At 64, Joe Cocker acknowledges that “it’s getting a little odd” to still be a rock ’n’ roll singer. But he certainly appreciates what he’s doing at this point in his life.
“I feel it’s kind of precious,” says Cocker, a 44-year veteran best known for hits such as “You Are So Beautiful,” “Up Where We Belong” and his re-working of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” “As I’m getting to the back end of my career, I feel there’s something special each time, just going out and doing a show.
“I never really looked after myself when I was young, but I’ve been lucky enough to have caught on to stuff as I’ve gotten older to try to keep healthier a little longer. So I’m gonna keep rocking, as they say, as long as I can.”
This year Cocker is rocking with “Hymn For My Soul,” his latest album and first collaboration with producer Ethan Johns, son of early Cocker collaborator Glyn Johns. The album features renditions of songs by Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, the Meters, the Subdudes and John Fogerty, and he dips into the Beatles’ catalog again to take on George Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness.”
“I’ve had a go at a few songs of the Beatles,” notes Cocker, a native of Sheffield, England, who now resides in Colorado. “Paul (McCartney) once told me, ‘You know, your version of ‘Little Help ...’ is the definitive version,’ which I thought was pretty cool.
“But whether that gives me liberty to do them when I want, I don’t know. ‘Little Help’ wasn’t a cover, you know; that was a re-think. I think you still have to try and reinvent any time you do another person’s song.”
Joe Cocker opens for the Steve Miller Band and Joe Cocker perform at 7 p.m. Friday (June 27) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $59.50 and $39.50 pavilion, $25 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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