Watch David Gilmour Perform Leonard Cohen's 1977 Tune 'Fingerprints' - Rolling Stone
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Watch David Gilmour Perform Leonard Cohen’s 1977 Obscurity ‘Fingerprints’

Pink Floyd guitarist also breaks out Cohen’s “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” at streaming event celebrating Polly Samson’s new book, ‘Theater For Dreamers’

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and his family hosted another digital event celebrating the release of the new novel Theater for Dreamers, by Polly Samson, Gilmour’s wife and longtime creative collaborator. The book takes place on the Greek island of Hydra in the early Sixties, and features Leonard Cohen, who lived there at the time, as one of the characters.

On the first broadcast, Gilmour played the Cohen tunes “So Long, Marianne” and “Bird on the Wire.” This time around, he reached far deeper into the catalog and dug out “Fingerprints,” from 1977’s Death of a Ladies Man. (Fast-forward to 15:45 to check it out.) He’s joined on harmony vocals by his teenage daughter Romany and others in his family.

Near the end of the event, at the 32:30 mark, Gilmour and family sing “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” from 1967’s Songs of Leonard Cohen. All four songs played across these two events are roughly associated with Cohen’s time on Hydra.

“Fingerprints” wasn’t heard by the public until 1977, but Samson says it began as a poem in the Sixties. Like many songs from Death of a Ladies Man, it was never performed live by Cohen himself. He was unhappy with producer Phil Spector’s work on the album and didn’t tour behind it.

Elsewhere in the broadcast, Gilmour and Samson say that they’ve been listening to little but Cohen during the past year or so. Gilmour says his current favorite song is “Going Home,” from Cohen’s 2012 LP, Old Ideas.

Samson was originally planning a proper book tour behind Theater for Dreamers, but the coronavirus pandemic forced her to change her plans. But even these digital events are a rare chance to see Gilmour perform in any capacity. The Pink Floyd guitarist has been off the road since the end of his 2016 Rattle That Lock world tour, and has kept a very low profile these past four years, even auctioning off much of his guitar collection for charity.

In This Article: David Gilmour, Leonard Cohen


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