“Look, look who is there …” Josiane Calamel Meets Leonard Cohen

“I was so young and already fascinated” Josiane Calamel

By the time Josiane Calamel attended the March 9, 1980 Leonard Cohen concert at the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne (that’s Leonard leaving the venue in the photo above), she was indeed “already fascinated” with the Canadian singer-songwriter.


Josiane, who had then only recently moved to Australia with her husband and young son from her native France, would also see Leonard perform live in Melbourne in May 1985 and Feb 5, 2009. But it would be 2010, when she and her husband traveled back to France to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, before Josiane would meet Leonard face to face.

Josiane and her husband, who already had tickets for the Sept 19, 2010 Strasbourg concert, were sightseeing a couple of days before the show when they stopped for a drink at Place Kléber (the central square of Strasbourg). Josiane reports what happened next:

We ordered wine and enjoyed the sun. Then l turned my head and two tables behind l saw him!!!! I looked back at my husband, who asked me if l was okay.  “Look, look who is there …”  I was petrified. He was with Roscoe and Lorca, who was pregnant with Rufus’s daughter, Viva . It took me a few seconds to decide to go to him.  l found myself telling him how much l loved his songs and poetry. He listened to me with his beautiful smile. Then l asked for a kiss . We talked about 10 minutes before I returned, shaking, to my chair. When they left, we wished him an happy birthday in advance. He looked surprised,  Then he presented Lorca with a funny gesture, moving his hand in a half circle explaining she was full.

After Strasbourg, we saw Leonard again in Brisbane in November 2013, sadly Sharon was too ill to perform.

l still miss Leonard, and he will always be in my heart

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