Joe cocker and john belushi

John Belushi Imitates Joe Cocker On SNL While Cocker Is Performing

joe cocker and john belushi

How Joe Cocker and John Belushi built a shared-tribute feedback loop that transcended parody.

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Joe Cocker 's recording career was in a bit of a lull in , with his most recent release, Stingray , stalled at No. By the time he walked onto the SNL set, Cocker had already been through a career's worth of ups and downs. Although he'd gone gold with his first two solo LPs in and enjoyed what seemed like a comeback hit in with "You Are So Beautiful," he'd been dogged by personal and label problems along the way, as well as an infamously voracious appetite for controlled substances. Although he'd score single hits repeatedly over the next couple of decades, as an album artist, he'd never really achieve the level of success he seemed destined to reach early on. Still, no matter how inconsistent or poorly promoted those records ever got, nobody sang like Cocker -- and nobody acted like him on stage, either, making his distinctively soulful howl and spastic movements an easy target for parodists who didn't mind getting an easy laugh by getting up on stage and flailing around for a few minutes. The best of the bunch was undoubtedly SNL star John Belushi, who'd started perfecting his Cocker act years before the show debuted -- as you can see here, in a clip that captures Belushi performing "Lonely at the Bottom" with Chevy Chase on drums. With Belushi a breakout SNL star during the show's first season, producer Lorne Michaels was eager to take advantage of his faux Cocker's uncanny similarity to the real thing.

Don't have an account yet? Get the most out of your experience with a personalized all-access pass to everything local on events, music, restaurants, news and more. Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman shares observations, insights, and updates relating to South Florida's musical environs. This week, a cool conversation with Joe Cocker. It's one of the most indelible images in rock 'n' roll, that of Joe Cocker, clad in tie dye, twitching and gyrating onstage at Woodstock, singing with that whiskey-soaked voice that became his stock in trade. For most, it proved an auspicious introduction to a rough-and-tumble young singer from the north of England who had an uncanny ability to interpret well-known material and make it all his own. In the years to come, Cocker would remain a persistent presence, whether standing at the helm of his own Grease band, sharing the stage with the sprawling communal aggregate christened as Mad Dogs and Englishmen, or straddling the middle of the road with his biggest hit of all, "Up Where We Belong," the soaring ballad he shared with Jennifer Warnes.

He was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance, and distinctive versions of popular songs of varying genres. Cocker's main musical influences growing up were Ray Charles and Lonnie Donegan. Cocker's first experience singing in public was at age 12 when his elder brother Victor invited him on stage to sing during a gig of his skiffle group. In , along with three friends, Cocker formed his first group, the Cavaliers. For the group's first performance at a youth club, they were required to pay the price of admission before entering. The Cavaliers eventually broke up after a year and Cocker left school to become an apprentice gasfitter working for the East Midlands Gas Board, later British Gas , while simultaneously pursuing a career in music.

Joe Cocker 's recording career was in a bit of a lull in , with his most recent release, Stingray , stalled at No. By the time he walked onto the SNL set, Cocker had already been through a career's worth of ups and downs. Although he'd gone gold with his first two solo LPs in and enjoyed what seemed like a comeback hit in with "You Are So Beautiful," he'd been dogged by personal and label problems along the way, as well as an infamously voracious appetite for controlled substances.
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Sign in. Rob Reiner - Host : He just flew in from London. He's a super rock star, he needs no introduction! Ladies and gentlemen, here he is! Well, lend me your ear and I'll sing you a song I will try not to sing out of key, yeah. Joe Cocker : Oh, baby I get by with a little help from my friends Well, most of all I wanna get high!

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RIP Joe Cocker: Here’s Joe Cocker and John Belushi Performing On ‘Saturday Night Live’ In 1976

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