A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
bene449
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by bene449 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:42 am

Interesting that so many of you want to give your collections to these libraries when you pass away. Considering that these places only accept items of historical importance, i think a new thread would be a great idea where you could showcase your historically important items. This is a genuine request as i am always interested in what people have managed to accumulate.
bene449
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by bene449 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:53 am

I have contacted the following, as promised, regarding the future of these reels. I will let you know the outcome.

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
120 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A5
416-978-6107

Director - Richard Landon (416) 978-6107
Email - richard.landon@utoronto.ca

I don't have the time to contact every archive, so feel free to contact them yourself. If any of them is interested and wants to discuss it further, please pass their details on to me. There is not a lot of time left as the reels go on sale soon. So far, I have had 82 emails from fans who want to be informed as soon as the reels are on sale.
bene449
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by bene449 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:58 pm

As promised, I contacted the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
where Leonard's memorabilia is kept. I haven't received a reply from them and can only assume the collection is too big for them to handle; I saw it a few days ago and it takes up half a normal garage to store.
I have received no contact from anyone who is willing to buy the collection in its entirety, and no prices have been discussed. I have had plenty of contact from individual collectors who want to buy one or 2 reels.
Unless someone contacts me soon on vince@leonardcohencafe.co.uk , then the collection will be sold off to the collectors. Steven Machat has been very generous in allowing me time to get someone to take the whole collection, but i have been unsuccessful.
bene449
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by bene449 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:23 pm

this is a description of the history behind these reels:

Originally made in 1972 and directed by celebrated British filmmaker Tony Palmer, Bird On A Wire follows Leonard Cohen on his 1972 European tour and contains 17 classic performances, four poems and tour footage. After massive re-editing, although not by Palmer, it was released in 1974, had a very limited run and then “disappeared’. Like many films from the era it was thought that the original version had been lost, but in 2009, 294 rolls of film were discovered containing much of the original rushes and soundtrack of the 1972 film. Palmer was able to restore much of this footage and it is now available on DVD for the first time.
“In 2009, 294 cans of film were unearthed in a warehouse in Hollywood thanks to Steve Machat, son of the film’s original producer, mostly in rusted up cans that sometimes had to be hammered open. These cans were then shipped to me by, of all people, Frank Zappa’s manager. I believed at first that nothing could be salvaged. The cans did not contain the negative (still lost); some of the prints were in black & white; and much of it had been cut to pieces and/or scratched beyond use. But when I finally opened one box and found most of the original sound dubbing tracks, I knew we had a hope of putting the jigsaw back together,” said Palmer. ”So now, taking full advantage of the latest digital technology, this is what we have done, piece by almost 3,000 tiny pieces, slowly and painstakingly. It has taken months and months, and probably has cost more than the original filming, and although it’s by no means perfect, it’s very close now to the original.
“Now, looking back after 38 years, my admiration for Cohen as a poet, a singer and as a man, remains undiminished,” Palmer states. “The original film was made with love, and I hope that quality once again shines through the restored film.”

Tony Palmer is one of the leading directors of music documentaries and historical drama films in the world. His vast filmography of over 100 films ranges from early works with The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa (200 Motels), to the famous portraits with and about Walton, Britten, Stravinsky, Maria Callas, John Osborne, Margot Fonteyn and Menuhin. His acclaimed 1977 realist documentary on the vibrant Northern Soul music club The Wigan Casino was recently released on DVD and received staggering reviews throughout the UK including coverage in The Express, The Guardian, The Times, Mojo and Uncut.
He has collected over 40 international prizes for his work.

Bird On A Wire includes unique live performances of the following Leonard Cohen songs: ‘Avalanche’, ‘Suzanne’,’ Tonight Will Be Fine’, ‘Passing Through’, ‘Sisters of Mercy’, ‘Who By Fire?’, ‘Story of Isaac’, ‘One Of Us Can't Be Wrong’, ‘The Partisan’, ‘Chelsea Hotel’, ‘Nancy’, ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, ‘Bird On A Wire’, and more...
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Mabeanie1
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by Mabeanie1 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:44 pm

bene449 wrote:As promised, I contacted the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library where Leonard's memorabilia is kept. I haven't received a reply from them and can only assume the collection is too big for them to handle;

Steven Machat has been very generous in allowing me time to get someone to take the whole collection, but i have been unsuccessful.
You may be right but I personally think it is a little early to assume that the Thomas Fisher library does not want the collection. As an academic institution it may very well be that they have only just returned after the holidays and are still catching up on mail, especially as you have not yet received any reply from them. If they are going to decline the collection for reasons of space or otherwise, I would expect them to do just that, rather than simply not reply. Given the stated importance of the collection, I am sure Steven Machat would rather keep it intact if he can and will be prepared to wait a week or two longer to allow the library time to reply.

Wendy
bene449
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by bene449 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:18 pm

Thanks, Wendy, for your reply.

Steve Machat has been very reasonable and will discuss any offers which i receive. Although the PR firm, which has been instructed to carry out the international press/tv publicity for this sale, and my website (leonardcohencafe), are already preparing for this sale, Steve can stop this at any time if he receives a reasonable offer. The various archives etc still have time to contact me on vince@leonardcohencafe.co.uk but they should realise that Steve can't be expected to hold on forever. They have had my email for 3 weeks now and i do not believe that someone running a business doesn't check their emails for this long.

As soon as one reel is sold, it means the whole collection is broken up for ever. The various players involved know this and are welcome to phone me etc at any time of day or night. You forget that I am a fan also, but if no-one comes up with a reasonable offer, these reels will go on sale. I am experienced in selling LC merchandise and i am confident that these reels will sell out. Some of these reels are priceless (home movies of LC and original recordings of concerts in Stockholm, Dublin, Paris, Royal Albert Hall/London etc etc).
Advance details of the sale will go on Leonardcohencafe website shortly.

Regards,

Vince
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FOXWOOD
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by FOXWOOD » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:49 pm

Companies known as land bankers buy cheap farmland near built-up areas, usually for no more than £5,000 an acre, even though it is zoned as green belt and has no planning permission for development. They then repackage the land into small parcels, sometimes of only a tenth of an acre, which are sold at up to 20 times their original purchase price.

"Be incredibly wary," says Justin Gaze of property consultancy Knight Frank, which works with developers to identify locations for homes. "I've never known one of these plots to be redesignated. In fact, splitting sites into tiny plots 'sterilises' the land. Developers want large sites, not tiny plots."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/au ... nvestments

5. The cost of the reels will be £1000 each and £30 for postage/insurance. They will be sold through http://www.leonardcohencafe.co.uk , the biggest retailer of Leonard Cohen items on the internet. Collectors can pay the £1000 or, if they prefer, 10 months at £100 per month (plus an admin charge of £50).

"6. Some of these reels are of particular high value and will attract special attention from collectors. (See photos above of reels with recordings of concerts in Jerusalem and Dublin) These are the 4 reels of home movies and numerous original sound recordings, both multi-track and 1/4", of the following concerts:

Jerusalem, Stockholm, Dublin, Paris, Royal Albert Hall/London.
We are open to offers on these valuable reels. Please contact me on vince@leonardcohencafe.co.uk if you are interested in the home movies or the original sound recordings."

"7.The reels will go on sale on 22 Jan 2011 for a time of 1 month. Buyers must buy as soon as possible, due to only 294 reels being available. At the end of one month, there will be a lottery to see which reel the collector has been allocated. This is to prevent everyone trying to buy the most valuable reels."


