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December 22, 2014 / thackersam

December 22 – Joe Cocker

Cocker WoodstockI’m not one to post someone’s death or birthday just because it happens. But when I heard the news today, oh boy. I was very saddened. Less than a week ago I wrote about a less than stellar release by Joe Cocker, lamenting that knowing I needed more Cocker in my collection, if you’ll pardon the phrase, I went out and accidently purchased the CD of the very same cassette tape I had previously panned. Both times I acknowledged that I wanted a better inclusion or inclusions and was looking forward to writing a bit more in depth about this remarkable artist. He died today of lung cancer at the age of 70. Frankly, I though he was older. Years of hard drinking gave him that appearance, but I believe he pulled it together while living on Jane Fonda’s ranch in the 80s. I remember he mentioned in an interview, maybe on Letterman, that Mrs. Hayden was nice enough to let him reside on her California ranch. Fonda was married at the time to then California state assemblyman and former Chicago 7 defendant Tom Hayden. As I wrote the last review I wondered what Joe Cocker was up to these days and anticipated hearing something special from him soon. He was so unique and driven by the music, and seemingly humble. He threw his heart and soul into his songs at the risk of being ridiculed for his uncontrollable spastic movements. And he was. But we loved him even more for it. I’ve posted one of the pictures from Woodstock, from where most of my generation first caught sight of him with his trademark tie-dyed shirt and sweat-matted hair. I’m not going to tell Joe Cocker to rest in peace – who am I to tell him how to lead his death. But I will tell him this – Thank you. Thank you very much.

J – You know me too well.

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