Lester Flatt-Earl Scruggs Squabble Leads To Leonard Cohen Singing “The Arms Of Regina” 1970

reginaNote: Originally posted Feb 26, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Ongoing readers may recall the multiple posts devoted to the weirdness that was the . Today’s addition to that catalog focuses on the sporadically recurring query among (hard core) Leonard Cohen fans, “What’s with that Regina song Leonard Cohen sings on the 1970 French TV video?”

As far as I can determine, there are only two known recordings of Leonard Cohen singing the song Cohen fans call “The Arms Of Regina.”

1. On August 28, 1970 (two days before the Isle Of Wight Festival), Leonard Cohen and his band played an unpaid gig at the Henderson, a therapeutic community in Sutton on the southern edge of London.1 Sylvie Simmons, who listened  to an audience recording of the show, reports in “I’m Your Man, her biography of Cohen,

… the band did a quick sound check – “Arms Of Regina,” an unreleased song, sounding here like a midtempo country ballad with heart-tugging harmonies.”

2. On May 13, 1970, Leonard Cohen performed  two songs on French TV’s  Joe Dassin Show – “Arpèges sur Joe Dassin.” The first, with only Cohen on camera, was “The Partisan.” After completing “The Partisan,” Cohen assembled the band and backup singers on camera and led them in a rendition of “The Arms Of Regina.”

And, what else do we know about “The Arms Of Regina?”

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  1. For more about this performance, see Leonard Cohen & Babies, Therapy, Covers, Lyrics, Roberta Flack, Jian Ghomeshi, 1993, … []

Photo: Bob Johnston, Leonard Cohen & Charlie Daniels – 1970

DrHGuy Note: Leonard Cohen didn’t tour in 1971, but he and The Army, including Charlie Daniels & Bob Johnston, played Royal Albert Hall May 10, 1970.

Note: Originally posted December 23, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Mesmerizes Audience At 1970 Isle of Wight Festival


Jimi Hendrix was a tough act to follow under the best of circumstances. But to follow him onstage after midnight in front of a crowd of more than half a million people that had been setting fires and throwing bottles at the stage seemed like an impossible task for a poet with an acoustic guitar and a gentle band of backing musicians. Yet Leonard Cohen turned the volatile situation at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival into one of the most magical performances of his career.

Excerpt from Leonard Cohen Plays a Spellbinding Set at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival by Mike Springer (Dangerous Minds: Oct 10, 2015)

While there is little in this post that will be new to hardcore Leonard Cohen fans, savoring the account of Cohen’s iconic performance is always worth a read and a viewing, and for those not familiar with this remarkable episode early in the Canadian singer-songwriter’s career – well, you’re in for a treat.

The article and an embedded video of Murray Lerner’s Leonard Cohen’s Live At The Isle of Wight 1970 can be found at Leonard Cohen Plays a Spellbinding Set at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Jo Meul, who alerted me to this post.

Signs of Leonard Cohen: Newspaper Ad for 1970 UCLA Concert: “A program of now poetry and music for beautiful losers and saints of all age”

ucla1970adAd for the 1970 Leonard Cohen and The Army concert at Royce Hall:  I especially like the performance being styled as “a program of now poetry and music for beautiful losers and saints of all ages,” in the expectation that those viewing the ad would be interested in Cohen’s poetry as well as his music and would also recognize the allusions to his literary work. (OK, I also like the prices: $5.50, $4.75, $4.00, $3.25; Students $2.50)

For a personal report on the 1970 UCLA show, see The 1970 Leonard Cohen Champagne & Crazy Guy Concert At UCLA: A First-Hand Account

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: 1970 Leonard Cohen University Of Wisconsin–Madison Homecoming Concert

1970uof2Poster for the 1970 University Of Wisconsin–Madison Homecoming (“Homecoming For The G.I.s”), which includes a listing for the Oct 30, 1970 Leonard Cohen concert.

A first hand account of that show can be found at The 1970 Leonard Cohen University of Wisconsin-Madison Concert, The Anti-War Movement, & Joe Way

Note: Originally posted February 3, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric