From Judy Collins autobiography
‘I suggested he make his debut and sing in public, but he was terribly shy.I knew once he got over his fear, he would be powerful on stage. I was going to appear at a concert for Sane against the Vietnam War at Town Hall, on April 30, 1967. I asked Leonard if he would sing Suzanne there.
“I can’t do it, Judy, I would die from embarrassment.”
“Leonard, you are a great writer and a fine singer, people want to hear you.” He finally agreed, reluctantly.
When I introduced him, he walked onto the stage hesitantly, his guitar slung across his hips, and from the wings I could see his legs shaking inside his trousers. He began Suzanne, with the hushed audience leaning forward in their seats; he got halfway through the first verse and stopped.
“I can’t go on,” he said, and left the stage, while the audience clapped and shouted, calling for him to come back. “We love you, you’re great!” Their voices followed him backstage, where he stood with his head on my shoulder, my arms around him.
“I can’t do it, I can’t go back.” He smiled his handsome smile. He looked about ten years old. His mouth drew down at the sides, he started to untangle himself from his guitar strap. I stopped him, touching him on the shoulder.
“But you will,” I said. He shook himself and drew his body up and put his shoulders back, smiled again, and walked back onto the stage. He finished Suzanne, and the audience went wild. He has been giving concerts ever since.’
His first performance was flawed and many (including him) criticize his voice. But nevertheless he has inspired millions with his poetic music. He passed away yesterday again showing the impermanence of everything.