I've been debating whether I should post anything about this, & I regret that I have to say the things I'm about to say, but I decided that it should be said.
I'll start with the part that's not so terrible. It's always great to see clips of Leonard Cohen in any form & since I own many "rare clips", I didn't necessarily expect to see much that would be new to me, & that was the case, & that is okay. But the performance clips I own are actually of better quality, visually & sound-wise, than the clips Bill Shelley showed. The sound quality was particularly bad - & in addition to the quality itself being poor, the volume kept changing - going in & out. There were, however, some great close-ups that are not in the versions I have, so that was a perk. There was only one short clip that I don't remember having seen before, from 1974 - but no info was given as to where that performance was given, & it couldn't have been from the tour because there were different back-up vocalists, so maybe it was a tv show, I don't know - & I didn't ask, & you'll know why I didn't ask when you read my next paragraph.
As for the Q&A, if it wasn't so disturbing & shocking, not to mention disrespectful, it would be hilarious. Bill Shelley is apparently totally ignorant as to anything regarding Leonard Cohen, & he obviously didn't even try to learn anything in preparation for this program. For instance (& this was the worst one), when someone asked if Leonard has children & if any of them are musical, Shelley responded: "Leonard Cohen has a bunch of children from several marriages"
And he didn't even mention Adam. Even though we had already seen at least 3 different pairs of female backup singers in the videos shown, when an audience member asked if the same female singers had been with Leonard throughout his career, Shelley said, "Yeah, they stayed with him, they've been with him all along". Shelley also said that Leonard has been living in Greece for 50 years & that he was born in Calgary. It would take too long to mention all the lies that Shelley disseminated during the Q&A (thank goodness it was only about 15-20 min. long). An audience member mentioned Sylvie's biography & Shelley had never heard of it, & didn't even know the title of it. I didn't have the heart to correct everything he said, & as you can see, I would have had to stand up & correct him every second of the way, & that just didn't seem like the proper thing to do at the time; maybe I have to apologize for that, but I was also kind of paralyzed & speechless by the shock of what he was saying. I did, however, quietly give some correct info to people sitting near me.
Given that Bill Shelley obviously didn't know anything about Leonard, I think it would have been better to not have a Q&A at all. He only showed one very short interview clip, & given the fact that there is so much great interview footage in existence, I think the Q&A time would have been better spent showing more interview footage.
The best part of the evening was meeting a woman in the audience who had recently discovered Leonard, & I could tell from the way she spoke that she was really connecting & completely awed by the exprience; & it was like getting a little glimpse of a magnificent awakening or rebirth - like watching a new birth in progress - a whole new world opening up to her - & that is really something wondrous to behold! That alone made the evening worthwhile & because of that, I'm glad I was there. We only had a very brief encounter, & I didn't get her name or anything, so even though she will probably never see this, I have to thank her for allowing me to witness a tiny fraction her awesome awakening.
But really - I can't imagine any way, or anywhere, Shelley could have seen or heard the misinformation he was throwing out there, so my only guess is that he did no research at all, & was fabricating things as he went along
And he's calling himself a musical archivist & he's getting paid for this. . .???