Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:54 am

Jean, thanks for the videos - that looks like fun!

4 wrote: Has anyone read Layton's poetry? Can anyone suggest a book of his poems to buy?
Vickie wrote: I have seen tons of references to Layton in the biographies I am reading and wondered the same thing as you... which of his books would be a good introduction? Let's hope someone has a good suggestion.
Vickie and 4, I have one of his books called Collected Poems published in 1965 in Toronto. I bought it locally in a second hand shop for AU$3.00 marked down from AU$15.00. There are over 300 pages with a total of 385 poems covering a variety of subjects. Some are quite erotic.

IL-Collected-Poems.jpg

and ....... ;-)
vlcoats wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:09 am
PS- Are we to call you HRH B4 now?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtJNh4s2Hww :lol:

how-women-curtsy-and-men-bow-to-royalty.jpg
how women curtsy and men bow to royalty :razz:
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:40 am

Jean-
I could not make out the postcard but I tried. However the village and the surrounding countryside are beautiful. Where is it? Your horses are so calm and so willing to go wherever you want them to go. They must trust you. Thank you for the videos, they were very relaxing to watch. There's something about the clip-clopping of horses feet isn't there.

B4-
Thank you for your Layton poetry book suggestion. As for your video on proper courtly behavior, LOL, I wish I had seen that before my son's wedding. That's how he should have invited me onto the dance floor for the mother of the groom dance, right?

Vickie
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:25 am

It is fun, B4real. Provided there's a deep complicity between the two species.

We must trust each other, Vickie. Let horses (flight animals!) graze beside the road without impediment of any kind (as I do) is a thing never ever to be done...
My horses are calm because we do as much running as their nature requires.

And yes, the sound of bare hooves is soothing iron-shod hooves are a different matter.

The place is some 70 kilometres north of Marseille.

Here's the old postcard from the youtube video:
Postcard1.jpg
And here from the original video (couldn't stop it at the same place):
Postcard2.jpg
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Odds and Ends

Additional on "The Window" - My previous comments were so geared to the lyrics that I neglected to mention the real magnet that draws me to this song, the beautiful melody and violin accompaniment. Bev, you crushed me when you informed us that "Oh tangle of matter and ghost" is attributable to Rufi, not Leonard. That line just seems so much like Leonard's work.

Friend vs. Good Friend - Alan, now that's a funny joke, hilarious!

Jean's Video #4 - Beautiful village, beautiful scenic panorama, and beautiful horses, love the view of the white horse near the end (5:20). Is it coincidental that everyone posting here seems to be an animal lover (in the sense of a deeper commitment, not just, oh yeah, I like dogs/cats/horses/donkeys)? Or is this another aspect of the Cohen gene?

Vickie's Sunsets - The sky in those photos seems surreal, like the result of one of those old "paint by numbers" scenes. Lucky you, Vickie.

Munich Video - Thanks for posting that, Bev. The Leonard in that video is reminiscent of the Leonard in "Isle of Wight." And everyone looks so young, especially Sharon Robinson. At various times you see a young kid in the audience who seems a little bored, probably wishing he was seeing Van Halen or Dire Straits instead of Leonard. The version of "The Window" in this video seems to support a religious interpretation of the song rather than my unrequited love interpretation.

Irving Layton - Thanks for the book info, B4. I see it available in used condition on Amazon for about $20.00 US, and I am contemplating whether or not to purchase it.

Cohencentric - Allen, I am humbled by your kind words about this thread, thank you!

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:02 pm

Loving all of the posts! Jean, thank you for blowing up the postcard so I could see it. I think you are correct about the sound of bare footed vs shod horses. And 4, maybe you are right about the love of animals. I remember a story I read about Rufus Wainwright meeting Leonard for the first time. He said he found him in his kitchen feeding chewed up hotdog to a little baby bird he was attempting to rescue.

I hope everyone will forgive me if I interrupt our discussion on The Window to bring up the Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979 CD. (It does have The Window on it!)

I seem to recall someone suggesting quite some time ago that I listen to the live albums in conjunction with the others. This isn’t word for word, but our conversation went something like this:

“Why don’t you listen to the live albums as you go along?” they asked. “Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979 would be a good choice,” they suggested.
“Because I am going through all of the studio albums first,” she smugly replied, tossing her hair.
“Whatever you think is best,” they sighed, sagely sharing a sideways glance.

Haha. Okay, so I am not saying I was wrong in waiting to listen to the live albums, but now I see why you were anxious for me to listen to it!

I have to admit that I don’t usually care much for live albums. They don’t have the obvious visual attraction of a concert, the sound quality is sometimes off, and it’s annoying to listen to a song I love that has been drastically changed and not improved. But every once in a while, I hear a live album that really makes me wish I was there. This is definitely one! After B4 had talked it up so much, I was afraid it would be a letdown, especially with so many of my favorite songs on it, but as usual, she was right!

I loved it from the first song. In fact, Field Commander Cohen was better than the studio version in my opinion. I could feel the excitement in the room as the music marched up around it. By the way, where were these songs recorded? I didn’t see anything in the liner notes that said if they were all during one performance or throughout the tour (I would assume the latter?). Although in this first song, there was that weird segue into a couple lines about rum. What was that all about?

Our current subject, The Window, was beautiful as always. One thing strange about it though—I noticed there was no clapping or whoops of recognition as he started singing, like on the other songs. Maybe he mixed those out for this song or maybe he had already introduced it between songs and people whooped and clapped then.

I was really taken with this album. Any of the changes in cadence to the studio versions only served to add to its attraction. The violin and all of the instruments throughout were beautiful. The lyric changes in favorite songs like The Stranger were equally interesting. Seeing him live must have been spellbinding. His voice sounds so intimate, and the music is played so emotionally by everyone on the stage. I imagine the whole experience must have been truly awesome (the word belongs here, right 4?)

Memories… Although I have not been that fond of the DOALM album, this song is really growing on me. I saw snippets of him singing it in that film B4 shared the download links for. I remember being taken by the humor of it then. Now I am wondering if I should give DOALM another look, in case there is something else I have overlooked.

I loved how they played Why Don’t You Try on this album too, especially the silky background voice, the wind instrument, and the tinkling piano. I have always loved the lyrics on this one too. It’s one of those songs that makes you go, "Hmmm...".

But the track that stands out the most for me on this album is Lover Lover Lover. I have always liked this song. Of all the songs by Leonard that might cause me to dance about when I put them on, this is the one I have never been able to sit still for, even in the car. But this version… wow! I fell in love with it. I especially like the use of that stringed instrument (the oud?) as percussion instead of the drumming that was on the studio album, although that is what I love about that version too. Last night, I was listening to this live version on my headphones while I was painting the trim on the deck while Dave was cooking. I stopped and went in and said. “You HAVE to listen to this,” and gave him the headphones. He resignedly put them on. After a couple seconds; he suddenly stopped cooking, and I saw a surprised look on his face. Victory at last! Then he went back to his cooking, continuing to listen, but now nodding his head to the music. A couple minutes later when I came to retrieve my headphones, he shook his head no and held up his hand, “Not done.” When the song was over, he took them off and said; “Now THAT was really cool.” I thought for sure I had a convert, but then when I tried again with the song Field Commander Cohen, he just shrugged, “Yeah it was pretty good. Reminded me of Neil Diamond”. What? We don’t even listen to Neil Diamond! I will have to keep trying. Maybe the trip to Montreal will get him.

Speaking of Montreal, this live album has reminded why I am so excited to go. I am hoping the rumors are true and there is a concert of some sort. I read on the forum in the thread on Montreal that others have made negative comments about there being a possible tribute concert. I for one don’t care what kind of concert it is. Bring it on! If it is a tribute concert, a tribute concert isn’t for the fans anyway. It is for the artist, even though they are not physically there. It is for those close to him, those that he left behind, and most of all, it is a chance for everyone to honor him. It would not be for you this time. He has already given you so much. This would be for him. Okay, off my soap box. It will be fun to see what I might have in common with the other Leonard fans beyond just our excellent taste in music and poetry. I would assume we have other sensibilities in common, but what else? Maybe nothing else?

Thanks again for being there!
Vickie

edited to add a word I left out.
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:20 pm

Edit: Only just saw Vickies post published shortly before mine.

Thanks, It's4inthemorning!

I bought the Camargue (the white horse) when she was nine and a half months old, just separated from her mother. Ever since she's like a child of my own. And as should be (somewhat) visible at the place you mention, she's a deep fount of wisdom.
its4inthemorning wrote: Is it coincidental that everyone posting here seems to be an animal lover (in the sense of a deeper commitment, not just, oh yeah, I like dogs/cats/horses/donkeys)? Or is this another aspect of the Cohen gene?
It is another aspect of the Cohen gene.

Now in order not to be "off topic" all the time:
The Window is a prayer, as Leonard Cohen himself already says. What he doesn't say is, that it is the answer to a prayer, too:

"Oh bless thee continuous stutter
Of the word being made into flesh"

The enumeration of all kinds of opposites, of recipes of what to do about the present state of affairs (why not do this, why not do that; do this, do that...), it all is standing under this blessing of however that soul is and will be, and whomever it associates with.

