Video: TV Broadcast Of Complete Leonard Cohen San Sebastián Concert – 1988

sansebThe RTE recording of the entire May 20, 1988 Leonard Cohen San Sebastian concert, the only full-length live Leonard Cohen show ever broadcast on TV, is now online. The first segment of the video comprises a Leonard Cohen interview taped at San Sebastian.

Update: This broadcast, sans interview, is now available without the subtitles, at Video: Watch Complete 1988 Leonard Cohen San Sebastián Concert TV Broadcast – Without Subtitles

Musicians: Leonard Cohen, vocals, guitar, keyboards. John Bilezikjian, oud. Bob Furgo, keyboards and violin. Tom McMorran, keyboards. Steve Meador, drums/electric drums. Bob Metzger, guitar, steel guitar. Steve Zirkel, bass, keyboard, trumpet. Perla Batalla, vocals. Julie Christensen, vocals.

Leonard Cohen San Sebastián Interview & Concert
May 20, 1988


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Leonard Cohen & Philadelphia Orchestra Account For 803+ Carnegie Hall Appearances – Both Leonard Cohen Shows Were Sell-outs

Carnegie-hall-isaac-sternBrowsing through her music magazine of choice, Barron’s, Mel Joss came upon this reference to Leonard Cohen in the concluding line of Breguet’s Debut at Carnegie Hall by Christiana Cefalu (Barron’s: Feb 8, 2013), an article about a newly installed centerpiece clock in Carnegie Hall’s Morse Lobby. I’ve placed the Leonard Cohen reference in bold print in this excerpt:

The just installed clock was modeled after the pocket watch of the 18th century firm’s own founder,  Abraham-Louis Breguet. It has a backlit bright white dial and a one-minute tourbillon, a cage that rotates to counter gravity, at six o’clock.

So next time you’re on a break from listening to Leonard Cohen or the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, look up and appreciate the clocks ticking down the intermission.

Dr Heck Note: While we’re always happy to see our favorite the Canadian singer-songwriter receive positive mention in the press, the pairing of his Carnegie Hall concerts with those of the  Philadelphia Orchestra is a tad odd.  Here’s Dr Heck’s fun fact of the day:  While the Philadelphia Orchestra has returned to Carnegie Hall over 800 times since their first appearance in 1902, Leonard Cohen has appeared only thrice – once each in 1979, 1985, and 1988.

Credit Due Department: Photo by Wholtone – Own work, Public Domain, via Wikipedia

Note: Originally posted April 22, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Leonard Cohen’s] gravelly bass-baritone and his utterly personal phrasing-scansion transforms innocent-looking lines on the page into rich double and triple meanings.”

Mr. Cohen’s poetry is by no means all he has to offer. His music sounds classically simple yet fresh, enlivened by apt and original arrangements, mostly by himself and featuring contemporary electronic timbres that don’t even hint at a pandering to contemporary tastes. Even more crucial to his impact is his voice, a gravelly bass-baritone, and his utterly personal phrasing-scansion that transforms innocent-looking lines on the page into rich double and triple meanings.quotedown2


From Rock Poets From Canada Roll Anew by  John Rockwell. New York Times:  April 17, 1988.

Note: Originally posted Mar 1, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: On The Scene At The 1988 Royal Albert Hall Concert



1969-12-31-at-18-59-539James Finch (the cool dude in the daft shades) offers these photos taken prior to his entering Royal Albert Hall for the June 1, 1988 Leonard Cohen concert.  The posters displayed promote Cohen’s May 30, May 31, and June 1, 1988 shows.

Note: These photos are posted with the permission of James Finch. Please do not repost photos or use photos for commercial purposes without the specific permission of the copyright holder.

Note: Originally posted April 3, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Signs Of Leonard Cohen Seen From Limo By Leonard Cohen: 1988 Carnegie Hall Concert Poster

This animated gif captures that self-referential moment in Harry Rasky’s Songs From The Life Of Leonard Cohen when Cohen’s limo window slides down to reveal him peering out at the poster  for his own July 6, 1988 Carnegie Hall Concert. I was moved to post it today1 because it is also a scene in NFBC’s Clever, Funny Animated Video Of Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” posted yesterday.

View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations

This is the July 6, 1988 Leonard Cohen Carnegie Hall Concert poster.


  1. This animation was originally published March 29, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric []