So long Leonard...

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
mery77
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:36 pm

So long Leonard...

Postby mery77 » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:16 pm

Hello, here's a letter I wrote to Leonard Cohen regarding his tour, but I don't have any address to mail this to so I post it here. If you support what I say in the letter (or if even not) please reply. Thank you.

Dear Mr. Cohen

I'm a huge fan of yours, and I know that you'll probably never read this letter yet still I feel that it's necessary to say what I carry for so long.

You say that you have a strong connection to Judaism and Israel, yet you've been to Israel on tour only once, during a war...
I wasn't born yet then, and it's my dream to see your performance (as you can understand I'm Israeli) and I don't have enough money to go abroad.

For the man who wrote hallelujah (Praise the lord in Hebrew) and explored the Judaism and Hebrew language it's a must to perform at Israel, even if not on a regularly base. It's like a small irony how you groom your Judaism faith (for example the sign of the Shield of David made out of hearts) yet still deny touring in Israel.
I at least, thought that you had a strong connection to Judaism and maybe one day you'll come to the holly land, but now I'm starting to doubt what I believed so deeply.
You see, you're my role model. I even write poems and songs thanks to your inspiration.

I accepted your decisions to skip Israel.
Until this summer, you've clamed that you want to perform a single show in Israel. I was so happy! So excited! But when I read that you're not coming, my heart broke. I just had a family tragedy and it's your music that helped me threw it. Can you imagine the feeling Mr. Cohen?

Now, it's probably your final tour... and I cry. I cry that I won't be able to see you on stage. I cry that I won't be able to hear you sing "hallelujah" "Closing time", "Last year's man" etc. for the last time.
What Can I possibly say?
So long Leonard….

Sincerely,
Loyal fan (sorry can't post my name in the internet…)
yhtrownu
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby yhtrownu » Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:49 am

From what I've read, it's a question of the Israeli promoter accepting he can fill a big venue, rather than shoe-horning him into a place too small. It will happen, and he will come, I hope. I mean, it's becoming obvious that this tour is so wonderful it can fill big venues multiple times.

Even if his connection to the Jewish faith is ambiguous (after all, I doubt the religion accepts that the broken hallelujah is the equal of the holy one), I have no doubt that his connection to the Jewish people, and the people of Israel, is strong.

Best wishes. :)
Manchester, June 18 2008
Manchester, June 19 2008
London O2, July 17 2008
London O2, November 14 2008
Royal Albert Hall, November 17 2008
Mercedes Benz World, Weybridge, July 11 2009
loulou
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 4:31 pm
Location: london, uk

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby loulou » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:03 pm

Mery,
i am very moved by your plight , i can completely understand your sadness (i had what seemed the impossible wish of seeing leonard before i die, and then to get that close, but still miss out, seems so much to bear).

so lets see what could be done. first of all, lets see if the door is definitely shut on performing in Israel. maybe Jarkko can assist with clarifying this when he has a chance and he is back from his travels. as we heard, the tour management did not find a local promoter to get involved with the kind of size venue, they had in mind. but even if plan a did not work, maybe there will another plan from our man, based on other considerations. i did feel that the decision to have those wonderful shows in manchester were based on other things, then what the plan was from the tour management (i personally don't KNOW the details, but it appears like that to me).

once we know about the above, and if it is not good news, and there is definitely no show in Israel, well maybe it is easier to get you to a show in Europe to see Leonard, then to get him to you :D

i would be happy to support you with a donation towards the cost of your travel, and i would not be surprised at all if some others one here felt the same,even if it is a bunch of us contributing the price of a bottle of wine. maybe someone has some airmiles they would be happy to donate ? i don't have all the answers but a with a bit of creativity, sticking together and spreading Leonards love, i feel really sure YOU (with some support from us) can MAKE IT HAPPEN !

don't give up hope. please do let us know if you would accept our support if the need arises, please don't be shy. it would be a reward in itself to help put a smile on your face and get you to experience this magic, just like so many of us lucky ones have so far (and will in the future). it is only fair ! :D

(feel free to pm me - see button on the right )

lots of love from london !
desire the horse
depression the cart
User avatar
Bela
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: London

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby Bela » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:58 pm

Hi, Mery!

I understand your sadness and frustration. I too thought I would never see LC on stage (and I've been a fan for 40 years) - and then it happened last Thursday!

