Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970

Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970

Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970

directed by Murray Lerner

Sony Legacy

There’s only one man whose swagger could quiet a crowd of 600,000 people on the cusp of rioting. His name is Leonard Cohen, and once again the poet/musician surfaces from images of the past.

This DVD/CD takes you back to the 1970s, when politics meant more than just faces on the late night news. It was the last night of that year’s Isle of Wight festival, and with fires and angry hippies soaking in the music of Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen finally took the stage. Hendrix would’ve been an impossible act to follow for anyone else but Leonard Cohen — this man has the voice and words to stop you in your tracks, slap you in the face (gently of course), and pour out all the little secrets that you only wish you could tell. He commands attention and it is given.

Cohen plays all his swooning hits with his “army” of men with their array of instruments and, of course, the voices of three angels, who sing so beautifully, to his right backing him up. He starts out with “Diamonds in the Mine,” and it almost feels as though he is screaming these lyrics in your face and you want to shut your eyes but you can’t. He chitchats in-between songs, which he still does to this day at age seventy five, telling jokes and making the little remarks that only poets can. Cohen stands onstage with his olive skin, his shoulder-length brown hair, his beige coat, and the distinguished lines on his face that could only be brought on by emotions and feelings, many, many love affairs, and drugs. A splendid life, in my opinion.

This is the infamous show during which Cohen asked the crowd to light matches, “fireflies” he called them, as he wanted to see where everyone was in the dark of the night. His delivery of “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong” is so emotional — the way he just stares off and sings and stretches out his words to make them more meaningful is epic — and why I think so many people consider his music sad (which is somewhat true, but this is real life, raw emotions and all, and he did it oh so well). It seems as though Mr. Cohen was (and I think still is) so ahead of his time with his lyrics that no one really appreciated him until much later, when all of the ’60s and ’70s free love generation finally grew up and realized that in order to fight for what you believe in, you have to first understand people and the words that they use. For those who still haven’t heard of Leonard Cohen, I’m urging you to check out this genius of a man.

Leonard Cohen: www.leonardcohen.com • Sony Legacy: www.legacyrecordings.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives