Available To Public For First Time – Hear Army Radio Recording Of 1980 Leonard Cohen Tel-Aviv Concert


Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson performing in 1980 (Amsterdam)

From the Soundcloud description: This is the latter of two concerts that took place November 24, 1980 and was broadcast live on Israeli Army Radio. Here we present you the first complete recording of the show that has been unpublished since broadcast live on Army Radio.

Audio recordings of this show have circulated privately, but this is the first time a recording has been made available to the general public. Thanks to GLZ Radio (Israeli Army Radio) for making this tape accessible.

Leonard Cohen live at Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv – 1980

See Ooba-Ooo: Leonard Cohen’s Memories Monologue & Do-Dum-Dum-Dum Precursor – Tel-Aviv 1980

The 1980 Leonard Cohen Tel-Aviv Show

On November 24, 1980, Leonard Cohen performed two concerts at Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv as the concluding shows of his Smokey Life Tour. There is no setlist or known recording from the first show. Recordings and a partial setlist do, however, exist for the second.1

Setlist: Nov 24, 1980 Leonard Cohen Concert
Tel Aviv – Second Show

Set 1

1. Bird On The Wire
2. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
3. Who By Fire
4. The Gypsy’s Wife
5. Passin’ Through
6. Lover Lover Lover
7. The Guests
8. Suzanne

Set 2

9. The Stranger Song – solo
10. Chelsea Hotel #2 – solo
11. The Partisan
12. Famous Blue Raincoat
13. Lady Midnight
14. So Long, Marianne
15. Memories


Leonard Cohen: Guitar, Vocals
Roscoe Beck: Bass
John Bilezikjian: Oud, Mandolin
Bill Ginn: Keyboards
Raffi Hakopian: Violin
Steve Meador: Drums
Paul Ostermayer : Saxophone & Flute
Sharon Robinson: Vocals
Mitch Watkins: Guitar

We also have this characterization of the concert by Naftali Kaminski, who was in the audience that day: 2

In 1980, I hitchhiked in my military uniform from the Golan Heights to Tel-Aviv and saw you perform `the Gypsy`s Wife`, `the Partisan` and the `Story of Isaac` from the last row of the Mann Auditorium. Your concert reminded me that I was not only a soldier, that I was a human being and that being human was complex and rich and sad and beautiful and temporary, but never perfect.

Credit Due Department:

Thanks to Avi Elkoni & Ruth Pietroni, who alerted me to this recording.

The photo of Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson taken at the 1980 Amsterdam concert (I was unable to locate any photos of the 1980 Tel-Aviv concert) by Pete Purnell.


  1. Source: Cohen Live []
  2. Help Israelis at their Lowest Point – A Personal Letter To Leonard Cohen,”  by Naftali Kaminski. (Occupation Magazine: July 19, 2009 []

6 Replies to “Available To Public For First Time – Hear Army Radio Recording Of 1980 Leonard Cohen Tel-Aviv Concert”

  1. John

    This is great to hear and such amazing sound.

    It really should be properly released.

    Do you know if higher resolution files exist of it?

  2. Sam

    Fantastic show and it sounds beautiful. Agree that an official release would be a great gift for fans. Maybe a ‘Bootleg Series’ or live shows from the archives could be done sometime in the future…