A Treat For Leonard Cohen Fans: Jem Treadwell’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook

The Most Extraordinary Thing About Leonard Cohen Is That He’s Still There, And He’s Still Successful

That sort of lead into a story about Leonard Cohen is hardly uncommon these days.

Heck, the alternative name for The 2008-2009 World Tour might as well be The 73-75 Year Old Leonard Cohen Is Better Than Ever Singing And Skipping Marathon.

That interrupted line in the graphic atop this post, “He’s in his …” does not, however, ends with a number in the 70s.

Continuing, one finds instead that [Cohen is] in his …

Yep, Leonard Cohen somehow managed to survive into his early forties with his wit, professionalism, and “repertoire … of the old, old favourites” intact.

And, from the adjoining photo, he seems to have weathered the passage of time without catastrophic deterioration.

This piece about a fedora-less, white sport coat clad Leonard Cohen in his 40s is found in a treasure trove of clippings from the 1970s UK music press originally collected by Jem Treadwell, who has scanned his collection and placed them online at Jem Treadwell’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook.

The scrapbook has the occasional prescient sections, such as this excerpt from Page 1, Scrap 4, a review of a Leonard Cohen Dublin concert in the 1970s.

For the 2009 update, one would need change only the song order (“So Long Marianne” was not sung until midway through the most recent Dublin Concert set list). The 1970s concert’s technical troubles (the video screens were markedly out of sync in 2009) and the sing-along on “So Long Marianne” were repeated a few days ago.

One can also view

  • An article about Cohen abandoning a song mid-passage during a concert (Page 1, Scrap 2)
  • Complaints about the outrageous cost of tickets which went for as much as six pounds (Page 2, Scrap 7)
  • Several scathing comments, including a review of “Live Songs” that begins, “Oh Lennie. What ails you?” – and goes downhill from there (Page 4, Scrap 3)
  • Several reports of Cohen quitting or retiring from the music business
  • A number of concert tickets, programs, and other relics from the era

Because the items in the scrapbook are scanned, the indexing is limited to titles, and there is no search function. On the other hand, the faded newsprint, torn corners, and other artifacts of age as well as the unexpected discoveries contribute to the sense of an archaeological exploration and make Jem Treadwell’s Leonard Cohen Scrapbook a browser’s delight.

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 July 23, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

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