Legendary British rock vocalist Joe Cocker died today at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer.

His passing was noted in a statement from Edgar Berger, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, who had signed Cocker to his label.

“Joe Cocker is a legendary artist of rock and blues history and yet he was one of the most humble men I've ever met," wrote Berger. "His iconic voice will forever be etched in our memories and our thoughts go out to Joe’s wife Pam and his family at this difficult time. Joe will live on in the hearts of millions of fans around the world."

The press release from Sony described some of the highlights of Cocker's lengthy musical career:


Couldn't make it out last Saturday night? You missed Vancouver's own ever-colourful Fake Shark Real Zombie at the Roxy. Cass was there and caught a moment of the show on Instagram. Here’s your concert pic of the morning. Fake Shark Real Zombie at the Roxy on December 20, 2014. Thanks Cass.

Twenty years ago last Wednesday--on December 17, 1994--the Rolling Stones played in front of 50,000 fans at B.C. Place Stadium.

The British rock legends were touring behind their 20th album, Voodoo Lounge, which wasn't as good as their previous one, Steel Wheels.

In case you missed it, here's my review.


Twenty-five years ago tomorrow--on December 22, 1989--Bonham played the Pacific Coliseum, opening for the Cult. The group was named after 23-year-old drummer Jason Bonham, the son of legendary Zeppelin skin-basher John.

In advance of the concert, Bonham called me from Toronto to chat about his current album, The Disregard of Timekeeping, and his dear old dad.

Here's the story that ran in the Dec. 22-29 issue of the Straight under the headline Bonham Has Four Hearts Beating.


Twenty years ago this month I did a Local Motion story on a band called the Spirit Merchants that ran in the Dec. 16-22 issue of the Straight.

That might not seem like the type of colossal journalistic landmark worth revisiting two decades later, but the Spirit Merchants were not your average Vancouver group. It featured Steve Dawson and Zesse Zubot, who were 22 and 20 years old at the time, and both have gone on to make amazing contributions to the local music scene.

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow—on December 19, 1989—Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson played the 86 Street Music Hall.

For me, it didn't get any better than that. I'd been a huge fan of Hunter ever since I first heard his old band, Mott the Hoople, and Ronson...well, if you liked David Bowie in the '70s you liked him.

Hunter and Ronson had been collaborating for years, starting with Hunter's self-titled 1975 solo album, the one with that awesome version of "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" (not to be confused with Great White's version, referred to below).

When they came to Van they were touring behind the YUI Orta album, which I really loved, especially the track "Women's Intuition".

Southern-rock heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd have just announced a show at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver.

And it's on a Friday, which is pretty close to a "Saturday Night Special."

As anyone who's followed the band from its early-'70s beginnings knows, Skynyrd's story is composed of the highest highs and lowest lows.

The lowest was the bizarre 1977 plane crash that killed original singer Ronnie Van Zant and fiercely talented guitarist Steve Gaines, as well as Gaines' backup-singer sister Cassie and the group's road manager, Dean Kilpatrick.

Check out good ol' Steve-O goin' to town with some slide on "T For Texas" back in '77.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has made some silly-ass moves over the years, nominating lame-o acts like Chic and inducting Cat Stevens while leaving more deserving nominees such as Link Wray and Deep Purple--artists who actually rock--out in the cold.

Well, just yesterday the Rock Hall took a sizeable step away from being perceived as total bumbling idiots by finally inducting legendary Texas guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble into its hallowed institution.

Couldn't make it out last night? You missed the Beat 94.5's Denai Johnson at Fortune for the club's Hip Hop Karaoke 5 Year Anniversary. Newsha Towfigh was there and caught a moment of the show on Instagram. Here's your concert pic of the morning. Denai Johnson at Fortune Sound Club for the Hip Hop Karaoke 5 Year Anniversary on December 15, 2014. Thanks to Newsha. Shout out to Andy Milonakis.

Thanks to a tweet from the fine folks at JamBase I just caught wind of a video of David Gilmour performing the Pink Floyd classic "Wish You Were Here" with some indie-rock band called Bombay Bicycle Club.

Hey, wasn't that the name of a Vancouver nightclub back in the day? Sounds familiar.

Anyway, Gilmour performed with BBC last Saturday at London's Earls Court because it was the last-ever gig at the famed venue before it gets demolished. Pink Floyd had played there many times over the years, and recorded live there as well.