This soul is blessed precisely as what it is, unconditionally.
"Gentle this soul" pronounces it to be "gentle", it is the word producing reality.
It is similar to the sufi "dhikr" (mention) of the name of Allah.
(And no, it's not strange that an atheist should say such things.)
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:29 pm

Jean Fournell wrote: This soul is blessed precisely as what it is, unconditionally.
"Gentle this soul" pronounces it to be "gentle", it is the word producing reality.
It is similar to the sufi "dhikr" (mention) of the name of Allah.
(And no, it's not strange that an atheist should say such things.)
I have been thinking of what you said about the quote regarding "gentle this soul". So he is not asking for help in finding peace, he is making the statement that his soul is gentle, and thereby it becomes so... Is that what you're saying? If so, I think I like that. I'm curious who is the atheist that you are speaking of?
Vickie
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:31 pm

Yes, Vickie,

this is what I'm saying. Except that it is not "his soul", but "this soul". Without saying whether it belongs to self or other.
And yes, thereby it becomes so. The "trick of the trade" in such matters is, that it's not "this soul is gentle", but "gentle this soul" without "is" or any other indication of passing time.

The atheist is me, and I always have been. This means, among other things, that I never had to fight myself free from any religion, contrary to so many people who have to in order to become their real selves, in spite of the indoctrination they underwent.
And thus I never had to adopt (nor go through) anti-theism, the opposite ideology, and just as unfortunate (like +1 and -1, instead of zero).

In my own eyes (which of course are the least qualified of all), I am a deeply religious man, but without postulating any divinities. Nor using them for my private schemes and calculations.

You wondered at the second of these lines by Leonard Cohen:

Listen to the mind of God
Which doesn’t need to be
Listen to the mind of God
Don’t listen to me.


Leonard Cohen's monotheism and my atheism are perfectly compatible. In lines like that, any such differences disappear.
It is meeting at the root of things.
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Hartmut
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Hartmut » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:54 pm

Hi Vickie,
vlcoats wrote: Although in this first song, there was that weird segue into a couple lines about rum. What was that all about?
It's a musical joke:

The line "working for the Yankee dollar" is a quote from the Andrews Sisters song "Rum and Coca Cola" (1945).

So LC decided to use a few more lines from that song as an interlude when performing "Field Commander Cohen" live.

He did that again during the concerts in 2012, by the way. You can hear it on the "Can't Forget" live album.

And here's the song in question:
"The Andrews Sisters - Rum and Coca Cola"
https://youtu.be/zGxL2uNr7bk?t=12s
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:51 am

Jean Fournell wrote:...In my own eyes (which of course are the least qualified of all), I am a deeply religious man, but without postulating any divinities. Nor using them for my private schemes and calculations.
Jean-
What an interesting take on it. I have met several people who claim to be atheists, but I often wonder if I have actually met any atheists at all. On the other hand, I guess a person can be religious while it may have nothing to do with G-d, just like a person can be romantic while it may have nothing to do with love.
Hartmut post wrote:It's a musical joke:
The line "working for the Yankee dollar" is a quote from the Andrews Sisters song "Rum and Coca Cola" (1945).
Ah ha! Thank you Hartmut for solving the mystery! And thank you for the original song link. I loved their cute little put-on accents (or at least I assume they were put on...)

Thank you both for posting!
Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:27 am

Hartmut, so nice to see your smiling face again!

4 wrote: love the view of the white horse near the end. Is it coincidental that everyone posting here seems to be an animal lover (in the sense of a deeper commitment, not just, oh yeah, I like dogs/cats/horses/donkeys)? Or is this another aspect of the Cohen gene?
Jean wrote: It is another aspect of the Cohen gene.
Yes, I’m an animal lover so it does seem to be in the DNA ....and for me, it appears they know that too ;-)
equine-curtsy-bow.jpg

Vickie wrote: I seem to recall someone suggesting quite some time ago that I listen to the live albums in conjunction with the others.
Hehe! Vickie, I love your description of our conversation! Yes, I knew you would love this particular album and everything always works out in the long run!
Vickie wrote: I have to admit that I don’t usually care much for live albums.
I had a friend who used to say that until she went with me to her first LC concert and then later heard that concert played back to her. It drastically changed her mind because she was instantly transported back to that unforgettable night. Funny how the sound of other people cheering and other noises wasn’t distracting anymore because she was one of them! And if I’m totally honest I can remember when that applied to me also!
Vickie wrote: By the way, where were these songs recorded? I didn’t see anything in the liner notes that said if they were all during one performance or throughout the tour (I would assume the latter?).
Sorry, I forgot to add this to the bottom of my previous list a couple of pages back -

Songs recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, on December 4, 5, 6, 1979; and at the Dome Theatre, Brighton, on December 15, 1979.
That’s the official listing - I think I can narrow it down a little but it’s still a gestimate :) Most seem to be from London. I think over half the songs come from London 6th – Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 11. Tracks 7 and 12 are London 4th or 5th. Tracks 5, 8 and 10 are London 4th or 5th or Brighton 15th...... Phew!

