There is a crack in everything, Leonard once said, and the crack here is I am posting this a day early, because I won’t be home tomorrow.
It is hard to believe that my pilgrimage across the Atlantic to see Leonard in his home country was actually 5 years ago. In the past I have posted a different image in honour of his concerts in Toronto. What makes Toronto extra special is the dates. Those concerts fitting in perfectly with a line from my favourite song, Hallelujah.
The photos used here were taken during the band introductions after Anthem each night. I guess I should have used Hallelujah. This is another crack! (Note to oneself for next year, less cracks!)
So this time last year I had this image ready to post on the first anniversary of what I call my Hallelujah concerts but internet issues meant I couldn’t post then. So roll on this year and the 2nd anniversary. Great memories of a wonderful time. I guess I should have posted this yesterday but as Leonard would say “There is a crack in everything”.
A discussion on Facebook led me to comment I have a few special photos of Leonard at the beginning of the concerts. The following six I think are my best ones from these moments. It isn’t always possible to get good photos at this stage because fans can be clapping wildly over their heads so I feel blessed I was able to get these photos which I think tell a special story of the connection between Leonard and the audience on a given night.
Kilmainham September 14th 2012. (This was the day after I bought this camera with the sole purpose of being able to get better photos of Leonard in concert!)
While in Montreal we visited many of the places we knew to be special to Leonard Cohen and one of those places had to be Bonsecours to see “Our Lady of the Harbour” immortalised in the song Suzanne. The lyrics I use here are the exact ones sang by Leonard in Montreal.
I didn’t see an Apple Store to Cohenise in Toronto though I’m sure there was at least one there somewhere. However on leaving a shopping centre and taking a wrong turn we came across some artwork drawn on the pavement on what looked like a special slab to do so. On seeing the person had left chalk on the ground I couldn’t resist drawing a Unified Heart and Mandy done the same. This was with the white chalk when we saw a bigger and piece of yellow chalk and as the evidence shows I took full advantage and drew a bigger heart and we added a few words just to make sure people would know who we were referring to.
As we continued down the street and soon realised, hang on this isn’t the street we should be on so we back tracked and were soon on the correct way back to our hotel. There is a lot of construction work in Toronto and as we continued out walk we saw a sign saying “DANGER DUE TO” and in the blank space below someone had written “ZOMBIES”. This made us laugh. A couple of minutes later we spotted another of these signs with nothing in the space so I couldn’t resist and with Mandy’s help came up with the idea below. Luckily I didn’t get arrested for doing this and hopefully if someone from the Toronto City Council sees it I won’t be banned from entering Canada in the future 😉
In 2011 when in an Apple store in Belfast with a huge TV with internet, I decided to educate the masses with who actually wrote Hallelujah by going on YouTube and playing the Live In London version and then leaving the store with it still playing, volume turned up. When I posted on The Leonard Cohen Forum on what I had done I discovered I wasn’t alone in Cohenising Apple Stores with it being a mission of other members to do so every time they are in Apple Stores. So when I spotted an Apple Store on St. Catherine’s Street in Montreal I said to Mandy we had to Cohenise it and even though it was always a risk crossing streets in Montreal due to a lack of pedestrian lights it was a risk I had to take. On entering the Store we set to work on as many devices as possible and gathering the evidence with our phones (using my camera would have alerted staff before our mission was complete). Hence the following photos are not the best quality and are only a sample as we Cohenised many more items than are shown here. We changed all the backgrounds to images of Leonard and then on the bigger devices played videos including some I made myself and feature on this site 😉 One would think that there isn’t a requirement to do this in Leonard’s hometown but I was shocked by the number of blank faces when people asked why we were in Montreal, when I told them it was for Leonard Cohen’s concerts so they most certainly did need educating!