Cocker, On Toes, Busted Again
Rolling Stone (23 novembre 1972) - Interview réalisée par ???

Before and between busts, Joe Cocker sat still long enough to talk with Jack Rose, a Honolulu-based reporter who had arranged a hula-girl reception at the airport for Cocker and crew September 29111 by telling the Visitors Bureau that a band of "25 retarded children" were arriving from Los Angeles. After two sold-out shows at the Honolulu International Center, Rose asked Joe where he was going next.

Um… New Zealand… Auckland… You know, someone came to me around Christmas last, and said we should go over there, that our records were selling well and all, and I just laughed at the time. But then we got around to organizing this tour, and we wondered where to go. And I remembered, New Zealand! Then we'll go to Australia, then back to England.

There's a great demand in Australia for live music. Are you going to play any extra gigs ?
We might stay over and holiday a bit, but our manager has already booked us for three extra gigs in some other cities like Adelaide and Perth. That should be just about enough, don't you think ?

Are you expecting any immigration troubles entering New Zealand? I under-stand that Flocko, your conga player, is a Cuban refugee, and not traveling under any passport at all.
No, I don't expect that they'll give us any trouble. Last time we entered Lon-don, though, they told us they wouldn't let him in. But I got him in.

How ?
I told them that I'd blow up their fucking airport if they didn't let him in. You should have heard the commotion that raised ! But, they let him in.

Eleven days later, on October 14th in Adelaide, Australia, Cocker and six of his crew, including Chris Stainton and hornmen Bobby Keyes and Jim Price, were busted in their motel room for marijuana. Another band member - "Flocko" Falcon, the conga player - was charged with possession of heroin and needles.

Two days later, reporter Rose reached Joe Cocker in Melbourne, at the Commodore Motel, and asked about the bust :
Oh, fuck… it was horrid, being aliens. But it's over now. We were fined $300 apiece and let go. Thank God! We pleaded guilty; it was easiest. We damn well had to !

When and how did they arrest you ?
We were at the motel. It was one of those early morning things, where they come in and get you all confused, in the morning. A case of real harassmc It and animosity. Flocko, the fellow with the stuff, was fined $600, so I think we were quite lucky, don't you? It could have been much worse. There was this fellow at the bar who made a motion to have us deported as a conspiracy !

To do what ?
Corrupt and pollute the youth of Australia ! Isn't that a trip; come to play music for them, and they think it's a fucking conspiracy. Anyway, we're being very quiet, and walking on our toes from here on out. That way they can't bother us again.

Do you think they'll really go so far as to deport you all ?
Well, they're a hunch that's fucking uptight. But, if we're real good, I think we can make it till the 29th when we're finished. The hail was $1200 each, but we got that back, minus the fines. I still think we got off cheap. Not that we ever thought we were going to get time or anything.

That would've been a drag…
Really ! No tucking sense of decency, like in the States or England. Hardly a civilized attitude. And is Chris pissed at the indignity of it all !

Is Australia that uncivil ?
Not the people - they're beautiful. But their lawmen are pretty stiff. Christ, they made me feel like a criminal !

That was Tuesday, October 17th in Melbourne. The next day, we received some more news about Cocker over the wires: Ile's been arrested at the Commodore after "a wild concert" at Melbourne's Festival Hall. Joe, the report went, swigged beer, wine and champagne onstage, then stormed off after an hour, cursing at the band, demanding more to drink and shouting at the audience of 7000. He returned momentarily, a bottle of whiskey in his clutch. Later, the motel tried to evict the group, scuffles broke out, and cops arrived to drag Cocker, shirtless and barefooted, out of the Commodore, along with most of the rest of his band. He was charged with resisting arrest, assaulting police, indecent language, and offensive behavior.

© Joe Cocker & Lucie Lebens - Tous droits réservés