Meeting Leonard in Las Vegas.

12/12/10 is forever etched in my heart as the day dreams come true, the day I met Leonard Cohen in person and was able to thank him in person for the effect he has had on my life. Such is the effect the moment I laid eyes on him that morning I began shaking from head to toe knowing that I Gwen Langford was going to be speaking to my hero in person. There were 4 of us there that morning and while I waited my turn I kept thinking to myself “Is this real”?  When it was my turn I had my book of The Lyrics of Leonard Cohen opened to the page with Hallelujah where I had a photo and my concert tickets and a fridge magnet inserted and asked Leonard would  he mind signing just one ticket and the lyrics. Leonard ever the gentleman signed everything. I explained that Hallelujah is my favourite song of all time and while I watched him sign the lyrics to me, watching the hands that wrote the songs that have changed my life I was delirious with joy. I told him his music caresses my soul and he liked that comment thanking me and telling me I was so kind.

I also had with me my flag I had made for Katowice. When Leonard saw it he was really impressed and then signed it for me. All the while this was happening my friend Mandy was taking photos for me for which I will be forever grateful. After Leonard then spoke to her and moved on we stayed at a respectable distance not wanting to be a nuisance. Then his manager Robert Kory came out of the hotel and came over to speak to us. I asked him if possible for Leonard to come back on tour and to come to Ireland and if he wasn’t up to the travelling he could just stay in Ireland!! After Robert left us we could see Leonard and him leaning on a wall talking when suddenly and my favourite moment of all, Leonard approaching us and telling us we were so kind. We told him he was the kind one. While he signed one more item for Mandy I told him about when I had gone to Lissadell in September for his birthday with the plaque. He was visably touched when I told him about this.

The previous night in the hotel we had met The Webb Sisters and also Dino Soldo so we more than delighted when we met Leonard too. Las Vegas is a strange place, unmagical when described by Leonard but for me it will always be remembered with fondness as the place I met my hero.

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Photos by:

© 1,2,3,5,11,12,14,16 Mandy MacLeod,

© 4,7,8,9,10,13 Gwen Langford

© 6, 15 Doug Green

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