I believe even very famous artistes do not have complete control over what they do or don't do. Their 'managers' do. Haven't you heard LC joke recently that he was being 'sent around the world like a postcard'? That says to me he doesn't hold the reins: someone else does. Let's hope they find a suitable venue for him in your lovely country (I have family in Israel and they too would love to hear him sing live).
yhtrownu wrote:Even if his connection to the Jewish faith is ambiguous (after all, I doubt the religion accepts that the broken hallelujah is the equal of the holy one), I have no doubt that his connection to the Jewish people, and the people of Israel, is strong.
I don't think his connection to the Jewish faith is ambiguous at all, yhtrownu. He has repeatedly said that he hadn't been looking for another religion when he went to Mt Baldy. I heard him say it myself at the Barbican last year, when someone again asked him something about being a Buddhist; he also said it in the course of an interview with Mark Lawson on BBC Radio 4: 'I had a perfectly good religion; I wasn't looking for another one.'. I think, in fact, he gets quite annoyed when people go on and on about his supposed 'conversion' to Buddhism. I also seem to remember that I read somewhere he kept Shabbos (had a special meal on Friday night, etc.). That doesn't sound 'ambiguous' to me.
London O2 Arena 17 July (with binoculars)
London RAH 17 November (without binoculars)
Rodin
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:10 pm

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby Rodin » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:12 pm

I have it on good authority that Leonard will play in Israel when they stop persecuting the West Bank Arabs.
So instead of writing to a Canadian Jew who happens to sing songs why don't you write to or agitate against the people in power in your own country.
Misunderstood
yhtrownu
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby yhtrownu » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:59 am

Bela wrote: "he also said it in the course of an interview with Mark Lawson on BBC Radio 4: 'I had a perfectly good religion; I wasn't looking for another one.'. I think, in fact, he gets quite annoyed when people go on and on about his supposed 'conversion' to Buddhism. I also seem to remember that I read somewhere he kept Shabbos (had a special meal on Friday night, etc.). That doesn't sound 'ambiguous' to me."
Bela, you might be right. I have no doubt Leonard is not a Buddhist, despite "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in," seemingly being a Buddhist principle. When Leonard says "forget your perfect offering," that implies, in my opinion, a degree of rejection of all dogmatic religious principles.

When Leonard suggests that David's artistic composition for God (in verse 1 of Hallelujah) is no better or worse than his adultery with Bathsheba (in verse 2 of Hallelujah) because "it doesn't matter which you heard, the holy or the broken hallelujah (verse 3)," I take that to be an outright rejection of religious dogma, which condemns physical communion outside of marriage.

Leonard's statement that "I wasn't looking for another [religion]" could easily be read as meaning he is not looking for another because they are all so unattractive and dogmatic, that he certainly wouldn't want another one.

His statement "I had a perfectly good religion" might be completed with the implied statement "as far as they go." He may well enjoy Shabbat as a useful ritual, that organises life in communion with others, while not accepting one word of the religious principles that go with it. Lots of people indulge in rituals for this reason, even if they find religious belief a stretch (I include myself in this). That perspective would be bolstered by the statement he also made that his religious search was "futile and useless," something he said back when "The Future" came out. His concert joke that the meaning of life is "da do dum dum" is further evidence that he is unconvinced, and urbanely amused, by the assertions of any organised religion, and instead looks to humour and art to alleviate the weight of existence.

I may be wrong in all this, but when something may be right or wrong, and you can't definitively put your finger on the answer, isn't that the very meaning of "ambiguous?"

By the way, congrats on persevering with Ticketmaster, and getting yourself that BK 106 ticket. I was worried you would suffer in the Gods, given your earlier expressed fear of heights. And how wonderful you enjoyed the concert, despite the odd beer drinker, hot dog gobbler, and overinsistent security people. :)
Manchester, June 18 2008
Manchester, June 19 2008
London O2, July 17 2008
London O2, November 14 2008
Royal Albert Hall, November 17 2008
Mercedes Benz World, Weybridge, July 11 2009
User avatar
Bela
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: London

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby Bela » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:12 pm

The slightly exasperated way he answered that person at the Barbican and Mark Lawson on the radio made it quite clear, to me at least (also to the person I was with) that he meant it as, 'I was a Jew; I'm still a Jew; I haven't rejected my heritage.' I myself don't believe in any kind of deity, but I call myself a Jew and would never deny my background, because being Jewish is not just about religion.

We may have to agree to disagree, yhtrownu, on what LC actually has in mind on the subject. :-)

Yes, I enjoyed the concert tremendously - in spite of everything. I looked up to where my original seat would have been and got cold shivers down my back. LOL!
London O2 Arena 17 July (with binoculars)
London RAH 17 November (without binoculars)
User avatar
MarieM
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:36 am
Location: Michigan, USA
Contact:

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby MarieM » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:00 am

I understand completely how much fans want Leonard to come to their country and their city. It is terribly sad to think that anyone will be denied a chance to see Leonard. The amazing reviews his concerts have received promise memories for a lifetime and no one wants to miss out on this. However, on this tour, Leonard has yet to visit, or be scheduled to visit, Asia, Australia, South America, or the United States, the country that has been his temporary home for decades. So, I think it is a bit unfair to suggest that Israel's failure to make the schedule yet is some kind of litmus test of Leonard's dedication to his Jewish faith. There are many factors that enter into where and when Leonard is able to perform and many of these factors are not in Leonard's control. We don't know that he hasn't made a concert in Israel a priority but that the details just won't come together. We just don't know. So until the entire tour unfolds, all we can do is be patient, save our funds and hope that we will be able to see him if he comes close enough.
Marie
Speaking Cohen

http://www.speakingcohen.com
yhtrownu
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby yhtrownu » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:33 am

lol Bela, I also looked back and got shivers thinking what it would have been like for you there. I scanned the crowd and imagined you in 106 and hoped you were having a good time. :)

As far as the other thing, lol, we are in complete agreement. What you just said is what I originally said, a fuller and clearer statement of it. So thanks. :)

And as far as this thread goes, I wish I could be in Tel Aviv when Leonard plays there! However, my spending is out of control, and I've got to draw the line. I've just got to, or that credit crunch is going to crunch me to bits. If the Albert Hall comes up, that's another matter entirely, though. . .
Manchester, June 18 2008
Manchester, June 19 2008
London O2, July 17 2008
London O2, November 14 2008
Royal Albert Hall, November 17 2008
Mercedes Benz World, Weybridge, July 11 2009
User avatar
Bela
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: London

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby Bela » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:01 pm

yhtrownu wrote:lol Bela, I also looked back and got shivers thinking what it would have been like for you there. I scanned the crowd and imagined you in 106 and hoped you were having a good time. :)

As far as the other thing, lol, we are in complete agreement. What you just said is what I originally said, a fuller and clearer statement of it. So thanks. :)

And as far as this thread goes, I wish I could be in Tel Aviv when Leonard plays there! However, my spending is out of control, and I've got to draw the line. I've just got to, or that credit crunch is going to crunch me to bits. If the Albert Hall comes up, that's another matter entirely, though. . .
You did? How sweet of you! I could visualize myself struggling to reach my seat and freezing halfway up (it was at the back, I think): I have as much trouble going up steep stairs/ladders than going down them. Or managing to do it and then not being able to leave my seat – ever! Not good.

Re. The difficulty of working out exactly where one’s seat was: I was looking at the plan below yesterday (thinking... maybe... 13th November... you know... if I got some money from somewhere... and where would I aim for if I could choose...) when I realized that in fact my partner and I were not sitting in BK 106 after all. Our tickets say BK 106, Row GG, Seat 168 and 169. According to the plan, BK 106 is central, so we felt rather foolish when, after looking for our seats in that portion of the auditorium, we realized that the numbers were taking us to the side. We were rather puzzled by that b/c we both remembered what it looked like on the plan. We wondered how we could have been so wrong. Well, I understood it yesterday: we were in BK 105 (approx. where I’ve drawn a little arrow). I didn’t notice it then, but I can see now clearly that the first seat in BK 105 is 166 (and we were indeed two seats in from the side; and we had the straight aisle/stairs to our right and the sideways one to our left). How come our tickets said BK 106?! As it turned out, those seats were fantastic and we were in a small ‘oasis’ of respectful music lovers, but it's not right, is it?

Image
I can't really afford to attend another concert either, yhtrownu, (hey, you've been to three, you lucky thing!) so I can sympathize.
London O2 Arena 17 July (with binoculars)
London RAH 17 November (without binoculars)
User avatar
Womanfromaroom
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:25 pm
Location: Germany

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby Womanfromaroom » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:58 pm

Rodin wrote:I have it on good authority that Leonard will play in Israel when they stop persecuting the West Bank Arabs.
So instead of writing to a Canadian Jew who happens to sing songs why don't you write to or agitate against the people in power in your own country.
Dear Rodin,

