Leonard Cohen Performs Who By Fire With Brilliant Opening By John Bilezikjian On Oud – Bonn 1980


Leonard Cohen – Who By Fire
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.

Video: Who By Fire – Listen To Leonard Cohen’s Prayer

Tamar offers these points from Who By Fire: Listen To Leonard Cohen’s Prayer [via Google Translate] (Ynet: Sept 18, 2017):

  • “78 years ago (lacking one week) the 5 years old Leonard Cohen stood at the Yom Kippur service in Sha’ar Shamayim synagogue in Montreal, a synagogue that his grandfather established. He stood and heard the words of the Unetanneh Tokef prayer, and the impression must have been grand. Years later, after vising here [Israel] during the Yom Kippur War, he gave his version to the words of “Rabbi Amnon of Mayence.”
  • According to the news site, this version is going to be performed on stage for the first time on September 27 as part of a show called “Broken Prayer” which they describe as a journey in LC’s prayer world, and it will be a part of a “Piyyut” festival in Jerusalem.


Video: Leonard Cohen Featuring Javier Mas – Who By Fire, Brussels 2013

And who by fire, who by water,
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
Who in your merry merry month of may,
Who by very slow decay,
And who shall I say is calling?

Leonard Cohen, featuring Javier Mas – Who By Fire
Brussels: June 30, 2013
Video by albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted July 6, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Best Of 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour: Who By Fire – Fredericton 2008

Fredericton Playhouse – Fredericton, New Brunswick

In The Beginning Was Fredericton

On May 11, 2008, Leonard Cohen inaugurated his 2008-2010 World Tour (although no one knew it would be a three year tour then) at The Playhouse in Fredericton, NB, a venue which, according to Wikipedia, had a capacity of 709 (469 orchestra seats and 240 balcony seats).

I urge viewers to read the best of the Fredericton concert reviews, Leonard Cohen wows Fredericton by Wilifred Langmaid  (Daily Gleaner, May 13, 2008), which can be found at LeonardCohenForum. My own comments on this piece, originally posted at the DrHGuy.com site on May 13, 2008, follow:

Wilifred Langmaid  provides a comprehensive, interesting review of Cohen’s performance at the Fredericton Playhouse. Other than some forgivable hometown self-congratulation, the piece is thoughtful, knowledgeable, and includes details not listed elsewhere. A must-read for hard core Cohen fans.

Leonard Cohen – Who By Fire
Fredericton – May 11, 2008


Credit Due Department: Photo by Rbcb – Own work, CC by 3.0. via Wikipedia. Originally posted July 29, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photos & “Who By Fire” Video: 2010 Leonard Cohen Dortmund Concert

dort1This videos posted here include a five minute solo played by Javier Mas as the introduction to “Who By Fire,” almost all of which appears to be different from his previous renditions. It is also gorgeous. The photos are by Marjan Doets, Netherlands.and C.Carle/R.Strugala.

Javier Mas – Who By Fire Intro
Dortmund: Sept 29, 2010
Video from golittlesong, aka Henning


Leonard Cohen – Who By Fire
Dortmund: Sept 29, 2010
Video from golittlesong, aka Henning 



Note: Originally posted Oct 4, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen & The 1973 Yom Kippur War


Note: A video of “Leonard Cohen Sings to Israeli Troops in the Yom Kipur War” has recently been posted to YouTube, but appears to be a segment of the video below.

Video from אורי שפירא

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Jo Meul & Linda Sturgess, who brought these videos to my attention. Note: Originally posted January 13, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric