Listen To Full 1972 Leonard Cohen Aix-En-Provence Festival Concert

As I’ve previously pointed out, the 1970 Leonard Cohen Tour was weird – and the 1970 Aix-en-Provence Music Festival in general, and Leonard Cohen’s role in it specifically, were uniquely weird.

The August 1-3, 1970 Aix-en-Provence Music Festival was Woodstock with a French twist, featuring an audience of 40,000 with an average age of 20, a ban against the Festival issued by the Prefecture of the Bouches-du-Rhone, Hare Krishna chants, battles between local politicians, nudity, Maoists, the President of the International (classic) Music Festival at Aix-en-Provence describing its rock festival counterpart as “devastating hordes of hippies in search of horseplay and scandal,” and demands that the Festival be made “open to the people” (i.e., free), along with, as one might expect, sex (exhibitionist-mode), drugs (used only slightly more discreetly), and rock and roll (by Johnny Winter, Mungo Jerry, Titanic, Majority One, …). And, of course, it was the only time Leonard traveled to a show through the the countryside to arrive on stage – on a white stallion.

More about this show can be found at Cohencentric: 1970 Aix-en-Provence Festival.

Setlist: 01. Les Propriétaires de la Révolution (speech in French) 1:35 02. Bird on the Wire 3:50 03. So Long, Marianne 2:24 04. You Know Who I Am 3:11 05. Lady Midnight 2:36 06. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong 4:14 07. The Stranger Song 5:19 08. For No Reason At All (Improvisation) :40 09. Joan of Arc 5:02 10. The Partisan 3:34 11. Intro :38 12. Sisters of Mercy 3:30 13. Diamonds in the Mine 4:14

Thanks to Jo Meul, who alerted me to this video.

Up Close & Personal: Leonard Cohen Performs The Partisan – Marseille 2010

marseilleWhen they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I’ve lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

This video was suggested by Linda-Lee Sturgess, who wrote “This video is not perfection – but a remarkable capture of Leonard ‘up close and personal.’”

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Marseille: Sept 21, 2010 (Leonard Cohen’s 76th birthday)
Video by cohenadmirer1

Note: Originally posted Nov 15, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Doffs His Hat, Sharon Robinson Waves: 2008 Lucca Soundcheck Video

lsoundcThere is nothing extraordinary about this video of Leonard Cohen’s soundcheck before the 2008 Lucca show, but I always enjoy seeing the backup singers and the band in mufti (OK, I guess that technically, Leonard is in civilian clothes as well , but how do you tell his concert costume from his everyday outfit?), and I am taken by Leonard responding, in the midst of solving some issue with the sound system, to fans applauding the abruptly ended song by doffing his hat and smiling at the crowd — an event followed a moment later by Sharon flashing her own winsome smile and waving.  Consider my cockles warmed.

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Lucca Soundcheck: July 27, 2008
Video by Todd Rongstad

Video: Leonard Cohen Talks About, Performs Chelsea Hotel #2 – 1979

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
You were talking so brave and so sweet
Giving me head on the unmade bed
While the limousines wait in the street

Leonard Cohen Talks About, Performs Chelsea Hotel #2
From Song Of Leonard Cohen by Harry Rasky
Video from messalina79

Note: Originally posted September 2, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Leonard Cohen Sing To Troops In 1973 Yom Kippur War

In 1973, Leonard Cohen flew to Jerusalem to fight for Israel in the Yom Kippur War. The following excerpt is from Various Positions by Ira Nadel. (Random House of Canada, 1996):

Shortly after moving to the hotel, he went to see the singer/promoter Sholomo Semach, who was attached to the air force. Cohen wanted to volunteer, and Semach immediately lined him up with an entertainment group in the air force. Before he started, however, the Israeli singer Ilana Rovina invited him to perform one night at an air base near Tel Aviv, which he did. He then joined her group for performances in the Sinai, flying on a Dakota aircraft.

Now, an Israeli  website claims to have discovered an archival tape of artists performing for the soldiers during the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The tape includes Leonard performing “So Long, Marianne.” The following excerpt is via Google Translate:

The Army Radio Archive presents: What happened a long time ago – 28.09.17

In honor of Yom Kippur this week, we bring you the program of Yaakov Agmon “The Night in Egypt” in which he brings the voices of IDF soldiers from the field during the Yom Kippur War and the rare performances of Oshik Levi, Ilana Rubina, Popik Arnon and none other than Leonard Cohen Private to Israel in order to volunteer for the IDF and raise the morale of the soldiers.

Update: The following helpful explanation is from the comment by Tamar [with minimal colloquial English editing by me]:

After the song and the applause, the narrator says something like:

The applause was of course for Leonard Cohen. And had you seen the way the soldiers welcomed him, you would have witnessed genuine excitement. Before him [LC] Ilana Rovina sang; they performed on a short break, while the soldiers rest.

And at around 46:39 (after an interview in Hebrew) LC speaks 🙂 and then starts singing again, probably Suzanne. It seems that the recording then switches to the studio version of Suzanne, not the live show, and returns to the live show for the applause.

To hear this recording,

Go to this link and scroll to the second video. Leonard’s performance begins about 33:20.

Credit Due Department: I was alerted to this recording by a LeonardCohenForum post by Marie M.

Hear Leonard Cohen Recite Ballad Of The Absent Mare (1980)

Leonard Cohen recites the first four verses of Ballad Of The Absent Mare. This excerpt is from a 1980 interview with Nigel Russell (University Radio 5UV, Adelaide – accessed at State Library of South Australia).

Note: Information about the “old Chinese text” to which Leonard Cohen refers and on which the song is based is available at

Thanks to Gordana Stupar, whose post alerted me to this recording