11/28/17: Joe Cocker “Feelin’ All Right”
Truth be told, John Robert Cocker’s voice is in my head quite often. Man, I love that guy. There was nobody like Joe Cocker, and there never will be again. The first time I ever heard his voice, I was watching him in the movie about Woodstock. I didn’t get to attend Woodstock myself, and he wasn’t exactly what I would call a “visual delight,” but a lot of things about Cocker’s performance really stood out.
He was strange, full of spasmodic gestures and constantly moving and twitching onstage. Upon first glance, it almost seems like he’s suffering from intense pain. My first thought was “what’s wrong with this dude?” but as I started paying attention to his voice, I was an instant convert. From that moment forward, I was a big Joe Cocker fan.
He took a Beatles song, “With A Little Help From My Friends,” and made it better. That’s a pretty amazing achievement for just about anybody. It’s tough to improve on one of the all-time greats, but Joe’s version had a deep, guttural quality. It was sung from somewhere deep down in his throat and deeper in his soul, and the gut-wrenching emotion and raw vocal talent pushed Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” above and beyond the original.
Everything he sang ended up like that, and over the years Joe Cocker began to specialize in taking other people’s songs and transforming them into something entirely different. His music was raw, deep and soulful. Just look at what he did for “The Letter,” which was a big hit for Alex Chilton & The Box Tops. Of course, there was the music I had in my head when I woke up this morning, as well: “Feelin’ All Right,” by Dave Mason as a member of Traffic. Cocker chose to record his spin on this song as part of his debut album in ’69, and it sure is something else. Cocker really made it his own, and I’m sure Dave Mason didn’t mind… especially since Joe’s rendition sure made him a lot of money!
Joe Cocker died about 3 years ago. Ol’ Joe was 70 years old and living here in the States, on his Mad Dog Ranch in Crawford, California… far from his native England. “Feelin’ All Right? I’m not feelin’ too good myself.” Listen to the way Joe Cocker delivers those lines.
To read and listen to all of Ron’s Music in My Head entries, click here!
After playing a show at The Cat’s Cradle in July, at Local 506 in August, The Carrboro Music Festival in September; and The Southern Village Green in November, the School of Rock students’ next BIG public LIVE performance will be Saturday January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse.
At 1pm, its “Rock Goddesses” with Music from Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and More. This is followed at 3pm with the songs of Led Zeppelin I and II. January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse, put it on your calendar now!
The School of Rock Chapel Hill is a music school located in the 501 Diner location on Fordham Blvd in front of Eastgate, in the Blue Hill District!
Why should the kids have all of the rock and roll fun? The School of Rock Offers adult programs as well. It is never too late to learn how to rock!
Locally owned, locally operated, locally staffed, locally sourced instruments, and locally built!
You are invited to stop in for a tour or schedule a free demo session. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 3PM-9PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM!
Learn how to play a real rock and roll song in just 30 minutes!
AND, through a partnership with the Public School Foundation; they’ll donate 1% of their gross revenue to support music in the local public schools, so help bring music to our community and enroll today!
Sign-up at chapelhill.schoolofrock.com, or call 919-338-1011.
Open for Rocking!
‘Music in My Head’ airs every morning @9:15AM. Over the air on 97.9FM and streaming on chapelboro.com