Leonard Cohen announces first tour in 15 years

Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:38am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen unveiled plans on Tuesday for his first tour in 15 years, starting in Toronto on June 6.

The announcement comes a day after the gravel-voiced performer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York, along with Madonna, John Mellencamp, The Dave Clark Five and The Ventures.

The tour will include major gigs like the Glastonbury Festival in Britain on June 29, where he could be performing to a crowd as large as 150,000 people, to the more intimate Opera House in Manchester.

It includes dates in Toronto and Montreal and a series of concerts across Europe. The last confirmed date of the tour is Vienna on August 29, although more dates are expected to be added, organizers said.

"For many this tour will be the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the legend that is Leonard Cohen," said Rob Hallett from AEG Live, the company promoting the tour.

Cohen, 73, published books of poetry and novels before turning to music. His 1967 debut album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen," included what became one of his most popular songs, "Suzanne."

Other favorites include "Hallelujah," "Sisters of Mercy" and "Bird on a Wire." His songs have been recorded by R.E.M., Billy Joel, Elton John, Don Henley and others.

Born in Montreal, Cohen started his musical career in New York in the late 1960s. He fought depression and retreated to a California monastery in the 1990s to study Zen.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen poses with his award backstage after Cohen was inducted during the 23rd annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York March 10, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>