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December 23, 2014

“Joe Cocker is dead, Rolling Stone! Gaia save you!”

Cocker was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.

The register of his burial was signed by the barman, the A&R weasel, Google analytics, and the chief mourner. Rolling Stone signed it: and Rolling Stone's name was as good as a contract with Alan B. Klein, for anything he chose to put his hand to.... Rolling Stone Magazine knew he was dead? Of course they did. How could it be otherwise? Rolling Stone and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Rolling Stone was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Rolling Stone was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that they were excellent men of business on the very day of the funeral, and will solemnise it with an undoubted bargain reprint of a Mad Dogs and Englishman review from 1970 that said that "the album lacks stylistic variety."
Sippican Cottage: Death By Oklahoma

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 23, 2014 8:27 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Maybe its a generational thing but Joe Cocker meant nothing to me beyond a few not bad songs. His version of "The Letter" was good but other than that I could take or leave him. He doesn't mean anything more to me than Jim Croce or the Thompson Twins. Just some act in the past, but boomers seem to weirdly revere the guy.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2014 8:42 AM

I'm constantly amazed at the number of rockers dying off who I'd never heard of until they died. I feel that my kids, six of them now ranging from 47 to 60, failed me by not letting me in on this musical bonanza (presuming they were in on it).

Posted by: BillH [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2014 9:03 AM

I don't know BillH, you lucked out. I managed to avoid all that screaming and drum beating and survived quite nicely.

As whats-his-face from the Grateful Dead said, "We weren't that good.", that could be said of that whole genre of Day-Glo noise. Loud yes, long, that too. Fingernails on the blackboard more soothing.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2014 11:23 AM

Never understood how that boy ever made a red cent off of his horrifying voice, lot's of stupid people out there I guess. Springsteen's another.

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2014 1:12 PM

Well, hell, I'll pile on.

To all the above allow me to add, "Me too." Thought I was the only one. I'll go on to add that I am a life-long singer, apparently a natural, who has scratched up the necessary to get some training and make some money. And I woulda sworn, 40 years ago, that Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin wouldn't be able to talk by the time they were 50. Springsteen I managed to avoid save for the period when there was this girl who thought he was the berries; she was the hottest of hot stuff in my memories, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. The Dreadful Grape and Mick Jagger were almost impossible to avoid if you lived in an apartment in the '60s and '70s around the Bay. Awful.

Never in my life could figure out why suburban white boys wanted to sound like 60-year-old ghetto drunks. Never.

Posted by: Rob De Witt [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2014 2:45 PM

I'm in the 'meh' pile, too. Something unseemly about a 70 year old rock star, while a 90 year old classical pianist is astounding and timeless.

Posted by: Mother Effingby [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2014 9:32 PM

He happened to appear and perform during an iconic decade. Many otherwise mediocre musicians and singers hitched a ride on the coattails of dynamic change. Nostalgia perhaps tinged with melancholy venerates them.
The young people that grew pubic hair, lost their virginity, opened their heads, fought sophomoric and idealistic battles with authority, "The Man" all came of age and adopted the music as part of their maturity.
Folks already in their thirties during the 60s and Blacks strongly rejected the acid rock and such. They didn't need no stinkin' head music to prop them up.

Of note is, the biggest supporters of this music and attendant lifestyle were WASPs,middle class whites. when they were done playing they could shave, dress nice and step into their rightful place in society.
Blacks could never change their skin. The only White guys that made significant changes were the ones that went to war.
They came back anchored to reality and they were thirty before they turned twenty.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2014 10:57 PM

~they were thirty before they turned twenty~


right there

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 24, 2014 9:44 AM

I like some of his stuff, and its all fine. I find his singing much less troublesome than Bob Dylan's atonal croaking. I just am confused about the three days and counting of pictures and posts around the internet. He really wasn't any big deal and I suspect the reason most people even knew him was John Belushi's act on SNL.

A 90 year old Blues musician works too. But Mick Jagger trying to strut without throwing out his hip is just disturbing.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 24, 2014 10:51 AM

My uncle Letsgo Lozko of bantam chicken raising fame once answered an ad in a feed supply magazine: "Build Your Own Accordion in Your Spare Time". He sent away for the kit and assembled it in his basement. He loved polka music and was determined to play his way to the top. His dream came crashing down when his cousin Jake the Hammer spilled a pitcher of beer all over the thing.
He shoulda stuck with chickens. He knew chickens.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 24, 2014 10:37 PM

All good polka instruments are REQUIRED to be drowned in dark beer in order to play properly, at least that's what they told me at the Oktoberfest.

It thereby achieves a certain élan.

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 25, 2014 7:53 AM

Hey ghost, I think it is the musicians that have to be drowned in that beer. I dunno, maybe both.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 25, 2014 10:26 PM

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