Ten Things You Never Knew About… Jarvis Cocker

Indie's corduroy King and chief geek

Behind the spectacles of Indie’s corduroy King and chief geek.

1. Back in 2007 Cocker curated London’s Meltdown Festival, following in the footsteps of musical legends Patti Smith, Morrissey, Nick Cave and David Bowie. The festival bizarrely included a show featuring the likes of Grace Jones, Pete Doherty, Nick Cave and Shane McGowan singing songs from Disney films. Whole New World anyone?

2. It was at the same festival in 2000 where Cocker first met Scott Walker, who went on to produce Pulp’s last album ‘We Love Life’ in 2001. The second single from the record, ‘Bad Cover Version’, mocks Walker’s own album, ‘Til The Band Comes In’, although the lyric is claimed to have been written long before Walker was involved in the album’s production.

3. Fellow Sheffield musician Joe Cocker is not related to the thick-frame-spectacled frontman, although he is a family friend, having babysat for Jarvis on occasion and fitted the fire for Jarvis’ mother’s first flat in Sheffield in the early-’60s.

4. His infamous stage invasion with fellow bandmate Peter Mansell at the 1996 Brit Awards – a protest against Michael Jackson’s Jesus impersonation – may be one of the most well-known anecdotes surrounding the musician. Perhaps less well-known is that the resulting press attention led to the creation of a waxwork figure of Cocker for Madame Tussaud’s Rock Circus exhibition costing £30,000.

5. The first song the frontman remembers hearing is Peter Sarstedt’s ‘Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)’. However, he wasn’t an instant fan, claiming that when he was four or five it really scared him because of the line “I can look inside your head”. Creepy.

6. Jarvis first met his ex-wife, Camille Bidault-Waddington, when she styled the cover of their album ‘This Is Hardcore’, although they didn’t start dating until three years later when they were re-acquainted at Pulp bassist’s Steve Mackey’s birthday party. Before their dates he used to check to see what she was wearing so he could dress in the “same family of colours”.

7. The unusual tuning on Albert, Jarvis’ son’s, toy guitar was used as the basis for two tracks on Cocker’s 2006 debut solo album ‘Jarvis’.

8. Despite having a huge fanbase Jarvis dislikes hearing his own work, claiming, “I’d rather suck off a dog’s knob than listen to one of my own records.”

9. When he was twenty-two, Cocker fell from a third floor window whilst trying to impress a girl with a Spider-Man impression, leading to him being confined to a wheelchair for two months.

10. Despite measuring an impressive 6ft 4in Cocker prefers wearing heeled shoes – “It’s like, what are you going to gain from wearing flat shoes? You’re still tall, so why not just go for it?”

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