First Set:

Tonight Will Be Fine
Dress Rehersal Rags
Minute Prologue
Balmville Motel
Lover Lover Lover
Diamonds In The Mine
I Tried To Leave You
Is This What You Wanted?

Second set:

Donít Pass Me By
Like A Bird On The Wire
Green Sleeves
One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
"Every time I get on stage I ask myself, "What the hell am I doing up here?". There is always pressure in these sort of activities, that strain to please and be accepted. But the songs were great, everyone knew them already, and fuck, I didn't write them. This helped relieve some of the familiar burden. After the first set I felt like a champion. The narcissist was fed, the neurotic was relieved, and all was well."

"By the time the second set arrived, it was 11:30. I was exhausted and drunk. I had no desire to please or be accepted, so I did neither. I was forced to lose my mind in order to stay sane. This approach made me a few friends and maybe a few enemies. Let me say for the record, not only did I survive on that stage, but I lived well. I only hope I can say this at the end of my life."

"Here's the verse I wrote for "Tonight Will Be Fine":

I live in a room with every bird and every bee
I live in a room with Adam and with Eve
They gave me their bed and they gave me their disease
I'm shameful when I'm naked and I'm always on my knees
Thank you participants and organizers, and thanks to my band, Eric Raab.
- Richard McGraw
* * *

Richard McGraw with Eric Raab
Richard McGraw opened the Friday performance simultaneously with John Bergeron on two stages at the Knitting Factory. John's energetic covers of Leonard's songs were extremely well received by our group. Many of our participants mentioned his cover of Passing Through with many clever extra verses added by his imaginative pen that added to our enjoyment.
Richard's cd Her Sacred Status, My Militant Needs circulated through the Organizing Committee and they knew that he would be a hit with his style of Cohen covers. Everyone who met Rich remarked on not only his talent, but how much he enjoyed himself while playing for our group at the Knitting Factory. Rich also graciously gave every attendee a copy of his excellent debut cd. He has recently written a song called Balmville Motel which he dedicates to Leonard and confesses that it "owes much" to Chelsea Hotel.

Connect with Richardís own website at
Read more about his 2006 release "Song and Void Vol.1"!

Review © 2004 Joe Way

Photos © 2004 Marco Dolfino (title photo),
Vern Silver (2nd photo) and Jarkko Arjatsalo (3rd photo)