Joe Cocker and The Beatles

Michael Gerber
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Joe Cocker and the Beatles

English rocker Joe Cocker.

They don’t tell you when you’re young, how your world falls away person by person.

The ever-morbid social network informs me that spasmodic English rocker Joe Cocker has died, after a long battle with lung cancer. According to the BBC, “Sir Paul McCartney said he was a lovely guy who ‘brought so much to the world.'” Not sure why the lovely guy part isn’t quoted too; maybe Paul swore a lot, and they paraphrased it as “a lovely guy.” That’s what happened in my world, at least.

Cocker achieved the near-impossible: he made Beatles covers that could stand up to the originals. Here’s his performance of “With A Little Help From My Friends,” from Woodstock in 1969. (It was a UK #1 in 1968, which I did not know. What I did know was that my mother, always lukewarm on the Beatles — she turned down a chance to see them in concert, omfg — preferred this to the original. She probably still does. Mom, your son runs a Beatles blog.)

SPECIAL BONUS JOE COCKER AND THE BEATLES: …and here’s Joe (with Leon Russell) doing “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window,” from the film “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” (1971). Seriously great, if a little out-of-sync. Or maybe that’s Joe just doing his Joe-thing, famously lampooned by John Belushi.

SPECIAL BONUS JOE COCKER AND THE BEATLES-RELATED: …and here he is doing Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful.” Oh my lord.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

    I remember being 12-13 years listening to pop and rock music on pirate station Radio Veronica, and totally in awe over With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker, and than the other songs came in 1969 etc.
    Beside the singles, Woodstock, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, it was Sheffield Steel that made the man’s art immortal to me. Chris Blackwell with Sly and Robbie did a magnificent job musically on that album. Together with Broken English from Marianne Faithfull these are two albums by british singers that are treasures of emotional musical realism. Perfect art.
    In the Daily Mail the complete text from Paul McCartney on the death of Rock and soul singer Joe Cocker is available:

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