June 15 – Joe Cocker
June 15 – Joe Cocker
Posted On: June 15, 2009
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Top 10 hits “You Are So Beautiful” and “Up Where We Belong” Highlight a Career-spanning Set

There will soon be a new name to add to the historic chronicle of rock and soul legends who have performed on the Arena Theatre’s revolving stage. Bluesy British hit-maker and rock icon, Joe Cocker, is set to make his debut in Houston’s home for live music in-the-round at 8:00 p.m. Monday, June 15. Tickets can be purchased online at www.arenahouston.com <http://www.arenahouston.com> <http://www.arenahouston.com> or by calling the box office ticket request line at 713-772-5900.

There is only a small handful of Cocker’s rock n’ roll peers who can lay claim to hit singles in four consecutive decades while continuing to tour into a fifth. The Rolling Stones, a band Cocker opened for while singing covers of Chuck Berry and Ray Charles songs under the name Vance Arnold early in his career, is one that immediately comes to mind.

The buzz about Cocker’s gut-wrenching croak and flailing physical stage gyrations had already traveled across the Atlantic from his native England when he first toured the U.S. with the Grease Band in the spring of 1969. His reworking of the Beatles With a Little Help from My Friends (featuring an all-star backing band that included Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Traffic alum Steve Winwood on piano) landed at the top of UK singles charts and climbed to No. 68 in America before he arrived.

Within months of playing his first U.S. gigs Cocker was a superstar, arriving by helicopter to perform at the Woodstock Festival and reaching coast-to-coast with performances on The Ed Sullivan Show supporting his 1969 second album masterwork, Joe Cocker!. Among the concert staples he adapted from that gold record was a cover of Leon Russell’s Delta Lady and several Beatles songs (rearranged with the blessing of the Fab Four who were already smitten with Cocker’s version of With a Little Help from My Friends): She Came in Through the Bathroom Window, Let It Be and Something.

In the 40 years since first invading America, Cocker has remained a constant and instantly recognizable guttural presence on the rock and blues landscape. In the 70s he was one of the best-selling artists in the country and his rendering of You Are So Beautiful reached No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. His 1982 duet with Jennifer Warnes, Up Where We Belong, finally landed him a No. 1 hit and a trip to the Oscars after it took off on radio and in the movies as the theme song for the blockbuster film, An Officer and A Gentleman.

Cocker’s greatest talent since his earliest recordings is taking other people’s music and lyrics, adapting them to his own free-form style and coming up with a familiar-yet-different song that is independent of the original. He continues to do that into his fifth decade on his most recent album, Hymn for the Soul. Among the new standouts are his take on Stevie Wonder’s You Haven’t Done Nothin’, Bob Dylan’s Ring Them Bells and George Harrison’s Beware of Darkness.

Spun together over the course of an evening, this performance is a history of Joe Cocker’s career and a glimpse at rock n’ roll history as performed by one its framers.  It is an evening that shouldn’t be missed.
Tickets for Joe Cocker are $55, $65 and $75 and can be purchased online at www.arenahouston.com <http://www.arenahouston.com> <http://www.arenahouston.com> or by calling the Arena Theatre box office ticket request line at 713-772-5900.  Box office hours are 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday and 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. on day-of-show.

The Arena Theatre is located at 7326 Southwest Freeway (between Bellaire and Fondren), Houston, Texas 77074. It is a non-smoking venue.Out side smoking are is available Parking is available at the Arena Towers garage adjoining the theatre.

Contact:  Bob Fuldauer