COHEN INSPIRES CHARITY NIGHT
A LEONARD Cohen tribute night set to take place in Wicklow town will raise funds for Wicklow Cancer Support and Wicklow RNLI.
Musicians and singers from all over Wicklow will perform different songs from the Canadian singer-songwriters repertoire, and will also explain why they selected that particular tune.
The organiser of the fundraiser, Robert Doyle, is a huge Leonard Cohen fan and actually got an opportunity to spend some time with his hero in the late 1970’s.
‘I was working in a hotel in Switzerland where he was staying in 1979. I had one of his song-books that I was hoping he would sign. I was working and might have lost my job if my employees found out but I decided to risk it.
‘He was on an end suite and when I approached the door was already open and he was around 20 feet away just passing the door. He did a double take when he saw me. I said ‘I’m very sorry but I was at your concert and I was just wondering if you would sing this song book of yours I have?’ Immediately he asked ‘do you mind if I ask you what you thought of the concert?’ He then went on to ask me about every musician in his band and their performance and wanted to know how other people in the audience around me reacted to the concert.
‘He was about to have a party and after hearing I had one of his song-books, he asked if I would sing for them. Of course I said ‘no’ which is probably the biggest regret I ever had. I would have been ‘crap’ but I still would have been able to tell people I sang for Leonard Cohen.
‘We chatted out on the corridor for about half an hour, and during that time three different people form his entourage came out and asked if he was coming back into his room. In the end I was the one who said ‘I’d better let you go.’ He said ‘are you sure you don’t want a drink?’ But I declined, plus I was meant to be working.
‘When I worked as a photographer I took pictures of some famous celebrities and singers and Leonard Cohen was without doubt the must humble and self-effacing of them all.’
The tribute fundraiser takes place in the Grand Hotel on Friday, September 22. The doors open at 7.30 p.m. and the music starts at 8.30 p.m..
All the proceeds go toward Wicklow Cancer Support and Wicklow RNLI. A raffle will also be held a limited edition framed picture of Leonard Cohen taken by Robert at the last ever Irish concert Cohen played at in the 02 in 2013, having been personally booked by the singer’s management as the night’s photographer. Tickets for the concert are available at Halpin’s Bridge Cafe, Track One Music Store, the Grand Hotel and Wings and Things, Main Street, Wicklow town.
Robert Doyle with his framed photo of Leonard Cohen.