Communication with a large audience is a tricky business. But... "Hello, Cleveland!" Or "London! How ya doin'?" Crass, formulaic, false, it reduces a crowd of human beings to a generalisation. As ballad singers advise, there must be a better way. So, talk to us.
For instance, consider Leonard Cohen's remarkable approach: addressing 20,000 as if they were a collection of intelligent individuals. Imagine! He'll doff his hat, peer out and rumble, "It's wonderful to be gathered here on just the other side of intimacy." Which is funny--also perfect. Yeah, true, just on the un-intimate side of intimacy, that's where we stand.
Performers give us what they've got in the depths of their souls. Each of us receives it personally and responds. They hear our sighs, cries, chuckles, applause, but all mingled into one mass hubbub. The separation remains. And old Len invites us to share that acknowledgment, with mutual respect, humour, a degree of affection.
This is why artists who talk offer a littleRead More »from Hello, Cleveland!