The Commander Of Commendations: Leonard Cohen’s Extraordinary Band & Crew Introductions


Nobody has introduced backing musicians and crew like Leonard Cohen, especially during the 2008-2013 tours. In 2010, for example, he would offer a succinct, memorable lyrical description of each band member and backup singer, after which he would remove his hat and bow his head:

  • The Sublime Webb Sisters
  • The Impeccable Neil Larsen
  • My Collaborator, The Incomparable Sharon Robertson
  • The Sweet Shepherd Of Stings Javier Mas
  • The Master Of Breath Dino Soldo
  • The Signature Of Steady Bob Metzger
  • My Musical Colleague For 35 Years, The Much-Cherished And Incurable Roscoe Beck
  • The Regent Of Restraint, The Prince Of Passionate Precision, Rafael Bernado Gayol

The description offered in Top ten experiences with music in the last year: Number One: Leonard Cohen at Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn NY. May 20th, 2012 by Will Sheff ( December 24, 2012) is compelling [bolding mine]:

The 78-year-old Cohen showed no signs of fatigue though, dropping to his knees, skipping on and offstage for the two encores, bantering charmingly with his audience, introducing the band, the front-of-house team, the monitor guy, the guy who hung the lights even, naming their hometowns. He did this whole round of introductions twice, by the way. It was the most moving introducing-the-band routine I’ve ever seen – something that usually feels Vegas-y but this time around felt like church.

It’s that reverent tone, I think. that enchanted us.

Introducing “The Master Of Musicians,” “My Old Friend,” “The Incurable Roscoe Beck” Et Al At Malmo 2010

While this video is imperfect, it does show Leonard Cohen offering a particularly effusive and expanded set of band member introductions at the end of “Anthem” at the Aug 4, 2010 Malmo Concert. (Video automatically begins with Leonard Cohen’s introductions.)

This video (self-described as shaky) of the May 12, 2009 Philadelphia show by Linda Sturgess, Leonard thanks everyone from the lighting specialists to the caterers.

How many musical icons thank the caterers in his or her parting words of the show?

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post is by Lorca Cohen. Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric