Leonard Cohen In Paris By Dominique Boile
Note: The following text was written in 2014 for Here It Is – Letters To Leonard Cohen.1 I’ve added links to pertinent posts and Dominique’s photos.
Leonard Cohen once said:
My songs last about as long as a Volvo — about 30 years.
Leonard Cohen was wrong.
In 1971, when I was 15, I discovered his songs. Now, in 2014, I am 58, and I am still listening to his golden voice. Those first songs of his are nearly as old as I am. The songs Leonard Cohen released since 1967 are played all over the world every day and thousands come to his concerts to hear these songs. How many 1967 Volvos are running these days?
In the years to come, those of us alive now – including Leonard Cohen himself – will not be here. Will automobiles made by Volvo exist a hundred years from now? But Leonard’s songs live on!
I attended my first Leonard Cohen concert on September 7, 1974 in Paris. Since then, I’ve experienced that magic at nearly twenty of his shows, but my fondest memories are the four times I’ve met the man offstage.
On May 13, 1993, Leonard is on stage at Le Zenith in Paris, and I am in the audience. After the concert, there are 13 irrepressible Cohen fans – as many girls as boys – waiting two hours outside where the sweetness of the Parisian night makes us patient …
We see Carole Laure. Leonard, however, has not come out of the concert hall. We convince a member of the security service to let our man know that this group has only one desire: to meet him.
Finally, at 1:30 AM, Leonard, hand in hand with Dominique Issermann, arrives before us. So, Leonard Cohen – at 1:30 in the morning, after a long concert, with his lover and friends waiting for him – devotes half an hour to 13 young fans, talking to us, autographing albums, programs and whatever else we ask him to sign.
It was magic!
- Here It Is – Letters To Leonard Cohen is a book presented to the Canadian singer-songwriter in celebration of his 80th birthday, comprising stories and essays by fans that put their experience of Cohen’s music into words. Kim Gorsuch, who has long admired Cohen, came up with the idea and organized the project, gathering the pieces and photos online for printing into a hardbound volume. [↩]