Leonard Cohen Tribute

Now for something completely different.

Perhaps you know that a Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen is taking place in Montreal tonight, marking the first anniversary of his death.

As there has always been a lot of love for Leonard here, a deep appreciation shared with David and Polly, I wanted to remember him tonight and pay tribute once more to someone whose life’s work is held so very dear to many of us.

With a wide variety of artists involved in the event, it promises to be an interesting evening of celebration and commemoration. So many have covered his songs already, of course. For a pick of the best, see this Montreal Gazette article.

(And for your amusement: for 82 reasons to love him, see this one.)

Another good reason to love him is his request that, should there ever be a tribute after his death, that it be held in his hometown and benefit the arts councils – the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Conseil des arts du Montréal – that helped support him when he was a struggling young artist.

The concert is being filmed for an upcoming special, due in the New Year, and will be broadcast on CBC Radio 2 tomorrow.

It is the first of many celebrations in Montreal this week; an exhibit entitled ‘Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything’ also celebrates his life and work, and will be open to the public from Thursday.

Good job, Montreal. Nicely done.

I know who I’ll be listening to this evening, how about you?

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

30 thoughts on “Leonard Cohen Tribute”

    1. It’s on the radio and online tonight, on TV in the New Year, but possibly only available in Canada. Perhaps a DVD will also follow?

      From CBC Music:

      CBC/Radio-Canada will broadcast the Nov. 6 Montreal Bell Centre Leonard Cohen tribute concert, titled Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Radio 2, CBCMusic.ca, ICI Musique and ICIMusique.ca.


      The concert will also be televised on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC and ICI Radio-Canada Télé.

  1. It’s been a very busy Monday, I’m tired to death, so listening to music must wait until tomorrow. I’m going to listen to some of his old recordings that I was introduced to by my wife, some decades ago…


  2. Hi FEd

    Leonard Cohen, he was Special man, I’ll never forget hearing him in Edinburgh Live, he was Great and this too – Nick and Warren did Leonard proud on that tour with a cover of Avalanche, it’s certainly something that will stay with me for a long time.

    It’s funny Nick blaming Leonard for writing such a complex song if Nick screws it up, it’s certainly a testament to how great Leonard was and to have a Cover of that on your Debut album I think Nick obviously has a lot of respect for him. I will not be attempting to sign a Leonard Cohen song anytime soon. 😀

    Talking of covers here’s a big Question: If David Gilmour was to have a bash at covering a Leonard Cohen Song what do you think he would/should do?

    I’d go for David Gilmour covering “The Stranger Song”. I think he would do a great job of it, his voice now would be perfect for it.

    1. Talking of covers here’s a big Question: If David Gilmour was to have a bash at covering a Leonard Cohen Song what do you think he would/should do?

      Well, that’s a good question. How about the song I have playing right now (from Live in London), ‘The Gypsy’s Wife’? Such a beautiful song.

      1. Hi FEd

        Yes “The Gypsy’s Wife” that’s a Beautiful version, David would do a great cover of that. Believe it or not it was an “Ex Punk Rocker” who really got me into Leonard Cohen, lol. True story. 😀

        David could do “The Partisan” Again another beautiful song and he likes to sing in a bit of French and Does a fine job of it too, so would have no prob with the French parts. 🙂

        This song has a bit of history behind it too.

        “The Partisan” is Cohen’s cover of the French song “La Complainte du Partisan” by Emmanuel D’Astier and Anna Marly, which is about the French resistance during World War II. The English translation was written by Hy Zaret. The rock journalist Tim Nordberg notes, “[Cohen] is often incorrectly credited as the composer of the song – although he is certainly responsible for its survival.” Nordberg also notes that the English translation that Cohen recorded differs from the French in that it excludes the direct references that D’Astier and Marly made in the original lyric to the occupation of France by Nazi Germany.”

        It’s a nice story that an otherwise would be forgotten song has been kept alive. 🙂

        1. Fed, what about this?

          “Dance Me to the End of Love”

          David Gilmour – Vocals and Lead (for violin parts)
          Chester Kamen – Acoustic guitar
          Guy Pratt – Double Bass
          Steve DiStanislao – Drums
          Chuck Leavell – Accordion
          Louise Clare Marshall – Backing vocals
          Lucita Jules – Backing vocals


          1. Like it. Add Caroline Dale on cello and it’s perfect.

            (Loved those semi-acoustic shows from 2001/2 in London and Paris.)

  3. Pick your favorite song by Leonard Cohen, definitely a hard question. If I have to choose one, then it would be Tower of Song, the name-giver for the tribute concert. It’s nearly intimidating when he starts to sing. But the deep warmth of his voice takes it away quickly. I think there are few recording artists whom you are listening to so carefully and attentively (Dylan maybe comparable). Tom Jones did a wonderful version of Tower of Song – you nearly cry when you hear Jones broken voice above the acoustic guitar.

    My parents would choose, if they have to, Suzanne as their favorite song of all time! Listen to Cohen would make the world a better place; with Cohen that sentence really is true.

  4. Hi all!

    While zapping through the program list of my tv in a hotel room last week, I found a film about Leonard Cohen on arte (a European tv channel): Bird on a wire.

    Leonard Cohen was familiar to me as singer songwriter for many years but I never saw such a deep view in the musical life of him.

    The movie is available until Dec 3rd in the arte library .


  5. Happy too see the return of the good old ‘random’ topics on this blog. Have missed them a lot (honest, sorry David 😉 ).

    My favourite Leonard Cohen song is ‘Le Partisan’.

    Funnily enough I had just noticed that Franco-German cultural channel ARTE had broadcast a special Leonard Cohen documentary on November 3rd, called ‘Like A Bird On A Wire’ (director Tony Palmer). Sadly, I missed it, but I see that it will be available online here, on Arte website till December 3rd. I sure will watch it tonight.

    If anyone is interested, please, click ”Confirmer’ to get it (below ‘Attention, ce programme n’est pas adapté à un public mineur. Avez-vous plus de 18 ans?’ : you confirm that you’re more than 18 years old.)

    Hope it’s available outside France and Germany… 😉

  6. Mr. Cohen was a poetic force woven with musical wonder.

    All of his songs are masterpieces.

    I am hoping that Suzanne will be covered. As I am like most people and am fond of a song that has the same name as mine. Plus it is just a good song.

    I will look forward to when I will be able to watch the tribute knowing it will be excellent, as Mr. Cohen was.

    Take care,

  7. Wow, watched Tom Jones’ version of Tower of Song. I always say if a song can make you borderline blubbing, cause a quivering lip, send chills through your body, and make the hairs stand on end, whoever wrote it is truly gifted. Normally only one man has this effect.


  8. Damian, close your eyes. 😉

    I get notifications from the BBC about their programmes Fed, this came in this evening. Don’t know if you already knew about it.

    Ash 🙂

    1. Actually, Ash, I’m looking forward to Deep Purple live in concert, a BBC programme. And I do like Radio 2 especially Simon Mayo. And of course anything Floyd, or Sir David.

      I think I mentioned Sorrow as my all time fav. I’ve changed my mind 12 times today already.

      Hope you and your family are ok Ash.

      Kind regards Damian

  9. Don’t forget tomorrow night, November 18th, on BBC2 at 22.40 – an hour long programme of DG Live at Pompeii. Wonder which songs they are going to miss out? xx

    1. Just saw the little film by Gavin Elder. Khan was really a lovely dog, wonderful gentle eyes. Very sad that he has gone. 🙁

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