The Leonard Cohen Munich Concert Poster Mystery

When Did The Leonard Cohen Concert Advertised By This Poster Take Place?

Following the successful investigation of the Mysterious Ticket Clue To Phantom 1974 Leonard Cohen Concert?, I have re-opened another Cohen Concert conundrum cold case. The text of the above Cohen concert poster, found on a number of sites selling posters, includes the month and dates – 21 November and 22 November – of the show but not the year. On the retail and auction sites where it is sold, the poster is most frequently listed as a promotion for Cohen shows held in 1977.

Ad on eBay for “1977 concert poster”

That Cohen did not tour in 1977, however, renders this claim dubious.

Other Facts In Evidence

We can, however, narrow the range of possible dates. Because an image of the cover of The Best Of Leonard Cohen album resides in the lower left corner of the poster, the presumptive Tour date would be on or after 1975 (the year of the album’s release).

And the text in the upper right corner indicates the venue was the Circus Krone in Munich.

Finally, according to the text in the upper left corner of the poster announces the concerts will be on “Monday, 21 November” and “Tuesday, 22 November.”

To fit all those criteria, the two Leonard Cohen concerts will have taken place

  • on “Monday, 21 November” and “Tuesday, 22 November”
  • in 1975 or later
  • at the Circus Krone in Munich

Possible Concert Dates

Well, it turns out that, in 1979, Leonard Cohen performed on November 21 and 22 in Germany – but in Hamburg and Braunschweig, respectively, not Munich.1  And, in 1979, November 21 fell on a Wednesday and November 22 fell on a Thursday, not on a Monday and a Tuesday, respectively.

Moreover, according to tour schedules from Is This What You Wanted by Jim Devlin, CohenLive, and LeonardCohenFiles, Cohen wasn’t on tour in November of any year (1975 and later) in which November 21 fell on a Monday.

Note: A few months ago, after completing the work described to this point, I stumbled onto a LeonardCohenForum post by Maarten Massa, who had also been perplexed by the phantom concert date that would fit the poster’s specifications and had gone through the same research exercises I had – back in September 2008. Sigh.

Unlike Maarten, however, I see no need  to restrict myself to the facts. Consequently,  we proceed to …

Clues, Conjecture, & Circumstantial Evidence

I call your attention to the similarities between the tops sections of the poster atop this entry and the one just below.

The style, the fonts, the use of “The Poet Of Rock Music” title,2 the placement of the text, and the colors are duplicates with only the dates and venues changed. This poster advertises the Cohen concert at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt on Saturday, April 25, 1976 – a concert duly listed at CohenLive as having taken place at that venue on that date and on that day of the week.

The same principle of parallel design holds true for the following poster, which the retail sites persist in labeling as an artifact of 1971 – another year Cohen didn’t tour.

Leonard Cohen Concert Poster (Munich – 5/8/1976)

CohenLive, however, lists a Munich show which took place at the Circus Krone on Saturday, May 8, 1976.

Alert readers may have noted that the concerts on that first poster were held at the Circus Krone in Munich.

In addition, CohenLive informs us that a second show also took place at the Circus Krone the next day – Sunday, May 9, 1976.

Conclusions, However Tentative They May Be

While certainly not rising to the level of proof, the design similarities make a strong case that all the posters were intended for use in 1976.

That two shows took place on consecutive days at the venue in question that year suggests that two shows had been originally planned in November but were canceled and the concerts consolidated with the tour completing its European run in July. Perhaps one show was then scheduled for Munich (the one advertised on the poster) with a second added later.

This would not, however, resolve the day of the week/day of the month conflicts. In 1976, November 21 & 22 fell on Sunday and Monday, respectively, rather than Monday and Tuesday, as per the poster.  One does wonder about the possibility that Sunday and Monday could have been  confused with Monday and Tuesday.

The conflicting days of the week notwithstanding, my best guess to account for the poster’s missing concert is a shift in the 1976 Tour schedule after the posters were printed.

Note: Originally posted July 17, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Source: CohenLive []
  2. Mick Brown, writing in Suffering For Fan And Profit The Return Of Leonard Cohen (Sounds, July 3, 1976) opens the article with

    The poster outside the Colston Hall, Bristol announced the appearance that evening of ‘The Poet of Rock and Roll’. []