A minor uproar was created on Twitter recently when a tweet was sent out listing Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 top singers of all time. This was a bit odd as the list was originally published by the magazine in 2010.
Online discussions were waged as to the merits of each artist on the list. While John Lennon showed up at number five and Al Green at number 14, curiously listed at number 97 was Joe ****er. After extensive investigation it was determined that this was in fact English rocker Joe Cocker. That the asterisks appeared as they did was a bit of a mystery.
Cocker, who died in 2014, could not be reached for comment. Nonetheless, Nigel Frotham, former percussionist in Cocker’s band was tracked down at his nursing home in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, England and he offered his thoughts.
“I don’t know what those asterisks are doing there?” Frotham wondered. “It seems odd that they would show up this long after his death. He used to keep a few – asterisks, I mean – in his wallet. Was never really sure what for. A couple of them he had had since he was a kid in school.”
“Back in the early days, asterisks weren’t very popular with the rock stars. I remember Pete Townsend of The Who was big on exclamation points.”
Frotham continued, “Sometimes Cocker would bring out some of his asterisks during encores. The band always hated it because he’d toss them around and we and the roadies would have to retrieve them after the shows. Once, I remember, a couple of groupies tried steal one. Boy, did that create a ruckus.”
While the merits of Rolling Stone’s list will continue to be hotly debated, one can’t help but wonder that if D*** Clark had produced a similar list, it would look somewhat different.