Thursday, June 12, 2008

In My Secret Life

I spent Monday night in paradise.

Wrapping up the Canadian leg of his 2008/2009 World Tour, Leonard Cohen played his fourth and final Toronto concert to a sold out house and I was there!!! Remember me? I was the one screaming my ass off throughout I’m Your Man.

The silly girls sitting behind me giggled, “Aw, he’s so cute!” Excuse me? Cute?!? Try sexy, smouldering, seductive! Does it take Giselle Renarde the Grave Robber to suggest that, at 73, Leonard Cohen is still white hot and workin’ it? He was certainly in fine form Monday, trademark smoky vocals even boasting brighter tones than I’ve heard in any of his past recordings.

And why, I’m often asked, do I constantly refer to Leonard Cohen as my Secret Husband (so secret even he doesn’t know about it yet)? What’s his appeal? It’s the voice, the music. It’s the words, the poetry. It’s the wry wit, the cynical optimism, the literary sexuality that makes him my perfect pretend husband.

I’m Your Man sums it up perfectly, which is why I couldn’t contain myself when Leonard sang those opening lines, “If you want a lover, I’ll do anything you ask me to.” I had a screaming, applauding concert-orgasm. People laughed. Ahem. But if you want my idea of a perfect partner, just listen to that song. It’s all about a desire so deep for the lover that he’ll meet her on her terms, whatever they may be. It isn’t cloying or pathetic, though. No, no, no. He speaks of that longing to beg and plead, to “fall at your feet” and “howl at your beauty like a dog in heat,” but says he’s not going to do that because those methods don’t work. He’s going to let her call the shots. ALL the shots. And that, my friends, is why Leonard Cohen is my man. Now at 73, and forevermore.

If Leonard Cohen’s coming your way, go see him. Check the World Tour schedule. He’s performing with the Webb Sisters and his collaborator Sharon Robinson singing backup. Here in Toronto, he gave us six encores! He’s a generous and humble performer and he sure gave me a night to remember ;-)