Co-starring Mandy MacLeod, Adam Cohen, Sharon Robinson, Charley & Hattie Webb, Robert Kory, Neil Larsen, Javier Mas, Mitch Watkins, Rafael Gayol, Chris Bynum, Joey Carenza …
Once upon a time, in a land far away ….
No, that isn’t quite the right tone for this screenplay. The story of how Gwen Langford took Belgium, summarized from her own report, is less a fairy tale than the account of a crusade, a mission inspired by passion and carried out with unrelenting energy.
The story begins with the discovery by the two stalwarts pictured above, Gwen Langford and Mandy MacLeod, that the 2012 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour would begin in Ghent, which is no more than, oh, 700 miles or so from Gwen’s home base in Ireland. (The distance is actually an anticlimactic element of the plot; the last trip Gwen & Mandy took to a Cohen concert was a flight to Las Vegas – yep, the one in Nevada.)
And thus it came to pass that our intrepid pilgrim-warriors entered the walled city of Ghent with no more than the token resistance offered by airline and hotel bureaucracies, high prices, limited resources, and the heat.
The initial contact with Cohen forces took place at the first night’s fan meet-up at a bar close to the concert. Gwen & Mandy scored their first victories, bagging the spoils: photos and autographs from the Webb Sisters and Sharon Robinson.
Next, their intelligence networks having yielded the name of the hotel where the band and crew were in residence, Gwen and Mandy bivouacked there, living off the land. Subsisting largely on liberated rations of Kriek beer and enduring the rigors of institutional air conditioning, they identified, encountered, and successfully engaged with management staff as well as band and crew members, including (from left to right in the series of images below) Robert Kory, Neil Larsen, Javier Mas, Roscoe Beck, and Mitch Watkins.
Soon, however, it was necessary to journey to another fortress – Adam Cohen’s concert in Brussels. Here too, Gwen proved triumphant, Adam negotiating peace terms with hugs, kisses on the cheek as per diplomatic protocol, and photos. He finalized the treaty by signing a photo of himself and his father.
Of course, these were only preliminary skirmishes en route to the main objective – Field Commander Cohen himself. Upon contact, Cohen’s recognition of Gwen was immediate with hugs, autographs, and photos ensuing.
Epilogue: Gwen & Mandy have since returned to their headquarters – but not just to live happily ever after. Instead, they are, of course, recouping in preparation for their next Cohen campaign.
Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post is by J.S. Carenza III. Photos of Gwen and the various members of Leonard Cohen’s troupe are by Mandy MacLeod. The photo of Leonard Cohen and the rose is by Gwen Langford.
Originally posted Sept 3, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric