The title of this post may not sound like a particularly extraordinary thing to some people, especially those who have actually listened to Leonard Cohen’s music, but I don’t mean it in the drink-a-bottle-of-red-and-listen-to-Leonard-Cohen-whilst-feeling-maudlin way.
I went to his concert.
It was amazing.
It wasn’t the body wracking sobs of some of the folk in the crowd but I did leak a salty fluid from my eyes which is a bit out of character for me.
This might sound a little improbable but I only really started to get into music about two years ago.
I mean I was aware of music before then obviously but…
Ah bloody hell… look, in the beginning there was the radio and that was where my parents got the news from and listened primarily to the ABC and sometimes to Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy and that was what I thought the radio was for. I didn’t really think about it that much.
Then I got to high school and a couple of the other kids explained to me (once they’d pried me out of my books with a crow bar) that the radio could also be a source of music. A couple of my cousins made me mix tapes and I went ‘oh, interesting, I should look into this’.
And I actually tried tuning a radio and found a few things that sounded OK and went through the usual teenage obsessed-disinterested-obsessed-disinterested pattern with different artists and songs.
But deep down, I really didn’t give a shit. It was an alternative to silence.
Then I started my current job.
And then R started lending me CDs.
And all of a sudden music was huge.
It was big and beautiful and hard and dangerous and it matched my moods and challenged my mind or just fucking rocked in a way I had never known it to rock before.
I had heard the names of some of the bands before but had never heard of others and had heard next to none of any of their music and one band or album lead to another and my CD collection began to increase at an exponential rate and for the first time in my life I wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument and I wondered if this was what everyone else had been feeling all this time.
And I sat in that stadium with all those other hundreds of people and I listened to that man sing those songs of hurt and thought and personal history and saw the wry humour and humble pride.
And I cried.
Not only at the beauty of the music and the skill of the musicians who had spent decades perfecting their craft.
But out of gratitude that I found out about the music in time.
And that I was there.