Leonard Cohen Video: Whither Thou Goest & Blessings – Weybridge 2009

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Final Moments Of The Wet, Wonderful Weybridge Show

The July 11, 2009 Leonard Cohen Weybridge concert is a show well worth recalling. As dorsetbays, the photographer who took the above shot  summarized,

Leonard Cohen put on an amazing concert at the Mercedes Benz Arena, Surrey on 11 July 2009. The weather was atrocious, heavy rain and gale force winds, but the atmosphere was electric.

Indeed, by all accounts, the concert was a Tour highlight as the performance of Cohen and his musicians and the response of the crowd simply overwhelmed the impact of the wind and rain. Consequently, I was happy to discover this video of “Whither Thou Goest” and Leonard Cohen’s blessings to the audience at Weybridge.

weybridgeclose2For an account of the show and outstanding photos and videos from the concert, I immodestly recommend two Cohencentric posts, Photos: Leonard Cohen’s Wet, Wonderful Weybridge Show – 2009 and Video: Leonard Cohen’s Stellar Performance Of Closing Time At The 2009 Weybridge Show/Storm,

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The Blessings Of Weybridge1 Video

Leonard Cohen – Whither Thou Goest
Weybridge: July 11, 2009
Video from albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted Jan 17, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Wouldn’t “The Blessings Of Weybridge” be a dandy name for a BBC sitcom?” []

Video: Leonard Cohen’s 1988 Icelandic Hallelujah – Most Moving Performance Ever?

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In Video: Leonard Cohen’s Gorgeous Performance Of Hallelujah – Reykjavik 1988, I wrote

For a fleeting moment in 2009, YouTube blessed us with a live video of Leonard Cohen performing Hallelujah at the June 24, 1988 Laugardalshöll, Reykjavik, Iceland concert. It was a particularly lovely version that impressed many viewers, inducing me. As we have experienced many times, however, YouTube giveth, and YouTube taketh away. All traces of Leonard Cohen’s 1988 Icelandic concert, including the performance of Hallelujah, have disappeared from YouTube and similar sites.

I have serendipitously come across another YouTube posting of the same video, albeit of lesser quality. Although it’s described on YouTube as having taken place in 1985, this appears to be a segment from the June 24, 1988 concert in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was used in a program broadcast on Icelandic TV. Included are bits of an interview, an Icelandic cover of “Hallelujah,” and, most importantly, a version of “Hallelujah”  sung by Cohen (with backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen) that is not only distinct from every other rendition of that song I’ve heard before but perhaps the most moving performance of  “Hallelujah” by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Make no mistake – the color is distorted, the editing clumsy, and the subtitles distracting, and we don’t get our first vision of Leonard singing until just past the 2 minute mark, but the live scenes of Leonard Cohen and backup singers, Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, performing are overwhelmingly moving. (For the record, I believe my own version of this performance at Video: Leonard Cohen’s Gorgeous Performance Of Hallelujah – Reykjavik 1988 has its own merits and urge you to take a look if you haven’t seen it before.)

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Reykjavik: June 24, 1988

Note: Originally posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen Has Got The Moves – Nashville 2009

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The title of this video, Fancy Footwork, says it all, but just in case, I’ll explain:

This is the most fun you are going to get from feet in
25 seconds without invoking the word, “fetish.”

The video excerpt is, of course, the basis for the Leonard Cohen Animation atop this post, but the original recording, which includes the audio deleted in the gif, is particularly admirable.

Leonard Cohen, Nashville – Fancy Footwork
Video of “I’m Your Man” excerpt  from alkmrt, aka Linda Straub

Note: Originally posted Nov 22, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: 2009 Colmar Hijinks – Leonard Cohen & Dino Play The Hat Game

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As evidenced by Video & Photo: Fans Equip Leonard Cohen To Step Into The Ring And Examine Every Inch Of You – Colmar 2009, the Aug 16, 2009 Leonard Cohen Colmar concert was a delight-filled show. So, it’s in keeping that, during “Ain’t No Cure For Love” at that same Colmar show, Leonard Cohen and Dino Soldo indulged in a little grab-hat. An animated gif of the sequence is shown above. The original video, shot by Christine Geyer, automatically begins at 1:40, just before the game starts.

Don’t you wish these guys could loosen up?

Leonard Cohen – Ain’t No Cure For Love
Colmar: 16 August 2009

Note: Originally posted Aug 18, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Ron Cornelius Recounts Leonard Cohen’s Special Performance Of “As Time Goes By”

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Ron Cornelius on guitar backing Leonard Cohen

In the process of discussing The Guitar Behind Dylan & Cohen by Ron Cornelius with the author, I came to realize that Ron is a born raconteur who happens to have been guitarist and musical director for the 1970 and 1972 Leonard Cohen tours. He also happens to venerate Leonard Cohen – but not to the point of passing up a good story. In Ron Cornelius The Guitar Behind Dylan & Cohen By Ron Cornelius: Review + Unpublished Dublin Candles Story, for example, the story was an account of Leonard’s Dublin hotel room being set afire by candles lit during a pre-concert warmup session. Now, we have another Leonard Cohen tale not included in the book – which is a treat for music fans.

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Leonard Cohen, Ron Cornelius, & As Time Goes By

At some point in 1972, Leonard Cohen confides to his guitarist and musical director, Ron Cornelius, that he has an inclination to perform As Time Goes By,. the classic written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931 that achieved fame as part of the soundtrack of the 1941 movie Casablanca.

Consequently, Ron obtains the song’s original sheet music and spends a week or two rewriting it to create something worthy of a Leonard Cohen performance. He plays the guitar accompaniment for Leonard, and Leonard approves, telling Ron to be ready to play it.

And, sure enough, near the end of a show, Leonard signals Ron that he is ready to perform As Time Goes By as an encore. A single spotlight beams on Leonard. Ron moves to the side of the stage where there is enough light to allow him to see his fingerings. The song begins. After a few bars, Ron turns back to watch Leonard.

What he spots first is the microphone, which is laying on the floor. Then he turns his gaze upward to see singer-songwriter-poet-novelist Leonard Cohen singing the elegant As Time Goes By – while doing a headstand.

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Leonard Cohen & As Time Goes By

As Time Goes By was performed by Leonard Cohen at these concerts:

  • Concertgebouw, Amsterdam – April 15, 1972 (last song)
  • Circus Krone, Munich – April 11, 1972 (third from last song)
  • Elizabethan Ballroom, Belle Vue, Manchester – March 20, 1972 (last song)
  • National Stadium, Dublin – March 18, 1972 (last song)

The following  recording of As Time Goes By can be downloaded as part of Another Other Leonard Cohen Album. It is not necessarily the headstand performance.

As Time Goes By – Leonard Cohen 1972

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