Cliff, Deric and Mitch not only share a past with Joe Cocker, they also share his musical vision. Together and at different times over four decades, they toured the world with one of the most iconic voices in rock history. Playing on many of his records together, their careers were forever intertwined. This connection afforded all of them the great opportunity to perform at places like Carnegie Hall, Wembley Stadium, and The Royal Albert Hall. All of this was highlighted by playing a historic free concert in Berlin the day the wall came down in 1989.
It all started in a club called the Zodiac Palace in Hamilton, Bermuda, in April of 1975. Cliff’s band American Standard and Deric’s band The Altogether were playing there for college weeks. After this first meeting, it took only a little convincing by Cliff and Kevin Falvey before Deric moved from Bermuda to America and joined American Standard in September 1975. While the band was playing nightclubs and colleges, along with writing and recording, and trying to get a record deal, American Standard’s manager (friends with Michael Lang, one of the producers of Woodstock) realized Joe Cocker was looking for a new band. Michael was soon convinced that they might be a good fit with Joe and arranged for him to meet the band.
Joe was sold when he saw American Standard playing in a small club outside of Boston and an afternoon spent rehearsing with the band. Michael and Joe’s decision to bring in the legendary Nicky Hopkins (later replaced by Mitch Chakour in 1978) on piano and Bobby Keys on sax built credibility for this now powerhouse band.
Joe Cocker and his new band set out on a seven week tour of New Zealand and Australia, followed by very successful tours in America, Europe, South America and the rest of the world the following decades.