Sunday, 6 April 2008

‘Nuff said – the sequel

Last week, I wrote: If you think God moves in a mysterious way, you haven’t dealt with Ticketmaster.

I owe you an explanation for that cryptic pronouncement:

You know I love Leonard Cohen (Yes, you do! You’ve been reading my blog for a while so you are aware of that fact). Well, he’s embarking on a world tour in a minute (please keep your fingers crossed he doesn’t give up the ghost because of it; the poor man is 73 this year; I am, er, xx years younger and I know how I feel when I go out just for a couple of hours; I can’t imagine singing my heart out every night and travelling from city to city for an entire year)... where’s the beginning of my sentence... ah, yes, and he is coming to London.


Yeah, right! He’s going to perform at the O2 Arena (aka the stupid Dome). I ask you! In Nice, he’s going to stand (or sit down maybe, poor darling) in the middle of a beautiful Roman amphitheatre, surrounded by scented trees, on a soft, warm, quiet summer night (the crickets will presumably have shut up by then). In London, he will be surrounded by 20,000 people, a good number of whom will be hanging on for dear life on tiers as high and sheer as any cliffs.

The tour was announced in January, I think, but I wasn’t aware of it. On Friday 14 March, I noticed a small, mysterious ad in the Evening Standard that seemed to indicate that something was in the offing – a new album, OMG, a tour maybe? So I logged on to a wonderful forum full of lovely Leonard fans (his music attracts nice people) and discovered that tickets for the London concert (on 17 July) could now be booked on the O2 website (they had, in fact, gone on sale that very morning).

So, like thousands of others, I logged on, went through all the Ticketmaster hoops to secure two seats (the best available at that point), and sighed with relief when I got the email confirmation.

Only later did I notice the blah blah saying:

PLEASE NOTE Seats located on Level 4 (Upper Tier, Upper Bowl) are not recommended for those who have a fear of heights.

I have problems standing on a stool to replace a light bulb. I started getting nightmares about it. What if I couldn’t actually climb up to my seat on the night; what if, once seated, I couldn’t bear to look down at the stage (a million miles away); what if I couldn’t leave my seat at all at the end (I have been known to freeze at the top of a ladder, when retrieving a book in a library)? I started panicking. And then I read on the forum that Ticketmaster deliberately kept seats aside and released them bit by bit later.

Indeed, three days on, better seats came up for sale, and I immediately grabbed two. So now I won’t be hanging from the ceiling, but I will need powerful binoculars to even catch a glimpse of that lovely, lived-in face, because it’s going to feel like he’s in Greenwich and I’m still in Shepherds Bush, the seats are so far away from the stage.

And then, a few days later, Ticketmaster released even better seats, for the same price. This time, I abstained because I can’t really fork out that much money all in one go, without knowing whether I can get rid of my extra tickets first*. And, at the moment, I only have virtual tickets because Ticketmaster are holding everyone’s tickets hostage. They ask people not to contact them if they haven’t received them. They warn they might not send them until five days before the event. Like I’m going to wait until then to raise a stink.

Slap slap slap!

*I will let you know when I actually get my tickets so you can fight over them here. Won’t that be fun? I will charge what those tickets cost me (i.e. quite a nice sum plus some ridiculous booking fee – why? – plus even more ridiculous postage), plus a year’s worth of psychotherapy sessions for the stress I suffered in the course of booking those tickets and waiting for them to arrive, please god.


  1. I am sorry to say that I cannot focus on your Ticketmaster distress -- I am too jealous that you ARE GOING TO SEE LEONARD COHEN LIVE. And I'm not.

  2. LOL! I feel your pain.

    Apart from that Q&A thing at the Barbican last year, I have never seen him live either. No idea why I didn't go and hear him at the Royal Albert Hall the last time he was here, some 15 years ago. I don't know, I seemed to have been content with listening to records. I was young and ignorant then.

    Come over and you can have those seats. Do you have a head for heights?

    At the moment, it looks like he's going to tour Canada at length and Europe, but venues in the US might be added later. I hope so for your sake, R. :-)

  3. hi! i came to your blog via a link from the siren. i love your site devoted to serge lutens!!! omigod! omigod! i am obsessed with his fragrances. when i lived in paris, i visited the hq in the palais royal and was in heaven (actually i went b/c i ran out of shiseido facial cleanser...). ANYWAY, i was given some of the wax samples but they definitely did not give me the entire range. i'm still wondering what half of the other scents smell like. maybe i should write in and ask for more samples. anyway, sorry about leaving a comment about serge lutens on this blog. i didn't see a comment option on the other one. :)

  4. Thank you, PB, for visiting my web page and those lovely compliments. There's no comment option b/c it's not a blog, it's just info. :-)

    You can only test the Exclusive (to Europe) scents as wax samples, but there are actual liquid samples of all the others (Exports). However, the Salons will not send any to you on request. You need to make a purchase in order to get those. Where are you based? Quite a few department stores and 'parfumeries' stock the Exports.

    Good luck!

  5. Lots of compassion here :
    1. I've been in an antagonistic relationship with Ticketmaster since ages
    2. I love L.C. too - I was down with flu last weekend and was listening his CDs on and on (which made me think about suicide Sunday early afternoon alredy...). I love him - but he always makes me cry and wallowing in self pity...
    3. And finally : the O² is the last place L.C. should have a concert (poor thing)

  6. LJG, I'd never had dealings with Ticketmaster before and already I hate them more than anything.

    LC is a reformed character after his years at the monastery: he is not depressed any longer. He's calm and soothed and soothing. I listen to the words, but they don't really go in after a while (that's probably why I am totally incapable of remembering lyrics at all) and all I hear is the music and the voice, and that's like balm on the soul.

    I've never been to the O2 barn and probably never will again after that. Still, from the old man's point of view [here, insert interjection by my partner reminding me again I'm only xx younger than him; I know!], it means that he can reach 20,000 people in one fell swoon, instead of having to do 20 concerts and exhaust himself even more (I really do care for the little Jewish monk).

  7. Hmm, I noticed that 5 day clause too when I bought my Prince tickets for the O2. They turned up very close to the date, not because Ticketmaster had mailed them late but because the Post Office had delivered them to the wrong address and it was only due to the honesty of that person at the address that I received them at all.

  8. Oh, great! Just checked: my tickets haven't been dispatched yet. I don't care about the second lot of tickets so much, but I need the first one to be able to resell them.

  9. Hatred of ticketmaster is universal so no comment on that but Leonard Cohen is 73? OMG I feel old. I love that guy. Saw him once in NY.

  10. I know. It's incredible, isn't it? You've seen him before - lucky you! :-)


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