John Robert “Joe” Cocker OBE (1944 – 2014)

Two nights ago, I did something I do every once in a while; ride my stationary bike, drink whisky, listen to music and cry– All at the same time! I don’t know why it’s always these combinations of things that turn it into a ritual for me, but I keep doing it, so it’s gotta be working on something.

At some point, when the whisky starts settling in and gets mixed with my sweat that drips from my nose, I have to switch over to the real heartfelt tunes. The video of Joe Cocker singing You Are So Beautiful is the one that makes an appearance during these sorts of rituals… To make my original drink: Jack & Coke & Sweat & Tears! The song was written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher and then covered by countless of artists, but to me they all sound sappy.

Joe Cocker’s 1980 performance of the song in Berlin not only doesn’t sound like something made for a wedding reception, but it’s something that truly sounds and looks like a heartfelt confession: “You are so beautiful to me.” You don’t have to be in love to feel that one (Although, in my case, a bottle of Jack Daniels can add some emphasis!). It’s one of the greatest live performances in my eyes, and something I’ll continue to share with other aspiring artists taking themselves to the stage, perhaps sharing their own confessions.