“We’ll do some warm-up dates in Canada, and let’s see what we’ve got” Rob Hallett On His Proudest Achievement: “Bringing Leonard Cohen back to the stage [in 2008]”

What to date is your proudest achievement in work?

 

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Bringing Leonard Cohen back to the stage in order that a whole new generation can truly understand the meaning of sublime.

 

Rob Hallett

 

Quote from Inside Knowledge: Rob Hallett, AEG Live (Clash: 02 · 03 · 2010). Photo by J.S. Carenza III.

 

Leonard Cohen is finishing his UK arena tour – how did you talk him out of retirement?

 

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It took some time. Leonard was trying to make some of the money back that had been stolen. [Cohen’s manager stole $9.5m (£6.2m) in the 1990s.] At first he said, ‘I don’t know if anyone wants to see me. You must be joking’. We went back and forth over a couple of years. In the end, I offered to finance the rehearsals and said, ‘we’ll do some warm-up dates in Canada, and let’s see what we’ve got’. So we were about $3m (£2m) in and 16 shows in Canada and we knew that we had a monster on our hands. When I first put an O2 show on sale everyone said, ‘what? Leonard Cohen in the O2?’ And we sold out three. It’s been a fantastic success. Everyone who’s seen the show almost without fail is saying this is the best show they’ve ever seen in their lives.

 

Rob Hallett

 

From Bringing the stars to the stage by Ian Youngs: (BBC News: November 27, 2008).

Also See: May 11, 2008: The Leonard Cohen Renaissance Begins With Fredericton Concert

Note: In 2008, Rob Hallett was President of International Touring at AEG Live. He ended his relationship with the company in 2014.

 

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 Apr 25, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

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