns shooting, so actually I don’t really know which of us took that pic, but I vaguely remember printing it for her portfolio, so think it was her.
This post also contains the best one-paragraph musicological explication I’ve read of the consequences of the choices made in the band’s instrumentation and personnel, a photo of a couple in the audience who first met at the 1970 Leonard Cohen Leeds University concert, a comparison of the 1989 Leonard Cohen-Sonny Rollins production of “Who By Fire” with the 2012 concert version featuring Javier Mas, a Serge Gainsbourg reference, a pre-concert Hallelujah solo in a train terminal, and still more.
Don’t miss reading this gem of insight set in polished prose: Extra! 5 Things Concerning Leonard Cohen in Paris by Martin Colyer.