.... and I laughed out loud at the scenario with your husband and LC’s songs again!

4 wrote: Irving Layton - Thanks for the book info, B4. I see it available in used condition on Amazon for about $20.00 US, and I am contemplating whether or not to purchase it.
I actually only bought this book because of his association to Leonard. While there are some poems in it I like, I much prefer Leonard's. Seems I purchased this book at a bargain price too!
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:56 am

B4real post wrote:I’m an animal lover so it does seem to be in the DNA ....and for me, it appears they know that too ;-) equine-curtsy-bow.jpg
Loved that picture B4! You crack me up!

Regarding horses... I received my Little Black Songbook from Amazon, and today I was able to play The Ballad of the Absent Mare (Yes!).. at least in a fashoin. The chords are not difficult and the main requirements for the vocals is heart, so it is fun to play. I am certain my donkeys would love it. ;-) . My fingers are killing me right now though. I need to get some calluses going, lol.
Vickie
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AlanM
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby AlanM » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:58 pm

Hi Vickie,
I was wrong in waiting to listen to the live albums
Some time back, I recall you expressing envy at those of us blessed to have seen and heard Leonard live. Sadly I must confirm your feelings. There you are listening and watching Leonard Cohen (for goodness sake!) doing covers of Leonard Cohen songs! Could it get any better? Some arrangements are better than the studio version, some not quite up there and others that are equally good but just different in some way. But it is a wonderful experience. However the most amazing thing is that there are all these people around me watching Leonard just singing to me!
So ... the live albums and DVDs give some of the experience of the concerts, and to quote an old Irish expression from my youth, they are "the same. only different".

It is great to see that a few more people have been drawn in to comment. I would like to suggest that our next song for discussion, as it has been mentioned several times here, should be Ballad Of The Absent Mare.
I am particularly interested in Jean's comments and yours too, Vickie. From my limited experience with horses, I feel that as a city boy, Leonard was a very good observer of horses and particularly their relationship with man.
The song is one of the more obvious of Leonard's allegories replacing the woman/man with the human/equine one.
My favourite lines are:
And although she goes grazing a minute away
he tracks her all night he tracks her all day

Also
And she comes to his hand but she's not really tame
She longs to be lost he longs for the same

and
that love's like the smoke beyond all repair

Generally I'm not overly fond of covers of Leonard's songs, but there are 2 that stand out for me.
1. Jennifer Warnes did an excellent version - almost unplugged, just (mainly?) accompanied by a bass. Leonard rewrote the lyrics for the female human and male horse. It is named Ballad Of The Runaway Horse and the bass is played by Rob Wasserman. It featured on the re-release version of Jennifer's album Famous Blue Raincoat (Produced by Jennifer and Roscoe Beck). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74DYI51B94o
2. Perla Batalla sang it as a duet on her Bird On The Wire album - makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck when I hear it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TnU2UguKqY
Vickie (and others) both albums are excellent, Perla sings Nancy on her album. IMHO they are the best Cohen cover albums I have heard.

Thoughts?

Alan

p.s. Jean I have been unable to look at your videos due to my aged computer. Fear not, it is to be replaced next week!
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:05 pm

Jean, Vickie asked about your small-print atheist comment, and I was curious as well. Thank you for your thoughtful elaboration. From what we know Leonard was open to all religions and spent his life exploring and considering them, but he always returned to Judaism. It seems that you also have deeply explored and pondered religions, but reached the conclusion that none adequately fit your inner beliefs. Religious beliefs can take many forms and do not need to comport to any formal structure. Any set of beliefs that makes us consider and contemplate the gift of life, whether it be from a deity or from the cosmos, is worthy of respect.

I cannot add to the Field Commander Cohen live album discussion, as I never purchased it. This is not so much because I do not like live albums, it is because, due to the generosity of a forum member, I have about 50 DVDs worth of live concerts. Here's how I got those DVDs: Several years ago I asked on the board whether a DVD exists for a concert in Iceland that had been referenced. A nice person from Germany, whose name now escapes me, sent a PM saying he had DVDs for a lot of concerts, but not that one, and asked if I wanted him to send me a few other concert DVDs. Of course I said yes. About a week later a parcel arrived from Germany, and to my amazement, it contained DVDs for about 15 concerts. Then a few days later another parcel arrived, containing DVDs for another ten or so concerts. I sent the individual (I think his name was Hans) a PM saying that I would like to pay him for his efforts, but he refused. I generally listen to these concert DVDs in the car when I have a long drive to make. Just another example of how nice the people on this forum are!

B4, the picture of the horse bowing to HRM was outstanding.

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Hartmut » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:59 pm

B4real wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:27 am
Hartmut, so nice to see your smiling face again!
Thanks, Bev! - Yes, it's been a long time since we were active in the same thread.

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