Joe Cocker, king of the rock anthem

Oh, I get high with a little help from my friends
Yes, I get by with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends

Joe Cocker died on this day, December 22, 2014, in Crawford, Colorado, at the age of 70.

No mystery as to the cause of death. He had smoked forty cigarettes a day until he quit in 1991.

“Joe Cocker was without a doubt the greatest rock-soul singer ever to come out of Britain,” said music agent Barrie Marshall.

In 1968 Joe Cocker took a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney called ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ and transformed it into a song for the ages.

“I remember him and producer Denny Cordell coming round to the studio in Savile Row and playing what they’d recorded,” said Paul McCartney. “It was mind-blowing, he totally turned the song into a soul anthem.”

The three big things people remember about the 1969 rock festival Woodstock are: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix played there — and Joe Cocker performed ‘With a Little Help from My Friends.’

The song and Joe Cocker’s rendition defined Woodstock.

Joe Cocker had a distinctive style when he was on stage.

“He begins the performance as if the music is taking over his body and soul,” said rock writer Nick D. Bambach. “He looks like a man possessed waiting for the spirits to be released from within.”


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Do we cower in fear or make a break for freedom?

FREEDOM MUST PREVAIL

I lived for a time in New Hampshire, where the state motto is Live Free Or Die.

LIVE FREE OR DIE

An appropriate rallying cry in this the Age of Covid.

All across America, people are trying to regain their freedom. Out of their minds with cabin fever and rebellious over forced lockdowns, they are rushing to beaches from New Jersey to California. Restaurants and bars are beginning to reopen — for them, it’s either reopen or go under.

Asserting one’s freedom comes at a cost. Some disturbing headlines of late:

POLICE STATE

NYPD will stop people from partying outside NYC bars

NYC man busted for breaking Hawaii’s quarantine rules after posting pics on Instagram

Government To Enforce Who You’re Allowed to Socialize With Via Tracking App

South Lake Tahoe issues $1,000 fines to tourists and short-term rentals


Those of my generation will remember 

WOODSTOCK 1969

DURING HONG KONG FLU

While the deadly Hong Kong flu raged in America and around the world 400,000 rock fans crowded onto a farm in Bethel, New York in August of 1969 for the Woodstock Festival.

MEANWHILE, IN THE AGE OF COVID

Coronavirus

Politicians get their kicks out of telling us lowly citizens what to do. It’s part of their power hungry ego-trip, which is why they became politicians in the first place.

They order us to lock ourselves away from our friends and society and the constitutional right of the pursuit of happiness.

HONG KONG FLU DEADLIER

The Hong Kong epidemic (H3N2) has so far proved deadlier than the coronavirus, claiming up to four million lives worldwide, more than 100,000 of them in the United States. To date, Covid-19 has claimed more than 295,000 lives worldwide, including 83,000 in the U.S.

Covid’s not done yet, it could come and go for years. But we cannot let an invisible bug or a much larger human bug, that would be your local politician, control our lives.  

SO, KEEP ON ROCKIN’


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SOUL ANTHEM

‘I get by with a little help from my friends’

Paul McCartney said of Joe Cocker’s version of the Beatles 1967 song ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’—

“It was mind-blowing, he totally turned the song into a soul anthem.”

Joe Cocker’s version of the song was a radical re-arrangement of the original, in a slower 3/4 beat, instead of 4/4 beat in the original Beatles version, using different chords in the middle eight and a lengthy instrumental introduction.

The recording hit number one in the U.K. in 1968. The following year he performed the song live at Woodstock.

Joe Cocker died on December 22, 2014 in Crawford, Colorado, at the age of 70.

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