Tuesday, December 23, 2014

On Joe Cocker

Another of my teenage favourites has gone. Though I expect the occurrence of such will only increase from here on in as the artists I loved when I was 13+ hit their seventies.
Before I was old enough to afford albums (though my pocket money would stretch to singles at $1.15 a pop) I'd be listening to what the older kids were playing. Cocker Happy was a brilliant album. Highly original and so musical. Only on December 13 I was arguing with the kids about Cocker. I remember the exact day because we were driving up to my nephews 21st. They called him a "cover artist". He was not, I said. I was positive he wrote some of his own material. In any case even when he recorded songs by other artists his version was the definitive one eg She came in through the bathroom window.
The sad news of his death this morning had me diving through my albums and cds. As we head off to the dreaded mall this morning it'll be made a bit more bearable with "Feeling alright" playing in the car. His early stuff was in my opinion his best.
I saw him play in Palmerston North around 1983-84. It wasn't terribly memorable. I don't think he hugely enjoyed performing. Later when I watched Mads Dogs and Englishmen on DVD I got the sense he was a quite retiring individual who didn't crave the limelight.
But his lifetime's work was nevertheless extensive and he was still recording in 2013.
He has a place in my heart as one of those singers who developed in me a lifelong love of music.
Here's Hitchcock Railway. Still so good.

1 comment:

Brendan McNeill said...

Who can forget his Woodstock performance of 'A little help from my friends'?

While his career ebbed and flowed over the years, and he battled with drugs and alcohol, he his unique voice, style and energy will always be remembered.

We saw him perform in Christchurch several years ago - he will be missed.