Mennolt (on the left) and Bert playing,
Adi and Peter listening


OCTOBER 26, 1996

Part of the Cohen collections of Yvonne and Bea

The Dutch Leonard Cohen club (which issued the Intensity magazine for some 13 years in 1987-2000), used to arrange a club meeting every year in Amsterdam . This year it was held on October 26 in Hoofddorp, next to the Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam. Some 30 fans and followers of Cohen had gathered in the house of our host and hostess Peter and Bea de Koning.

Most of the participants came of course from Holland, but there were visitors also from Ireland, Germany and Finland.

We enjoyed the hospitality of Bea and Peter, had a look at the comprehensive Cohen collections of Bea and Yvonne, compared the new books (Nadel, Devlin, Graf - Yvonne had already copies of all of them!), watched some recent interview videos - and sang Cohen songs. We had two guitarists, Mennolt and Bert, playing those familiar tunes.

Here are some of my good reasons to visit Amsterdam;
Yvonne on the left and Bea on the right

It was great to see friends, at last face-to-face, friends to whom one has been writing letters, sending telefaxes and emails for years! Several visitors were well-known from their Cohen activities on Internet, like Yvonne Hakze, Adi Heindl, Vlad Arghir, Bert Menting, and yours truly.

We had a very special atmosphere in the meeting. Thanks to all of you, especially to Bea, Peter and Yvonne, for your friendliness and hospitality!

Vlad from Rumania (now living in Duesseldorf, Germany),
Adi (Nuernberg, Germany) and Bea's CD collection

On Friday and Sunday I explored Amsterdam with Bert and Adi and his Sisters of Mercy; we found Jim Devlin's book, several cover versions by Herman van Veen, commercial post cards featuring Cohen; of course we also visited van Gogh's Museum and other more common tourist attractions. The weather was splendid until Sunday - then we had pouring rain. I had been a pessimist (as usual) and taken my umbrella with me, but it didn't help and so we all were wet to the skin (have I heard these expressions before, somewhere? Perhaps I'm quoting somebody?) Jarkko