3 Leonard Cohen Videos: Joan Of Arc, Passing Through & Bird On The Wire – Munich 1993

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The audience recording of the 1993 Leonard Cohen Munich Concert from which these videos were excerpted is not pristine. The camera is a bit shaky and not quite in focus. And the sound is imperfect. Nonetheless, the vitality of the performance and the enthusiasm of the audience is readily apparent. This is, in short, a Good Enough Video.1

Leonard Cohen – Bird On The Wire
Circus Krone, Munich: May 28, 1993
Video from SighsNorth (aka Linda Sturgess)
YouTube Description: Leonard Cohen at Circus Krone, Munich, Germany – May 28, 1993. Bird On The Wire. “I have tried in my way to be free … ” Before singing, Leonard goes to the edge of the stage to receive a bouquet of flowers from an audience member. Lovely solos by band members Bob Metzer (guitar) and Paul Ostermayer (saxophone).

Leonard Cohen – Passing Through
Circus Krone, Munich: May 28, 1993
Video from SighsNorth (aka Linda Sturgess)
YouTube Description: Leonard Cohen at Circus Krone, Munich, Germany – May 28, 1993. Leonard and band come back on stage for a second encore – Passing Through. (A very enthusiastic audience – and there were 7 encores that night.) Solos by Paul Ostermayer – Saxophone; Bob Furgo – violin

Leonard Cohen – Joan of Arc
Circus Krone, Munich: May 28, 1993
Video from SighsNorth (aka Linda Sturgess)
YouTube Description: Leonard Cohen at Circus Krone, Munich, Germany – May 28, 1993. Leonard and Julie Christensen sing Joan Of Arc. Bob Furgo – violin

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  1. The Good Enough Video is a notion that I, of course, derived from Donald Winicott’s Good Enough Mother. Just as Winicott used Good Enough Mother to indicate “the ordinary and devoted mother who provides an adequate and good enough environment for the growth of the infant’s ego to be able to express its true self,” (Source: Psychological Dictionary) I employ Good Enough Video to describe videos that are less than immaculate but are of sufficient caliber to convey the quality of the performance to the viewer. []

Best Videos Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour: Bird On The Wire – Amsterdam

birdams

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Best 2012 Leonard Cohen Videos: Cohencentric.com features selections from the Best Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist, which comprises the best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2012 Leonard Cohen World Tour.

Leonard Cohen – Bird On The Wire
Amsterdam: August 22, 2012
Video by

Maoists, Music, Mud, Money, & Mayhem: Leonard Cohen’s 1970 Aix-en-Provence Show

1970-08-02 Progressive Festival D'Aix En Provence - Handbill-900

Reports, Recordings From The 1970 Aix-en-Provence Show

This post is the continuation of  Leonard Cohen At Another Other 1970 Festival – Aix-en-Provence (Part 1). While Part 1 of this post focused on the Aix-en-Provence Music Festival itself, this entry centers on Leonard Cohen’s August 2, 1970 appearance there.

As noted in an earlier post, Leonard Cohen & The Horse He Rode In On-Stage At The 1970 Aix-en-Provence Festival,

the Aix-en-Provence Music Festival in general, and Leonard Cohen’s role in it specifically, were uniquely weird.

In addition to Leonard Cohen making his onstage entrance astride a white stallion,1 for example, he also reported having been shot at:

I think I was shot at once at a big festival in Aix-en-Provence. That was when the Maoists were very powerful in France and they resented the fact that they actually had to buy a ticket. A lot of them broke down the fence and came into the concert and I did notice one of the lights on the stage go out after a kind of crack that sounded like a gunshot. I don’t know. But they’re tough critics, the Maoists.2

On the other hand, when asked in the same interview, “What about the French generally? You have said you are French. How do they respond to you?” Cohen responded

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  1. For a photo of and the story behind that equestrian event, see Leonard Cohen & The Horse He Rode In On-Stage At The 1970 Aix-en-Provence Festival []
  2. Leonard Cohen: Various Positions, Transcript of 1984 CBC interview by Robert Sward []

Video: An Intense Bird On The Wire By Leonard Cohen Featuring Bob Metzger & Dino Soldo – Bratislava 2009

lenbirdI saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, “you must not ask for so much”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, “hey, why not ask for more?”
Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Despite adverse concert conditions wrought by numerous latecomers and disinterested VIPs in the front rows (more about this in a later post), the rendition of Bird On The Wire itself and the video are masterful.

bpbnodThis performance features poignant solos by Bob Metzger and Dino Soldo, beginning at 2:00 and 2:54, respectively, earning applause from the crowd and a prolonged, silent, hat-doffed  salute from Cohen. dinobird

Leonard Cohen – Bird On The Wire
Bratislava: August 28 2009
Video by albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted Aug 31, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Masterpiece Performance of Bird On The Wire By Leonard Cohen – Lisbon 2010

lisbon

Featuring Bob Metzger & Dino Soldo

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

2010 Leonard Cohen Lisbon Show

The September 10, 2010 Lisbon concert proved to be an extraordinary demonstration of musical skills and showmanship, a phenomenon Asdeguia, a correspondent who was in attendance at that show, convincingly attributes to the intense complicity between the band and the audience.

A standout in this collection of high-quality performances is “Bird On The Wire,” perhaps the song from the Leonard Cohen World Tour repertoire most sensitive to musicological nuances (for example, timing, tone, phrasing, …) and least forgiving of flaws.

The presentation of “Bird On The Wire” at Lisbon is a lapidary masterpiece.1

Leonard Cohen – Bird On The Wire
Lisbon:  September 10, 2010
Video from Actresspt

Note: Originally posted Sept 14, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Update: Remarkably, this video has garnered only 743 views since it was uploaded Sept 13, 2010. The title of this post should be “Underappreciated Masterpiece Performance of Bird On The Wire By Leonard Cohen.” []

Video: Leonard Cohen Talks Revolution, Performs Bird On The Wire At 1970 Aix-en-Provence Festival

Leonard Cohen At 1970 Aix-en-Provence Festival

On August 2, 1970 Leonard Cohen & The Army performed at the Aix-en-Provence Music Festival, an event overshadowed by Cohen’s much publicized appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival later that month.

The Aix-en-Provence concert was the apogee of weirdness for the astoundingly weird 1970 Leonard Cohen Tour. Leonard Cohen made his onstage entrance astride a white stallion, he reported having been shot at by Maoists, he dedicated (in French) The Partisan “to the police; that they leave their armour, internal and external, and that they join us,” and finally challenged critics in the crowd:

At the end of the song, Cohen intervenes one last time in English: “Those who are trying to sabotage know that they are faced with armed men; I want to say: armed with guns and ready to use them. If you believe that freedom is being able to shout anything at anytime, then you know nothing of freedom. But if you want to attack us, then come up on the stage. We will defend ourselves.” Needless to say, no one went up and the silence was respectful during the last two songs.1

Cohen’s performance began with him addressing the audience on “the link between money and the festivals” and revolution. He then opened the set with Bird On The Wire.

While the recording from the Aix Festival is only poor to fair, it is authentic and many of the photos included have never before been published.

Leonard Cohen – Bird On A Wire At Aix-en-Provence 1970
Video from Allan Showalter

 

Credit Due Department: Leonard Cohen’s introduction and his performance of “Bird On The Wire” were recorded by an audience member at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. The copy used in this video is from the private collection of Hippy1948.

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  1. Leonard Cohen by Jacques Vassal, Rock & Folk n°44 September 1970 []