The Superb 1993 Leonard Cohen Ghent Soundcheck & Interview: Song, Dance, & Snappy Chatter

In Rarely Seen 1993 Rehearsal & Interview Video1 Leonard Cohen Sings, Speaks On The Summoning Of Courage, Performs Conga With Julie Christensen & Perla Batalla – And So Much More


The video featured in today’s post offers not only a little known Leonard Cohen interview and a candid look at a pre-concert soundcheck but also excellent specimens of Cohen’s own brand of shuck and jive as well as a few of his most notable dance moves. The occasion is the Leonard Cohen concert at the Hand In Hand Festival Voor Verdraagzaamheid on May 9, 1993 in Ghent.

The Google translation of the blurb for the video follows:

09.05.1993 – Leonard Cohen was a guest at the “Hand in Hand” festival of tolerance in Flanders Expo. You can see pictures of the rehearsal before the show. Cohen is a good mood – he’s doing something that might pass for dancing, and put at one point even a conga with his background singers.

Video Highlights

  • Songs heard in the rehearsal portion of the video are “Bird On A Wire,” “Dance Me To The End Of Love,” and “The Future.”
  • The backup singers on the 1993 tour were Julie Christensen & Perla Batalla. The band musicians were Bob Metzger (yep, the same Bob Metzger who played in the 2008-2010 World Tour): guitar and steel pedal guitar, Jorge Calderón: bass, Bill Ginn: keyboards, Paul Ostermayer: keyboards, saxophone. Bob Furgo: violin, keyboards, Steve Meador: drums.2
  • Adjustments are made to the stage lighting and sound throughout the session and are themselves worth a closer look. Note, for example, the guy working on the overhead lights.

  • The interview comprises, in approximately equal portions and all delivered with the same earnest demeanor, insightful thoughts on race relations that far surpass the typical cliches uttered by entertainers on such occasions and preposterous responses to the scripted interview questions, e.g.,

Interviewer: Are you someone who is engaged – are you an engaged artist?

Leonard Cohen: No, I’m totally self-involved and only interested in myself. It’s very difficult for me to get interested in anybody else.

  • Julie Christensen delivering a well-executed goosing of the saxophone player, Paul Ostermayer.

  • And there is the dancing.

Video: Leonard Cohen Soundcheck – Ghent 1993

Video: Leonard Cohen Interview – Ghent 1993


Credit Due Department: Cohencentric and its viewers are indebted to Maarten Massa, who alerted DrHGuy to the existence of this outstanding, undeservedly obscure video.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Mar 7, 2011 at


  1. This is the video of the soundcheck preceding the May 9, 1993 Leonard Cohen concert designated “Ghent, Belgium – Expo” in Is This What You Wanted by Jim Devlin, p 67. []
  2. Is This What You Wanted by Jim Devlin, p 71 []

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