On the evening of his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Leonard Cohen released details of his first world tour in fifteen years. Confirmed by the Canadian artist’s official website, the much-anticipated tour will commence on June 6 with a two-night stand in Toronto. Three consecutive dates later in the month at the Montreal Jazz Festival mark the only other North American performances on the issued itinerary, but additional dates are expected to surface soon. A series of European dates fill out the schedule, including appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival as well as at England’s mammoth Glastonbury Festival.
On Monday night at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, the music and literary legend received a distinguished welcome as he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Following a sprawling yet heartfelt tribute by Lou Reed, Cohen took to the podium, his hands a bit shaky with age, but his deep voice – as well as his wit – still very much in command. Modifying a famous and prophetic line once written about a young Bruce Springsteen, he deadpanned, “I have seen the future of Rock and Roll, and he is not Leonard Cohen.” Indeed, he appeared a bit bemused by his inclusion in the Rock and Roll pantheon, but his humble appreciation of the honor was nothing short of genuine. He concluded his remarks by reciting the words to “Tower of Song,” punctuating each verse with a cadence equally assertive and insightful. His rendering of the last stanza, in particular, seemed strikingly appropriate:
Now I bid you farewell, I don’t know when I’ll be back
They’re moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track
But you’ll be hearing from me baby, long after I’m gone
I’ll be speaking to you sweetly from my window in the Tower of Song