Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah!
I’m lying in bed thinking about septagenarian Jewish men.
Given I’m an agnostic in my thirties that can only mean one thing: Leonard Cohen is in town.
How do you break it to your middle-aged husband that you’ve fallen for a man twice his age?
It’s tasteless to take heed of the plastic in a man’s wallet – but is a senior’s card an exception?
Cohen’s concert on Saturday night at Rod Laver Arena confirmed that he is a high priest in his own religion. And up until now, I’ve been the kind of worshipper that only turns up for carols. So never fear this is not about Leonard Cohen - I wouldn’t dare. This is about the human heart, a topic on which each of us is an expert. More specifically, this is about the ageless nature of mojo – with Leonard Cohen as exhibit A.
The evening was an epic event and an exercise in mass devotion. Notwithstanding the fact that most of the band could have gone undercover as a lawn bowls team, the concert extended until midnight – with each half of the show lasting as long as many other concerts in their entirety.
This band did more than any social initiative I’ve experienced to raise the status of seniors. The music was ultra cool and deeply satisfying – pared back and perfect - as two standing ovations testified.
But the man himself was inspirational. He was old, he was skinny, he was wrinkled and he was hot. He was a figurehead for the triumph of substance over form.
Cohen seemed to sing to each listener individually, and in the course of the evening he managed to make me, and I expect countless others, forgive him for years of sexual infidelity – and we haven’t even met. When he told me “I’m your man”, he was.
As soon as he sang “In My Secret Life”, mine began - a case of confirmed elderlust. Perhaps this isn’t so unusual, or perhaps I’ve just become the kind of person that you wouldn’t take to meet your grandparents.
Austin Powers, one of the foremost contemporary proponents of mojo, with his teeth like a boat ramp and chest like a bear pelt, has made the point previously. But the personal message I received on Saturday night is how delightfully divorced a person’s real sex appeal is from their physical attributes.
Cohen himself sang of the woman in the Chelsea Hotel, who preferred to sleep with handsome men, but for “[him] she would make an exception”. And why not?
I thought nothing could withstand time but now I know that mojo beats on.
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