Ep. #12: Featuring Vocal Percussionist Tracy LJ Robertson
"With a Little Help from My Friends"
An image of unity, three friends gathered around a fourth, cheering him on. This was the scene as Ringo Starr laid down his vocals, pushing a full octave leap on his limited five-note vocal range for one of The Beatles' most enduring songs.
John and Paul loved to write songs for Ringo. When they recorded this one, John had an injured forefinger and had to play the melody on piano with only his middle finger so they titled the song "Badfinger Boogie". Don't recognize it? They eventually changed it to one much more fitting: "With A Little Help From My Friends”. Opening with cheers taken from a Beatles concert at the Hollywood Bowl (they were no longer touring), and Ringo performing the role of Billy Shears, this song appeared on their Grammy Award-winning album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Fast forward to 1969, Woodstock and Joe Cocker, whose cover performance of "With a Little Help from My Friends" took the crowd by storm. Paul McCartney said Cocker's version "was just mind-blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful to him for doing that”.
SNL great John Belushi created a fantastic parody of Joe Cocker's version of this song and was so convincing that even Cocker thought he was lip-synching (which he wasn't). Cocker took it in good humor and the two appeared together on SNL in 1976.
Sharing the good vibes and feeling of togetherness that this song brings, we get by with a little help from our friend, MUSE/IQUE's Tracy LJ Robertson.
"When music has heart, if the music is empowering or allows someone to feel something they weren't feeling before, that's plenty perfect". -Tracy LJ Robertson