Injured Leonard Cohen delays tour by six months

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The Independent Culture

Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen will delay his European tour by six months after the 75-year-old injured his back while exercising, his promoters said Saturday.

The musical and literary giant known for songs such as "So Long, Marianne," "Suzanne" and "First We Take Manhattan" suffered a compression injury to his lower back, AEG Worldwide said.

Cohen, who returned to the stage in 2008 after a 15-year absence, will postpone a tour that was set to start in France on March 1 and undergo four to six months of physical therapy, the promoters said in a statement.

"Doctors have confirmed that Mr. Cohen is otherwise in terrific shape, thanks to years of exercise and careful diet, and simply needs appropriate time to recover from the lower back injury," Cohen's manager Robert Kory said.

The rescheduled tour will start in the northern French city of Caen on September 15. He will continue on to the French cities of Grenoble, Strasbourg, Marseille, Tours and Lille through September 25.

He will then play in Katowice, Poland on October 4, Moscow on October 7 and the Slovak capital Bratislava on October 13, with four more dates to be announced later, AEG Worldwide said.

Cohen left music in the 1990s and spent years in a Buddhist monastery in California, where he became a monk and took the name Jikan, which means "silence."

But he returned to the stage in May 2008 and has since performed 191 sold-out shows.

Last Sunday, Cohen was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammy music awards.

More than 1,000 renditions of Cohen's work have been recorded by artists as diverse as R.E.M., Elton John, Willie Nelson and Tori Amos. Cohen is also a published novelist and poet.

In September last year, Cohen collapsed on stage while playing the eastern Spanish city of Valencia due to a suspected case of food poisoning.