In early 1972, after nearly two years away from music, Cocker went on tour with a group that Chris Stainton had formed….when he opened with a performance in Madison Square Garden….which was attended by about 20,000 people…..and after touring the United States, he embarked on a European tour where he played to large audiences in Milan and Germany…..then returned to the United States for another tour in autumn 1972. During these tours the group cut the songs that would be part of his newest album, Joe Cocker…..which was a mixture of live songs and studio recordings….as the album peaked at # 30 on the US charts.
In October 1972, when Cocker toured Australia, he and six members of his entourage were arrested in Adelaide for possession of marijuana. …and the next day, in Melbourne, assault charges were laid after a brawl at the Commodore Chateau Hotel….as the Australian Federal Police gave Cocker 48 hours to leave the country….which caused huge public outcry in Australia….as Cocker was a high-profile overseas artist and had a strong support base, especially with the baby boomers who were coming of age and able to vote for the first time. It sparked hefty debate about the use and legalization of marijuana in Australia, and gained Cocker the nickname “the Mad Dog”.
At the end of 1973, Cocker returned to the studio to record a new album, I Can Stand A Little Rain….which was released in August 1974…..and reached # 11 on the US charts….with one single, a cover of Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful”….which reached the # 5….and despite positive reviews for the album, Cocker struggled with live performances, largely due to his problems with alcohol…..with one such instance being reported in a 1974 issue of Rolling Stone….which said that during two West Coast performances in October of that year he threw up onstage.
Throughout the 1980’s, Cocker continued to tour around the world….while playing to large audiences in Europe, Australia and the United States….then in 1986 he met the Italian singer Zucchero Fornaciari…. who dedicated a song Nuovo, meraviglioso amico, in Rispetto to the English bluesman. After that Cocker took part in some concerts of the promotional tours for the albums Blue’s in 1987….and Oro Incenso & Birra in 1989. In 1988, he performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall. After Barclay James Harvest and Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker was the first to give rock concerts in the German Democratic Republic, in East Berlin and Dresden…..as the venue, the Blüherwiese, next to the Rudolf–Harbig–Stadion, bears the vernacular name Cockerwiese (Cocker meadow) today. He also performed for US President George H. W. Bush at an inauguration concert in February 1989….and in 1992, his version of Bryan Adams’ “Feels Like Forever” made the UK Top 40.
In this video seen herewith….Joe Cocker sings a medley of “Feelin Alright”….“I Don’t Need Nobody To Sing My Song”….and “Whiter Shade Of Pale”…..as he performed live in concert in 1983.