Leonard Cohen Performs Under Disco Balls: Take This Waltz – Munich 1993

I have longed for a video of a Leonard Cohen performance that displays his disco ball effects. Now, sharp-eyed reader Phillip Smith has pointed me to such a recording. That video is embedded at the end of this post following a summary of the back story..

Leonard Cohen’s Disco Balls: 1979

Readers of the regrettably departed DrHGuy.com site may recall mention of a photo by Jean-Pierre Leloir1 that shows Leonard Cohen performing beneath four disco balls at his October 22, 1979 Paris concert.

That I am fascinated by a photo documenting Leonard Cohen caught consorting, albeit serendipitously, with disco balls will surprise few familiar with my posts about the Canadian singer-songwriter. But, it gets even better.

Leonard Cohen’s Disco Balls: 1993

In preparing to republish some interviews originally hosted at 1HeckOfAGuy.com/Cohencentric, I came across a Q&A I did with Jim Devlin.2 It turns out that one of Jim’s responses to my question, “Which Leonard Cohen concerts have most impressed you?” was

I loved the disco-ball lighting effect in 1993

A bit of research led to an more complete description of this phenomenon in Jim’s book, In Every Style of Passion: The Works of Leonard Cohen:

One “non-musical” aspect of the [1993 Leonard Cohen] shows which deserves a mention was the large glitter-ball, suspended above the stage, which revolved slowly during “Take This Waltz,” bathing the audience in mobile fragmented specks of light – not unlike the silver minnows oft-mentioned in the song’s intro3 and the lilies of snow in the actual lyrics4.

The above text is reprinted from the April 19, 2015 Cohencentric post, Leonard Cohen’s Disco Balls: 1979 & 1993. In that same post I lamented being unable to find a video of Take This Waltz featuring a disco ball.

Now that search is ended. This audience recording of the 1993 Leonard Cohen Munich Concert is not pristine. The camera is a bit shaky and not quite in focus. And the sound is imperfect. Nonetheless, the vitality of the performance and the enthusiasm of the audience is readily apparent. And the disco ball effect is obvious.

Leonard Cohen – Take This Waltz
Circus Krone, Munich: May 28, 1993
Video from SighsNorth

 

Credit Due Department:Thanks to Phillip Smith, who pointed out this phenomenon.

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 Mar 29, 2016.

_______________________________

  1. Photo found in a 15 page feature on the Canadian singer-songwriter by Jacques Vassal in the French monthly magazine Paroles & Musique [Words and Music], No. 33, Oct 1983. Contributed by Dominique BOILE []
  2. Among other accomplishments, Jim Devlin has written three books about Leonard Cohen, “In Every Style of Passion: The Works of Leonard Cohen” (1996), “Is This What You Wanted” (1997), and “Leonard Cohen In His Own Words” (1998), all of which are out of print and so treasured that they cannot be had these days without handing over significant cash to used book dealers. []
  3. Cohen sometimes introduced “Take This Waltz” with words such as these from the March 7, 1993 San Francisco show: “You know it was many years ago in the city of Montreal that I stumbled upon this volume. I opened it and I accepted the poet’s invitation to enter into this world where fistfuls of ants were thrown at the sun and crystals obscured the pine trees and there were the arches of Elvira to pass through and begin weeping and there were those thighs that slipped away like schools of silver minnows… Source: Leonard Cohen Prologues [emphasis mine] []
  4. Pertinent lyrics from “Take This Waltz:”

    And I’ll see what you’ve chained to your sorrow
    All your sheep and your lilies of snow []

Leave a Reply