Beloved rock singer Joe Cocker passed away two years ago today at the age of 70 after a lengthy fight with lung cancer. The raspy voiced Englishman was a popular fixture in the early-1960s and 1970s, often generating success through his energetic interpretations of songs originally performed by many of his contemporaries.
His electric and eccentric stage presence was as memorable as his outstanding singing talents. Cocker’s stage command was on display at the 1983 all-star ARMS Charity Concerts organized by Ronnie Lane of Faces to benefit Action into Research for Multiple Sclerosis. Calling the talent on stage at Madison Square Garden in December 1983 impressive is a massive understatement as Cocker found himself in the company of Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Paul Rodgers, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Andy Fairweather Low and others.
Cocker fronted the collective on “Don’t Touch Me,” “Worried Life Blues,” Bob Dylan’s “Watching The River Flow” and “Seven Days” as well as Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful” and Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright.” He was also on stage playing tambourine for Clapton’s “Layla” and a few other selections that evening. Below is footage of Cocker’s set at the December 8, 1983 ARMS Charity Concert, watch here:
Joe Cocker at Madison Square Garden
- Don't Touch Me
- Watching the River Flow
- Worried Life Blues
- You Are So Beautiful
- Seven Days
- Feelin' Alright
- With a Little Help From My Friends
- Long Gone
- Goodnight, Irene