no hard feelings, BUT:
If I am not mistaken, what you are suggesting is this: Leonard Cohen - someone who, as far as I know, has always had and expressed too strong a concern for Israel in order to be regarded as "just" a random "Canadian Jew who happens to sing songs" (what a strangely diminishing way of desribing him in this forum of all places, by the way), is not going to give a concert in Israel because the Israeli government is persecuting the West Bank Arabs. So mery77, if she wants to listen to him nevertheless, should convince the leading politicians of her country to please stop being so evil, and then Leonard is immediately going to perform there?
Excuse me, but first of all, this sounds at best naive to me; and even if I am not sure that this is the right place for a political discussion, it was you who has headed off in this direction, so there are at least some doubts I would like to express and some questions I would like to ask about what you have brought up:
a) When you say that "the West Bank Arabs" are persecuted (as opposed to, say, the Israeli population in Sderot, you seem to imply? What are they, if not persecuted? Or those attacked by suicide bombers? But I will leave this particular line of argument aside now), what exactly do you mean? I mean, you say that Leonard is not going to play for people persecuting the West Bank population; however, he would not play for the settlers (who would probably have no interest in him, his messages and his music, anyway), but for the Cohen fans all over the country; isn't it a bit of an insult to imply that "they", without any differentiations, are all to the same extent responsible for the acts of "persecution", as you call them? How do you know that mery77 is not a part of the "Peace Now!" or a similar movement already if you suggest she should agitate against the people in power in her home country? And even if this should not be the case: I do not know where you come from, but do you identify with every line of politics in your country? How would you have reacted if Leonard would have chosen to boycott, say, France or Germany because of growing Anti-Semitism, America or Great Britain for their war in Iraq, and so on? You would surely find good reasons for such acts of protests whereever you chose to look closely enough, not just in Israel!! What you say, therefore, sounds a bit over-simplistic and self-righteous to me...
b) But even more importantly: If you say that you "have it on good authority that Leonard will play in Israel when they (!) stop persecuting the West bank Arabs" - what "good authority" would that be? As a Historian, forgive me if I say that I tend to recognise unspecific sources or far-fetched arguments when I see them; and this, sorry to say so, seems to be one. If you don't want to make public who it is you are quoting, feel free to email me in private and I'll be happy to acknowledge - without going into the details - that you have indeed derived your information from a reliable origin; but only then!
As I said earlier, no offence meant, but this seemed to be quite necessary...
Last edited by Womanfromaroom on Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"You thought that it could never happen / to all the people that you became"...
Love Calls You By Your Name
User avatar
Bela
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: London

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby Bela » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:51 am

Womanfromaroom, Rodin is what is called, in Internet parlance, a 'troll'. I'm sure all of us who contributed to this thread could have answered him the way you did, but I think we all (I know I did although I was itching to) deliberately refrained from answering him because that would have been 'feeding the troll'. In my experience, it doesn't work.

Still, I appreciate what you wrote, and agree with it. :-)
London O2 Arena 17 July (with binoculars)
London RAH 17 November (without binoculars)
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby tomsakic » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:39 am

Yeah, this discussion could go in a wrong direction, so please do not go that way :)


mery77, Israeli shows which were rumoured - the guilty one is not Leonard Cohen, and that has to do nothing with the things you mentioned. It's only a market - the local promoters and tour agency didn't made a deal (be it because of prices, tickets, halls, venues, or equipment can't be brought there with reasonable costs, whatever), and that's the way it is. That's why Leonard Cohen's Management doesn't like that tour negotiations leak to the press, because it's only the negotiations, and then the fans are dissapointed, like now in Israel or as they were in Romania in June. Maybe Israeli shows, with costs of getting all the tour buses and trucks there from European tour, simply couldn't pay out themselves. I can give you one reason mentioned in one newspaper here, re: LC tour - the two venues should be no more than 400 km in distance for the show to be marketable, otherwise the logistics and transport are too expensive. At least one venue had big problems because of that, but it was too late to cancel the show (Benicassim).


PS. Leonard toured Israel at least twice, in 1972 and 1980 tours (plus his singing for the army in Sinai war).
mery77
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:36 pm

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby mery77 » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:24 pm

Thank you all for your replies but you are missing the point. I'm sad that he's not going to perform in Israel, I spoke to high sources and it's because of lack of sponsorships. He demands a price that they aren't willing to pay! As I said, it is his last tour and if he's so connected to Judaism and Israel (and Jewish people) - he sings Hallelujah etc. that talk about the Jews and God, he should perform even one show not for money, for his soul - even if his profits aren't high.

He's won't not performing because of his political reception, and Rodin no matter what Israel won't change the way they act just so LC will come to Israel, because it's risking the death of civilians.

And dear Tom Sakic, I know he performed in Israel in 1972 and 1980 even once for a low price - I wasn't born back then....
flusk
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:11 am

Re: So long Leonard...

Postby flusk » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:14 am

Agree with you 100% I'm from Israel too and nothing worked not the petitions, nothing. We'll have to see the show on our imagination

Return to “The Summer Tour 2008”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest