I was careful in that song [Story of Isaac] to try and put it beyond the pure, beyond the simple, anti-war protest, that it also is. Because it says at the end there the man of war, the man of peace, the peacock spreads his deadly fan. In other words it isn’t necessarily for war that we’re willing to sacrifice each other. We’ll get some idea – some magnificent idea – that we’re willing to sacrifice each other for; it doesn’t necessarily have to involve an opponent or an ideology, but human beings being what they are we’re always going to set up people to die for some absurd situation that we define as important.
Quotation from How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns – Interview With Leonard Cohen by John McKenna. RTE Ireland, May 9 & 12, 1988. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles.
Leonard Cohen – Story Of Isaac
Bonn: Nov 4, 1980
The 1980 Leonard Cohen Bonn Concert Recording
As far as I can determine, no recording of the Nov 4, 1980 Leonard Cohen concert at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany has been available online – until now. A tape of one hour of the show has emerged, thanks to the generosity of a friend from Bonn, who recorded this song and 11 others with the permission of Leonard Cohen and his sound engineer. (The other songs from this concert have been posted or will be posted soon; all recordings from this show are collected at.)
The supporting musicians for the 1980 Tour follow:
- Sharon Robinson – vocals
- Roscoe Beck – bass guitar
- John Bilezikjian – oud, mandolin
- Bill Ginn – keyboards
- Raffi Hakopian – violin
- Steve Meador – drums
- Paul Ostermayer – wind
- Mitch Watkins – electric guitar
Credit Due Department: Photo of Leonard Cohen by Pete Purnell.