Leonard Cohen Video: Rafael Gayol’s Drumstick Of Death

Errant Drumstick Launch Or Ninja Percussionist Move?

Maarten Massa directs our attention to Rafael Gayol’s spotlighted drum solo during I Tried To Leave You at the Sept 20, 2013 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert. The big finish to this performance has traditionally been a drumstick toss & catch (ok, it’s sometimes a drumstick toss & miss – just to build suspense). Consequently, one observes that at 6:26 in the video below, Albert Noonan, the Vizir of Videography in the Kingdom of Cohen, zooms out to enlarge the frame in anticipation of that drumstick toss.

Then, at 6:30 of the video, the drumstick (more precisely, the wire brush) is indeed hurled but rather than flying upward as expected, it shoots directly posterior to the drummer.

Leonard Cohen – I Tried To Leave You
Amsterdam: Sept 20, 2013
Video by albertnoonan

Note: The video will automatically begin just before the incident for convenience, but both the video and the performance are high quality and viewing the entire performance is rewarding.



In Slow Motion
The animation below captures the key scene in slow motion for an enhanced view.


Update: Rafael Gayol’s Dramatic Drumstick Toss From “I Tried To Leave You” – Paris 2012

While this incident may appear, on the surface, to be no more than a miscue on Rafael Gayol’s part, careful analysis yields an alternative hypothesis. Consider the possibility that on one the reflective surfaces of his equipment, Rafael spots, for example, a crazed Justin Bieber fan bent on revenge for Leonard Cohen’s victory over Bieber for Artist of the Year honors at the Juno Awards. Rather than leaving his station to confront the would-be assassin, the man Cohen calls the Prince Of Precision instinctively throws the wire brush directly backward, foiling the attack without causing a panic.

As proof of concept, I offer this video of a youngster performing a similar feat.



Doubters may be persuaded by the look of relief flowing across Cohen’s face following his realization of what took place.

Also See: Roscoe Beck’s Remarkable Catch Of Rafael Gayol’s Drumstick Toss

View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations.

Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post is by Maarten Massa.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted June 27, 2015.

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