Report From Australia, "A Successful Gathering - Twice As Long As A Leonard Cohen Concert."

Alan Mawhinney with "Roscoe" &  Dean (from Adelaide) Engelhardt

January 28, 2012

Alan Mawhinney and I have been exchanging emails since the Adelaide concert in 2010.  One thing about Alan that was evident from the start, he is so passionate about the genius of Leonard Cohen he wants everybody in his life and beyond to enjoy and admire LC as much as he does.

Alan was inspired to bring together people of different levels of appreciating Leonard Cohen including newcomers with little background.  It was a mission he set for himself and it appears he has succeeded

Karin (like a rose on its ladder of thorns)
On January 21, 2012, Alan and his wife Karin hosted a Leonard Cohen fans get together at their home in Adelaide. Alan, along with the equally passionate Dean (from Adelaide), organized a program for the evening with extensive coverage of Leonard Cohen material.

Alan kindly sent me emails and photos to let me know how the evening went. Thank you to Dean for inviting me to join in on Skype, but I am not on Skype...yet.

Following is a reprint of Alan's emails (in part) describing the planning and the meet-up in his own words.

By: Alan Mawhinney, Adelaide, Australia

Overall we had a successful gathering - twice as long as a Leonard Cohen concert.

I have decided to host the inaugural meeting of the LC Fan Club (Adelaide branch) on Jan 21st.
Each person is asked to introduce a song and then I will play the relevant video.
Dean and I will then introduce the novices to some of the songs not played on the World Tour.

There is a tradition in Australia to have "Christmas in July" when it is cold, so this will be LC's birthday party in January when it is hot.

I caught up with Dean and Cathy at a cricket match a few days ago and they are both in good form.
Dean will bring his concert CD artwork and I will display my vinyl collection.

They are the only others outside my group of inductees that are local forum members.
However I found out a couple of weeks ago that my neighbours are recent fans, so that will increase the numbers a little.

Meeting Dean and Cathy this evening (yes at another cricket match) for further planning for our gathering.

 Planning for Saturday week is progressing a-pace. Dean wondered if you wanted to tune in on skype!

Overall we had a successful gathering - twice as long as a Leonard Cohen concert.

1. Some audio recordings of Cohen Rarities - Do I Have To Dance All Night, To Love Somebody, etc.

2. Video "The Guests"; Alan intro 21st January = LC birthday when it is hot (33C), followed by Albert Noonan's "Happy Birthday" video.
Followed that with the Sony version and then the Alan/Allan version of "A Thousand Kisses Deep". (see below)

Some examples of Cohen humour including the Shoe Hospital thing from Austin City Limits and the intro to Billy Sunday (Blues by the Jews).

Then 3 tracks from Old Ideas -lyric videos of "Going Home", "Show Me The Place" and "Darkness". All very well received. Easy segue from the Cohen humour bit to "Going Home".

3. Each person or couple then presented a song, for which I supplied the video. They said what their song meant to them and I tell you that was a real eye opener for me. I thought many just tagged along because of my missionary zeal, but each had their own deep meaning that they had discovered for themselves.

One of the group is a serious Elvis fan and was delighted when I slipped in the video of Leonard singing a few lines of "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" from the recently appeared BBC interview.

Dean and I gave our various concert recollections during the introduction to our songs, and through it all there was significant discussion, followed by respectful silence during the playing of the videos.

4. To round off the evening I had compiled a list of audio recordings that I called "Gentle Songs". These had not been played during the World Tour and were more easy-listening for novices. I omitted things like "Dress Rehearsal Rag", "Sing Another Song, Boys" and similar. I feel they are more for the advanced listener.

I had displayed my vinyls, books and DVDs and Dean displayed his 2010 concert CD collection with its magnificent artwork - greatly admired by all.

5. The unplanned bit - my neighbours - the most recent fans of all - demanded to see more before they went home!

All in all, a successful evening.

L-R  Front row - Lee, Karin, Jo, Lorraine, Cathy, Dean; Back row - Klaus, Mel, Ian, Julie, Chris, Alan

The Alan Mawhinney/Allan Showalter collaboration of "A Thousand Kisses Deep"


Alan Mawhinney is AlanM on the Leonard Cohen Forum
Alan is alanm5049 on YouTube. His YouTube channel is (here) with six superb videos from the Adelaide and Sydney concerts.

Dean (on the beach)

Dean Engelhardt (dce) posted a wonderful comprehensive report about this Adelaide event on the Leonard Cohen Forum (here)

Dean (from Adelaide) blog, lcdownunder 2010A Time Capsule of Leonard Cohen's 2010 Tour of Australia and New Zealand (here)

Karin Mawhinney (photo above) is sporting a transfer rose tattoo in honour of the event
And leave no word of discomfort
And leave no observer to mourn
But climb on your tears and be silent
Like a rose on its ladder of thorns  (The Window)
Pup "Roscoe" is now 15 months old and was named guessed it... Roscoe Beck, Bassist and Musical Director with the Leonard Cohen World Tour 2008-2010. I just love pup Roscoe's hat.


  1. With his hat, there's even a resemblance between Roscoe and his namesake... where is he in the group photo, though? Am I missing him? I looked.

    #5 ~ What great satisfaction!!!

    This looks and sounds like it was a GREAT gathering!

    ~ Lizzy

  2. And I LOVE your approach on #3... such a great way to get to know your fellow Cohen fans.

    ~ Lizzy

  3. Hi Lizzy. Many thanks for your kind comments. By the time we got to the group photo there were flash problems with my camera. Thankfully another camera was more successful, but I was too flustered to get Roscoe again. Our other dog, Dusty, is under the table.

    Roscoe’s hat was photoshopped in from one of Cathy’s concert photos. The Unified Heart medallion is only worn on special occasions, such as when “Auntie” Arlene wants a photograph.

    Although a lot of effort went into the planning it was great fun.