Continuing our celebration of the 45th anniversary of New Skin for the Old Ceremony, this song began its life as "The Bells" and was recorded by Buffy Sainte-Marie on her album She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina in 1971. Leonard reworked the song, retaining only a few of the original lines, and recorded it under the title "Take This Longing." You can listen to the entire record on a variety of platforms here : https://smarturl.it/LCNewSkinOldCeremony
Nearly ten years ago, September 24, 2009, Leonard performed for approximately 50,000 people packed into a stadium in Ramat Gan, Israel. The concert was billed "A Concert for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace," with all the proceeds donated to Israeli-Palestinian charities. One of the charities to benefit was Road To Recovery. Ten years later, here is an account of how Leonard's donation has changed hearts and lives. "How Leonard Cohen Helped Start the RoadToRecovery Israeli-Palestinian Medical Travel Volunteers." Read it here : https://smarturl.it/LCbyDailyKos
From August 11 through 13, 1967, Innis Lake, Ontario, Canada, hosted the Mariposa Folk Festival. Leonard performed in what the Toronto Daily Star characterized as "soft serious almost monotonous tones but thrilled those who are entranced by his writings." Also taking the stage were some well-known performers of the day including John Cunningham, Rev. Gary Davis, Roger Deveer Renwick, The Dildines, Bonnie Dobson, Michael Edmonds, Dick Flohil, Louise Forestier, Canadian folklorist, Edith Fowke, Buddy Guy Blues Band, Ritchie Havens, Kensington Market, Louis Killen, Penny Lang, Lilly Brothers & Herb Hooven, Estelle Klein, Gordon Lowe, Allan MacLeod, Alan MacRae, Owen McBride, Murray McLaughlan, Joni Mitchell, Alanis Obomsawin, O.D. Bodkins and Company, The Pennywhistlers, 3's a Crowd, Tom Rush, Shelburne Festival Fiddlers, Staple Singers with Pops Staple, Buffy Ste-Marie, University Settlement International Folk Dancers, Klaas Van Graft, Mary Jane and Winston Young. Photo of Leonard by John Sharp, "Mariposa Folk Festival," in York University Libraries.
This month marks the 45th anniversary of Leonard’s album, New Skin for the Old Ceremony, produced by John Lissauer. “Is This What You Wanted” opens the record, a song Rolling Stone labeled one of Cohen’s 20 essential songs. You can listen to the entire record on a variety of platforms here : https://smarturl.it/LCNewSkinOldCeremony
The National Film Board of Canada now makes available the documentary "Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen" for downloading and viewing. Donald Brittain and Don Owen filmed the documentary, which was released in 1965, before Leonard would undertake a career in music. Originally, Owen planned to record a tour of Canadian poets including Irving Layton and Earle Birney, but a review of the footage revealed that only Leonard was entertaining enough to warrant the attention. Besides providing insight into the early life of Leonard as a poet, the documentary illuminates Montreal in the 1960's.
The exhibition, Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, continues its run at the @TheJewishMuseum in New York City. Don’t miss your chance to be inspired by Our Man and the artists who interpret his work. Tickets at: https://thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/leonard-cohen-a-crack-in-everything The exhibition leaves New York after September 8.
On July 16, 1967, Leonard performed at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. Also included on the bill were Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Gordon Lightfoot and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Here Leonard is photographed backstage with singer Joan Baez. (Photo by David Gahr/Getty Images)
Mark Lawson of the BBC interviewed Leonard in 2007 during the promotion of Blue Alert and Anjani's tour for that record. Lawson and Leonard spoke in detail about some of the most famous lines in his songs. They also discussed how the events and experiences in Leonard's life changed the man who would take the stage in 2008. This was one of the last interviews Leonard gave before he began touring again, when almost all interviews were declined.
This week marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of the concert album Cohen Live. The album contains songs performed during Leonard's I'm Your Man and The Future tours in Toronto, Vancouver, Austin, San Sebastian and Amsterdam. Here's a terrific song that Leonard never performed during his final world tour, "There Is A War."
On this day eleven years ago Leonard made a triumphant return to Montreal for a three-night concert performance at Place des Arts. The crowds radiated excitement as Leonard delivered one extraordinary performance after another. Montreal exuberantly welcomed its native son home and Leonard's gratitude was obvious. Photo by Martin Chamberland from La Presse.
Last night at a ceremony attended by the mayor of Montréal, Valérie Plante, the mural of Leonard Cohen lit up Montréal. The charitable organization MU, with support from the Ville-Marie borough and Tourisme Montréal, provided permanent lighting for the 21-storey mural of Leonard on Crescent Street in downtown Montréal. "From now on, the memory of Leonard Cohen will shine in the heart of downtown Montréal in both the literal and figurative sense," said the Mayor. Read about the ceremony here: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/leonard-cohen-lights-up-montreal-s-nights-875626790.html. GIF by Olivier Bousquet, showing a before/after the illumination. Additional photos here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOHMWBoTX6A8U90WJwgfdxWj9LIrjMD267OZy-gqekP-Qn38NhdZFHuNCejj7OKmg?key=WjF4YVl6ZkRWZ3htQlZUZ3NzVjhXbUhpMDVianJB