These photos were taken May 23, 2009 in London, Ontario by Bill Birtch, who writes about the event:
Leonard Cohen was playing the John Labatt Centre that evening. I was on my way downtown for a coffee and passed by Scotts Corner, a small bar on the main street, and as I rolled by (I use a power wheelchair to get around) I realized that I’d just passed within a few inches of Leonard Cohen.
My first thought was of my camera which I’d neglected to grab on my way out the door. I stopped down the street a ways and called my daughter, also an avid photographer, to tell her of my find but she was unable to get away to take advantage of this opportunity. So, I continued on, had my coffee and headed home after an hour or so. Much to my surprise Mr. Cohen was still sitting on the patio of the bar.
I stopped briefly, said “Welcome to London.” He thanked me, at which point I decided to rush home, grab my camera and come back, a 20 minute round trip, in the hopes that he would still be there.
Obviously, and much to my delight, he was. I caught the eye of one of his companions, a band member I believe, and held up my camera with a questioning look on my face – my way of asking permission to take some shots. He nodded so I snapped a dozen or so shots from a distance of a three of four meters.
At one point Leonard looked at me and removed his glasses to accommodate my picture taking. When I was done I nodded, mouthed the words “Thank you” and returned home to process my images.
I should add that he was most gracious and accommodating to people who stopped to talk, a real gentleman.
Note: The photographer offered this comment on the photo of Leonard with his glasses in hand: “The lighting was less than ideal so it took some serious photoshopping to come up with this.”
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 Jan 6, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric