Listening To: Joe Cocker and Leon Russell

joe and leon

I’ve developed a total fascination with Joe Cocker and Leon Russell’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour from 1970.

Both classics in their own right, Cocker and Russell teamed up for this legendary tour, for which Russell, the musical genius with his iconic long grey hair and top hat, fronted Cocker’s band and was musical director, coming up with all the live arrangements for their 21-person band/chorus (I think this may have inspired Edward Sharpe, don’t you think?).

The tour was also filmed and made into a documentary, tracking the band and it’s hippie-commune 40-member entourage around the country to sold-out shows, complete with backstage footage and interviews.  Sort of a real-life version of the movie Almost Famous, no??

Plus, the set list (which also became the album by the same name, from the show played at the Fillmore East) is incredible, including not only Cocker and Russell’s hits, but also covers of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and others.

This last video, Darlin’ Be Home Soon, is some of the footage from the film– a backstage rehearsal.  I particularly love the last minute or so with the split-screen of them boarding their plane and the rehearsal, and the little bit of the mom talking to the kids at the very end.  Very Almost Famous.

2 Responses to “Listening To: Joe Cocker and Leon Russell”
  1. Mikaela says:

    LOVE Leon Russell : )

  2. MarvelousMarv says:

    THANK YOU SINCERELTT,,for the memories. Joe Cocker was heard to say, “What’s become of Me Grease Band”,,indeed, indeed!!

    Leon flat out mobilized the Shelter People Army,,complete with Chorus,,, transforming Joe’s personnel so drastically it is obvious how overwhelmed Joe was listening to the on stage chatter between Leon & Joe on the album,,,even more so in the MOOOVIE!!!!

    UNDERSTANDABLE so,,, when one considers the MASTERY,,, which is LEON. Elton John, God Bless him,, recently paid tribute to this UNSUNG HERO, my main man LEON’s WHORE HOUSE GOSPEL piano/band style YEAAAAHAW!! LEON was one of the first Rock-n-Rollers I EVER heard, in my older buddies basement. LEON, along with Johnny Winter, John Mayall, Blue Cheer, Ry Cooder, Bonnie & Delaney. Duane Allman,,etc etc. I was 12y/o

    Leon, Johnny Winter, & John Mayall unlike Clapton stuck to their ROOTS, their CONVICTIONS,,never,,,ever uttered a POP FART note.. Clapton owes DELANEY BIG TIME!!!!!!

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