Sunday, May 19, 2024

Beatles- Joe Cocker Connection: See the Rare Ad from the Fab Four Endorsing Cocker Circa 1968


EXCLUSIVE From our Beatles expert Martin Lewis:

Cocker’s version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” was recorded in Spring 1968. It was his own arrangement. Guitar on it was by Joe’s old pal (from back in 1964) Jimmy Page. Also on the track B. J. Wilson (drummer of Procol Harum).

The Beatles heard the track in summer of 1968 while they were working on the White Album. They loved it. The single was released in UK on Regal Zonophone label – a small imprint of EMI. Permission was sought to use the image of Ringo from the film Yellow Submarine. Which had been released in UK in July 1968. The Cocker single was released in October 1968.

The ad featuring Ringo appeared in all the UK consumer weekly music papers. NME, Melody Maker, Disc, Record Mirror. It was an immediate hit in UK. Went to #1. Was released by A&M in USA. The ad was used in Billboard. Alas the single was not a hit.

But then Joe appeared at Woodstock in 1969 – and America discovered Joe Cocker.”

Here’s the ad, thanks to Martin. Click on it to make it bigger. Reproductions are prohibited:
cocker-ad-1968-2 (2)


“It’s really sad to hear about Joe’s passing. He was a lovely northern lad who I loved a lot and, like many people, I loved his singing. I knew him through the years as a good mate and I was so sad to hear that he had been ill and really sad to hear today that he had passed away. He was a great guy, a lovely guy who brought so much to the world and we’ll all miss him.

“I was especially pleased when he decided to cover With A Little Help From My Friends and I remember him and [producer] Denny Cordell coming round to the studio in Savile Row and playing me what they’d recorded and it was just mind-blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful for him for doing that.”


“Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker from one of his friends peace and love. R.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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