Saturday, September 12, 2009


After not succeeding in getting tickets for the quickly sold out Leonard Cohen show, and pretty much giving up on ever getting any, someone writes me an email to say he's got one ticket. Do I want it? He was selling it at double the price he paid.

I impulsively responded - yes, I'll take it. I only know one person who is going - the rest of my friends were shut out, even after trying all weekend when tickets first went on sale.

I really like Leonard Cohen - enough to pay a lot for this ticket. My favorite song of his is So Long Marianne. I even fantasized since my early teens about being his back up singer. But I don't know all of his stuff and don't even have any of his CDs. I heard from many of my friends all over the world that if I get a chance to see him, I should, because it is a spiritual experience. Even though I have spiritual experiences all the time, being that I live in Israel, what's one more?

I also feel a kinship with him since we're both a product of Jewish religious schools and look what it had done to us. Or, rather, what we did to them. Because of my sister who lives in Montreal, I've spent many a summer and holiday over there and in the nearby Laurentian mountains and know the small Jewish community of many kinds.

There was even a Leonard Cohen poetry reading at Tmol Shilshom bookstore/cafe this past week. I don't know if the Hebrew can capture his entire essence, but enjoyed the English readings.

So I'm emailing this guy, and he's emailing me back, signing off with a Buddhist saying. I finally call him to hear the voice who is selling me this hard-to-get ticket.

He tells me that he is glad to be selling to a real Leonard Cohen fan and not to someone who doesn't know the Man well enough but only wants to go to his concert just to say he's been there. We talk about his songs and he asks me about some songs I haven't yet heard. While we're talking, I log onto YouTube and take a look at some of the songs he mentions - panicking lest the seller thinks I'm not a real fan and he'll give the ticket to someone else who knows all of his stuff.

I even let him read me a poem from his Leonard Cohen book. I know the gossip well enough to mention the relationship Cohen had with Janis Joplin which led to his writing the song Chelsea Hotel. Now, I know I'm in. I know Leonard well enough to earn that ticket. He's convinced of that.

I tell my friend I'm buying a ticket at double the price. She asks me if Buddhists are allowed to do that. I don't know, really.

I met him at Ramle yesterday, as a half-way meeting point, to get the ticket. Hubby panics, thinking Ramle is a total dump, ridden with crime and unsavory characters. I tell him - don't you think that about our own house? I get to Ramle and enter a lovely small well-kept modern mall. The seller meets me and we exchange money for ticket. I look at the ticket. It's second row!! The gate is close to the stage. I'm really thrilled. He brought his Leonard Cohen book of poetry. I take the book from him and read three poems.


Anonymous said...

You will absolutely love it. I went to his concert and also had a 2nd row ticket. My husband accompanied me and we both thought it was the best concert EVER, including classical music, stupid Pink Floyd, arrogant Bob Dylan and the like. The best.
You will feel that he is performing just for you. He is my love.


Normski said...

I also had a 2nd row seat, mine was in Brighton, England & having thought for years that Mr C would never tour again I was absolutely blown away by the show. Not only the main man but also the superb supporting artists.
Like Anna I have been to many other live concerts but nothing, absolutely nothing, compares with Mr Cohen.