Legend Remembered: A tribute to Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton & Joe Cocker

Van Morrison

Morrison’s record matches up to any other songwriter in the rock ‘n’ roll era, having penned classics like “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Gloria, “Listen to the Lion”, “Moondance”, “Domino”, “Into the Mystic”, and “Madame George” before he had even reached his 25th birthday! What’s more, these songs are still only the tip of a magnificent iceberg; there are countless other Morrison compositions that stand comparison with anything in the pantheon of popular music.

Part of the ritual of attending a Van Morrison gig is the anticipation that he will play one of your absolute favorites, something way out of left-field that he’s seldom performed before, balanced against the palpable frustration afterwards, when you ruminate on a set full of middle-of-the-road, of what might have been. Morrison was in fine voice throughout and he put his heart and soul into each and every number. What more could you ask of the old champion?

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello is one of the greatest singer songwriters of the 20th and 21st centuries. With the blazing talent he was born with, success was always imminent for Elvis, but his persistence is what finally turned the tide for him. He was offered a deal by Island Records, but then he turned it down because, in his opinion, it was not a great deal. This self-assuredness is one of his most evident and productive traits.

Elvis really lets his affection for American music and encyclopedic knowledge of the idiom show, bouncing from the acoustic power of “Brilliant Mistake” to the idiosyncratic country of “Our Little Angel,” and even tossing in some rip-snorting rockabilly on “Glitter Gulch.”

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton, original name Eric Patrick Clapp, was a British rock musician who was a highly influential guitarist in the late 1960s and early ’70s and later became a major singer-songwriter.

Eric Clapton is a consistent hit maker and one of the greatest guitarists of all time—perhaps that’s why he is the only person to be inducted into the Rock Hall three times. His diverse influences ranged from reggae to the blues and established him as a versatile and resilient artist whose relevance never fades.

Joe Cocker

After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles’ “A Little Help from My Friends.” His career really took off after he sang that song at Woodstock in August 1969.

Cocker returned to the U.S. Top Ten in 1975, with the romantic ballad “You Are So Beautiful” and topped the charts in 1982. In 2010, Hard Knocks — his first studio album in three years — appeared in Europe. Cocker’s 23rd studio album, Fire It Up, was issued in November 2012 on Sony. Slightly over two years later, on December 22, 2014, Cocker succumbed to lung cancer.