For a number of reasons, the news of Joe Cocker's passing is one of the most personally devastating events of this year – or any year.
Joe attended my first marriage ceremony when I was in my 20s – and I was with him in an LA studio not too long ago where we were working on a track.
I loved him musically because he drew no artificial boundaries between pop and rock. He made me feel comfortable in his world. He was a loving guy who has been – contrary to his image – sober for most of his life. He was devoted to simply reaching out and helping others.
It was a great honor for Joe to record "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" on his album I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974), produced by Jim Price and again on my most recent cd "Still Within the Sound of My Voice" produced by Fred Mollin in 2012.
When we were last in the studio, it was incredible to watch him sing – he felt each note of the music – he gesticulated each note. The song may have started with his voice but it moved through him to the tips of his fingers.
Time spent with him was always relaxed and enjoyable and to say he will be missed doesn't seem to carry the necessary sense of his importance in my life and in the world of music. But 'he will be missed.'