£1000 Seems a lot for a lottery ticket when the top prizes have been sold off before the draw!
Royal Albert Hall London 1988, Manchester Opera House 18th June 2008,
Manchester Arena 30th Nov 2008, Weybridge 11th July 2009,
Lissadell House 31st July 2010, Dublin 11th & 12th September 2012, London O2 21st June 2013,
Manchester Arena 31st Aug 2013,Leeds 7th September 2013
bene449
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by bene449 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:02 am

I may have confused everyone so I have reworded the description on www.leonardcohencafe.co.uk
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Mabeanie1
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by Mabeanie1 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:36 pm

It looks as if the collection has been broken up. I had understood that the reels would go on sale in the third week of January but one has already been listed
on eBay before the second week is out:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/leonard-cohen-Ori ... 53e5afb52a

Anyone with a spare £20,000?

Wendy
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Maarten
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by Maarten » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:07 pm

... disappointed ...

2008 Manchester | Bruges | Amsterdam | London | 2x Brussels | Rotterdam |2x London
2009 New York | Cologne | Antwerp | Venice | Colmar | Barcelona | Las Vegas | San José
2010 Salzburg | 2x Sligo | Helsinki | 3x Ghent | Lille | 2x Las Vegas
2012 5x Ghent | 2x A'dam | Helsinki | Dublin | Verona | 3x Paris | Lisboa
2013 Paris | Antwerp | Oberhausen | Brussels | Pula | Rotterdam | Amsterdam | 2x Wellington | Auckland
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Mabeanie1
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by Mabeanie1 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:25 pm

... but maybe not surprised ...
bene449
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by bene449 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:54 am

The collection has not been split up yet. The ad is asking for any bids above £2000 in the description, read the bit where it says "or best offer".
There has been one formal offer, via Ebay, to the ad and it is being considered, but the chances are it will be rejected. The person who made the bid has been informed of this by phone, and they are considering their options.

I am surprised that no-one is asking why all these archives/universities are not even showing an interest in taking control of this collection. As in my previous post, I contacted the people some of you mentioned but had no replies. I was even asked to wait till the holiday period was finished, which i have done, and still no replies.

It may be sad to see the collection broken up, but what is the alternative? You are welcome to contact anyone you wish and ask them to email me and i will discuss the possibilities with them.
Steven Machat is a very reasonable man and I will take any suggestions to him. My email is vince@leonardcohencafe.co.uk
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Mabeanie1
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by Mabeanie1 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:16 am

bene449 wrote:I am surprised that no-one is asking why all these archives/universities are not even showing an interest in taking control of this collection. As in my previous post, I contacted the people some of you mentioned but had no replies.
Vince

This is all pure speculation on my part but I think you are expecting too much. Universities, libraries and archives are unlikely to be able to respond to your approach regarding the collection within a relatively short time scale. Even if they are being offered the collection for free (and I'm guessing this is not the case) there are cost implications to consider. It probably involves putting a case together on whether to accept or purchase a collection for some sort of committtee to make a decision. They will presumably need to consider such things as costs vs the importance of the collection. Any business would need to go through the same process albeit a commercial organisation might be able to respond more quickly under delegated authorities etc, depending upon the amounts involved and the level at which director's authorities have been set. Unless the library is being offered the collection for free, we must be talking about a pretty hefty sum of money (£300,000 + ?? for 294 reels?) so a quick response, even maybe a "no thank you", seems unlikely.

Wendy
Last edited by Mabeanie1 on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
pironi
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by pironi » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:31 am

Hey, this topic makes me smile. The sellers seem not to have any sense of relativity. Who the heck would pay 20000 pounds, or 2000, or anything at all, for an old reel that can not be watched with today's equipment (not even yesterday's). I am pretty sure that the best footage is already in the film itself. I understand that a rare first edition of a book, perhaps even signed, might be a genuine collectible for hard-core fans, but such an old reel certainly isn't. Don't rack your brains over something like this!
Pietro.
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Laura
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Re: A part of history for sale (Bird on a Wire)

Post by Laura » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:37 am

£1000 ??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laura
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