Happy Birthday Leonard

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Happy Birthday Leonard. I didn’t forget, I can’t forget. I’ll never forget. I’m in Liverpool for a few days so I had to be creative with this!

Thank you for the memories!

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Remembering The Roses

It is hard to believe it is four years today since I gave Leonard roses, and he put them on the stage for his final Kilmainham concert. It was a magical day, one forever etched in my heart, and one that will remain one of my most favourite days.
Read about this amazing day here:

https://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/rose-story/

I’m blessed with having some special photographs from this day.

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Waiting, thank you Ed for this photo.

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Handing Leonard the roses, captured by Ed.

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Handing Leonard the roses, captured by James

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Overcome with emotion, and comforted by Paula. I can’t remember who took this photo.

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Leonard performing with my roses behind him. Such an amazing feeling to see them on the stage. Concert photos by myself.

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I love this photo, one of my favourites that I took during any of the concerts.

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The definition of cool. Doesn’t Leonard look great here!

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Intimacy, the kind that only Leonard could create with 10,000 people in attendance!

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I was blessed to meet Leonard again in 2013, and asked him to sign this photo. He told me  he really liked it. Yes friends, I know how lucky I am. How lucky not only for those magical days, but for the memories, and ability to relive them in my mind, and for the memories to come alive with these photos.

Happy 80th Birthday Leonard

Happy 80th Birthday to the biggest influence and inspiration in my life. Thank you for the memories Leonard. Wishing you a wonderful day and many more ahead. May you be blessed with good health and happiness all your days.

I created this image in celebration of your special day.

Leonard Bday Card

 

A few weeks ago my friend Maria Viana suggested to me that it would be great if as many of us as possible had a special profile photo on this day and she asked me would I create it. I made this using the album cover of Popular Problems for inspiration.

BIRTHDAY

 

RIP Esther Cohen

I was very saddened yesterday, when I heard the news that Esther Cohen had passed away the previous night. I had been lucky enough to meet her in New York last year, first at our fan meetup and then briefly before and after the second concert in Radio City Music Hall.

At the fan meetup, after the dinner and music ended, I nervously approached Esther. Having never met her I wanted to make sure I came across well and not intrusive in any way. When we started speaking she was so kind, complimenting me on my accent, which given that doesn’t happen often I was delighted! I complimented her on the wonderful red jacket she was wearing which she told me she had bought in a shop like H&M! We spoke about me being from Ireland and how much we love Leonard in Ireland and how she had never been here because she preferred to travel to more exotic locations!

We then had our photo taken and I asked her would it be ok to put it on my blog to which she told me she would be honoured and was indeed honoured that we, the fans of her brother allowed her to share our experiences with her. I told her we were honoured she wanted to be a part of it. When I think back to this night I find myself typing through teary eyes. Our conversations on the Sunday night at the concert were brief,  but precious memories to me now. I’m honoured and lucky to have met such an amazing person.

Gwen and Esther

Gwen and Esther

Esther listening to the music.

Esther listening to the music.

 

These lyrics from Leonard’s song Boogie Street have been on my mind since yesterday:

“We are so lightly here, it is in love that we are made; in love we disappear”

Sincerest condolences to Leonard and the rest of Esther’s family and friends. Rest in Peace Esther.

Gwen Langford

RIP Arlene Dick

It was with a heavy heart I read of the passing of Arlene Dick earlier today. Arlene was a friend, a fellow admirer of Leonard Cohen and a fellow blogger with a dedicated Cohen blog which I have no hesitation in admitting is far superior to this one.
When I first started this blog Arlene was one of the first to congratulate me and wish me luck and when I needed advice she was very helpful. However Arlene’s support and help went beyond this site. We never met in person but shared many messages between Facebook and The Leonard Cohen Forum discussing among other things photography and videos and it was Arlene who thought me ways of avoiding the camera police for videos on YouTube.

I was reading back over the Facebook messages earlier and this one made me smile. We were discussing how hard it can be to take photos at concerts at times and being searched on the way in. Arlene’s description of how she solved this issue once brings a smile to my face on this sad day. In her own words: “We were alerted in Las Vegas 2009, no cameras, they’d check purses and they did. But I did some smuggling. I put my camera in my knee high hose, elastic top, extra batteries and memory card in the other. and wore a pair of black socks over them.  As soon as I walked in, I turned right to ladies room and removed them into my purse.  I got terrifc vids that night, including Roscoes new haircut, “the kid” is back intro”

Arlene was a lady who always was optimistic and no matter what life threw at her she had a great attitude and I’ve always felt inspired by her. Her dedication and determination could only be admired and she was a well respected friend in the Leonard Cohen community and will be sadly missed by all who came in contact with her.

My sincerest condolences are extended to her son Leonard (not named after LC but a coincidence), and the rest of her family and friends. I hope they can take some comfort knowing the impact she had on so many of us.

Read here Arlene’s wonderful blog:
http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.ie/

Rest In Peace Arlene, we will never forget you.

 

Thank You Friends

While this blog is dedicated to my personal Leonard Cohen Journey I need to thank some special friends for supporting me along the way. First and foremost I want to thank my travelling companion Mandy. Having such a wonderful friend to share these experiences with makes it all the more memorable, not to mention funny! Thanks for the tears and laughter Mandy. I’m so looking forward to making lots of new memories starting in Dublin next week 🙂

Thanks to Camp Cohen webmaster Joey for taking this photo!

When I decided to publish this blog I received amazing kind comments from friends near and far but none more special than the following two. Firstly the wonderful Arlene for this post on her blog when I first published my blog:

http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.ie/2012/08/gwens-leonard-cohen-journey-launched.html

Thanks so much Arlene!

Also deserving of a special mention is DrHGuy who also posted on his website about my blog:

DrHGuy has always been a huge supporter of my Rose photo and after getting it signed by Leonard, he was one of the first people I told. Today in his unique writing style he published this article about me meeting Leonard and Co on one of his websites:

http://drhguy.posterous.com/gwen

I love it thanks!

There are so many other people who are deserving of my thanks but I’d be here forever if I was to try to list everyone and then there would probably be the dreaded accidental omission of someone so I dare not. Those of you reading this know who you are and you know I will be forever grateful.

Of course a special thank you is extended to Leonard, his wonderful band and crew and of course Adam for all being the most genuine people I have ever met and are definitely regarded as friends.