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Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:15 am
by bigdee
Sad to hear Ms. Wu will not be in the band. Is Leonard planing to try to find another violin player? I really hope so as the violin really fits into his songs so nicely. I too would most like to see Raffi Hakopain but if I recall he moved back to his homeland in the early 1990's and disappeard from the public eye. In fact I remember Jarkko posting on the files in or around 2000 that Leonard was then looking for Raffi to work on the songs on TNS and if anyone knew where he was to contact Jarrko so he can forward the info to LC. TNS came out and there was no Raffi on it so I assumed he was never located. Like the previous poster I too was hopeful for the return of the 79-80 band when I saw the listing of the musicians on "The Faith". We later learned the music for that track was actually an outtake recorded in 1979 and was the original melody for the song "Lost Canadian" that was replaced by LC with the Mexican band when the track came out on Recent Songs. So as far as I know Raffi was never found and for all we know he may have already passed on. I have some videos of the 79-80 tour and to me he looked to be the oldest member of the band (including Leonard) by a good 10+ years. So since LC is 73 I would bet Raffi would be well into his 80's by now. Maybe Jarkko or someone else will be able to confirm any availble info on Raffi???
Bob Furgo was good on the 88/93 tours so maybe LC could get a hold of him. There's still 30 days until the first show which I think is more than enough time to have someone else learn the arrangments for the violin in the 20+/- songs that will be in the setlist.
Speaking of setlist, Jarrko any word on which songs the band have been rehearsing?? I hope they will have enough songs down to be able to change up the setlist a bit from night to night, especially in the cities where there are more than one show. Also now that we in the final month before the first show, any chance of getting a "2008 Tour Kick-off" countdown counter added to the files front page set to reach zero on May 11 at 8PM local time in Fredericton Canada? Just an idea.
Bigdee

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:59 am
by jarkko
Unfortunately several fine musicians of the "old" band were unable to join this tour band because of health issues - after all this tour will be extremely exhausting (just have a look at the schedule -- and the tour is going back and forth in Europe!).
- Leonard found Raffi soon after we posted the announcement, and they have had great time together.
- The track list remains a secret!

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:15 am
by Steve Wilcox
Here's hoping Ms. Wu's inability to participate is not due to circumstances of a serious nature.

I agree that Mr. Raffi Hakopian would likely be near or in his 80's and that he's not likely to be an option.

But like "bigdee" I would love to know if another violinist is being sought? It's a primary instrument in setting
the feel for much of Leonard's music.

Roby Lakatos - we need you now http://www.robylakatos.com/lakatos.html

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:29 pm
by Doctor Bob
Yes that's true

Leonard can't tour without a burning violin!

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:46 pm
by bigdee
Jarkko,
Thanks for the info on Raffi, glad to hear he was located. Still curious, do you have any idea of what his age is?? Sorry to hear others from the old band are ill. I had heard John was not doing too well these days but I've not heard a word on anyone else. Whoever they are I hope whatever illness kept them from joining the tour is nothing too serious. They'll be missed on this tour for sure. Any word on if L is looking for a replacement for Ms.Wu or is there going to be no violin on this tour? :(
Also wondering if there are any known radio broadcast/tv shows already planned for any of the shows? I do know from my ticket to the Montreal 6/23 show that that show is being recorded for TV, are there any others that you are aware of? Thanks again for all your hard work on this site over the years.
Dave AKA Bigdee

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:24 pm
by jarkko
Dave, I believe that the band is now ready & complete. I was very excited to hear that Sharon will join the group. During the past years I've had many discussions with my LC friends about how wonderful it would be to hear some of Ten New Songs live on stage, with great musicians. To be honest, I never believed that it would happen. Radio/TV issues are still shrouded in mystery, but I am sure everybody involved is very aware of the need of video material!

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:09 pm
by Steve Wilcox
To Jarkko's point about hearing selections from "Ten New Songs" performed live - the arrangements on "Ten New Songs" & "Dear Heather" - which have never been performed live - do not require the violin. Besides, the calibre of musicians in this band, and with the number of intruments they play, they can cover for anything that might be missing from the original recordings.

As much as I hope the set list contains selections from the entire 40 year career, it does make sense that Leonard would want to showcase these last two albums as he never toured them. And there might be a good reason for that. These albums (Dear Heather for sure) were not likely part of the catalogue Leonard sold. It might be more profitable for him when copies of these recordings are sold.

Here in Canada every news article about the tour includes the following statement - "Cohen will be performing songs from an upcoming release". Now we do hear there is an album in the works but I don't know where the info comes from that these songs will be performed on the tour.

People's connection with music is primarily one of nostalgia and familiarity. Personally, no matter how big a fan I am of a performer I don't typically want to hear unfamiliar material for the first time in concert. I like to learn it from the recordings and then know it well at the concert. With Leonard this is doubly true because knowing the lyrics is paramount. Maybe it's just me but I hope the set list isn't largely composed of new material. I suspect the media has taken two facts - there is a tour and there will be a new album - and simply married them. Surely Leonard knows which songs his fans want to hear.

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:35 pm
by brokenhill
In the original posting Javier Mas was down as - acous. guitar, oud & misc string instrument.

While I tend to think the original recognition that the band needs a top specialist violin was correct lets hope Javier is able to fill the gap.

While there might be 10 new songs I'd like to hear there are definitely 10 OLD songs that would be pale shadows without a superb violin.

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:54 pm
by Steve Wilcox
The young man in this video could be up to speed quickly - and Javier Mas would know him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWtWE-VHfRk

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:31 am
by Rabbit
May I suggest Alison Krauss as a replacement for Christine? She's a mean fiddler and I have fallen head-over-heels in love with her. I recommend her wholeheartedly. Of course you'd have to pull her off her own tour with Robert Plant, but that would free him up to take part in that much-desired Led Zeppelin reunion tour.

There! I've always wondered how I might slip a mention of Led Zeppelin into the Leonard Cohen forum.

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Mon May 19, 2008 8:51 am
by jarkko
Neil Larsen's website (info about his album "Orbit") at http://www.straightaheadrecords.com/sou ... _ford.html

Re: LEONARD'S TOUR BAND

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:07 am
by DrDeborahBarry
The band is as amazing as Leonard is. If Leonard himself weren't singing, it would STILL be an outstanding concert.

Of course, Leonard himself IS singing. (words aren't needed here)

~Deborah
Dr Deborah Barry