Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Night with Leonard

He's 78 years old and still so sexy it is palpable!  Not to mention his ability to go down on his knees and rise without a problem with none of that nasty cracking and popping so many of us experience.  I speak here from experience which may account for my admiration of this physical fete Mr. Cohen engages in so easily.  He "may ache in the places he used to play" but it doesn't seem to slow him down. 

I attended his live concert at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on November 5th and I'm still in a state of grace.  His voice these days is low, sultry and rich.  So much more appealing then in his early years.  His band is made up of virtuoso musicians and he features them throughout.  The "girl singers" consist of Sharon Robinson, his co-writer on several of my favorite songs and the Webb Sisters, stars on their own. 

Downtown LA is something to behold at night.  Now referred to as "LA Live" it is a fun place to be.  People watching is a hoot and there are many places to eat and drink and stroll.  The LC fans were out in great numbers (sold out concert) and not all of them were oldies....I met a couple of fun younger women who had driven from Las Vegas that day to see Leonard.  I also enjoyed a parade of women wearing their Fedora hats in his honor. 

My only complaint was the rude and late arrival of so many people after the concert started.  It was so bad that Leonard apologized "for starting on time" and asked that the theater lights be turned on so people could find their seats.  Later in the show he played the first song, "Dance Me to the End of Love" again so we could enjoy it uninterrupted.  Sadly, I was unable to get any pictures of Leonard but at his age, he has eliminated the "meet and greet" time after the concert.  He was on stage for over 3 and a half  hours with only one break in the middle....he was filled with energy and literally skipped on and off the stage.  My pictures show my joy at this "Bucket List" event.

Nokia Billboard, Leonard Cohen Sold Out!

Ms.Happy face @ a "Bucket List"event!

LA Live Plaza

My dinner Place

New Friends from Las Vegas

My Concert Tee
Highlights of the concert included a solo performance of "Alexandra Leaving" by co-author Sharon Robinson and one of my true favorites "Anthem".  A sample of its lyrics follows:

...The birds they sang at the break of day, "Start Again", I heard them say. Don't dwell on what has passed away or what is yet to be.  Ah, the wars they will be fought again.  The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold and bought again, the dove is never free
So ring the bells that still can ring.  Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything...that's how the light gets in....
Another of my favorite lyrics is a verse in "A Thousand Kisses Deep"....it really speaks to me .  It goes like this:    ..
..And sometimes when the night is slow, the wretched and the meek, We gather up our hearts and go, A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And finally, though I could write for hours to include all the lyrics I love in Leonard Cohen's songs and poems, I will just share a few and hope to raise your interest in learning more about this amazing poet of my time.  He sang this song and it is hard to choose only some verses but the following especially move me....

...The light came through the window, straight from the sun above and so inside my little room there plunged the rays of Love.  In streams of light I clearly saw the dust you seldom see.  Out of which the Nameless makes a Name for one like me.  All busy in the sunlight the flecks did float and dance, and I was tumbled up with them in formless circumstance.  Then I came back from where I'd been.  My room, it looked the same - But there was nothing left between the Nameless and the Name....
Those lyrics talk about experiences I have had in meditation where the Nameless and I become one....with the dust and will all there is.  Love Itself.

So my night with Leonard was well worth the 800 mile drive and the substantial investment.  He "took me to a place of grace" and left me there.....a wonderful place if one must be left.  No "broken Hallejulas" here.