Vale Joe Cocker

Not bad for a lad from Sheffield. Not bad at all.

And I’ve always admired him for having a sense of humour too.

That’ll do Joe, that’ll do.

Bit over the top this though:

As Life magazine observed, he was “the voice of the blind criers and crazy beggars and maimed men who summon up the strength to bawl out their souls in the streets”.

??His brother, Victor, was chief executive of Severn Trent.

12 thoughts on “Vale Joe Cocker”

  1. Yes, the Telegraph has gone a bit over the top there.

    Me, I’ll just settle for Cocker having been the greatest blues/soul singer to emerge from these isles, which is not bad going when you realise that his peers included Mick Jagger, Jack Bruce, Steve Marriott, Steve Winwood,etc.

    As you say, not bad at all for an apprentice gasfitter from Sheffield.

  2. How would an appreciation of the man and his music be different if he had read PPE at Oxford and his first job had been at Cazenoves?

    For decades he has dragged his perfectly unexceptionable background behind him like Bob Marley’s chains.

    /grumpy with a seasonal touch

  3. Bob Marley’s chains.

    Was that Marley’s backing band, when the Wailers had the day off?

    (pendant alert: Scrooge’s partner was Jacob Marley 🙂 )

  4. As an apprentice gas fitter from Merseyside in the late 60’s, me and my mates felt great pride that someone like us could be so cool.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    ??His brother, Victor, was chief executive of Severn Trent.

    It is a bit unusual isn’t it? The pair of them really do have a lot to say about this period in British history. What other people could two brothers have ended up where they did?

    The problem is I don’t think we have a good explanation of what happened in this period. I would say that the final dying flowering of British culture allowed two working class lads to take two routes – one to the top through merit and hard work once the barriers of class had been weakened, the other to the top through rejecting that world and all its values in favour of drugs and alcohol-fueled nihilism.

    I think it was a flowering too. The final culmination of 4000 years of British history that produced a society of quite impressive beauty. Before it was blown and forever died.

  6. Always surprised me that he lived this long, considered the amount of drugs and alcohol he imbued. Well, most of the Rolling Stone guys are still around…

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    Bernie G. – “Sounds like SMFS is coming out in sympathy with the Telegraph.”

    That Leftist rag!

    BigFire – “Always surprised me that he lived this long, considered the amount of drugs and alcohol he imbued. Well, most of the Rolling Stone guys are still around…”

    I always assumed a lot of that was just for the media. You know, an act. I doubt that Mick Jagger did anything like the amount of drugs he claims – and alcohol? I don’t see it. Keith Richards obviously did but even he caved in and gave up smack in order to keep his US visa.

    In fairness to Mr Cocker, he did look like the sort of guy who drank the sort of amounts of alcohol he is rumoured to have imbibed. Alcohol leaves traces on your face. But if you read his obits carefully, they don’t mention the sort of things you would expect of a seriously heavy drinker and drug user. No DUIs. No violent altercations with the missus resulting in jail time. Compare and contrast with, say, James Brown.

    It may be that there is a certain level of wealth that buys you not only good lawyers but also good dealers and so the risk of over dose is low. No idea but it is possible,

  8. “Not bad for a lad from Sheffield.”

    It hadn’t occurred to me that people from Sheffield were particularly ungifted. Thank you for that illumination.

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