When he started his singing in bands in the 1960s, Joe Cocker was a gas fitter living with his parents in a terraced house in Crookes.
International success was to allow him ultimately to settle in Colorado in the Rockies where he built a sumptuous house - in fact, a ranch named after his most famous tour.
Now, like many an individual getting on a bit, Joe, aged 69, and his wife, Pam, 62, are downsizing.
Mad Dog Ranch, where the couple have lived since the 1990s, is on the market for $7 million. Prospective purchasers are being offered a European-style, seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom house with a turret at the entrance.
The ranch covers about 240 acres, and the property includes a barn, stables and an outdoor riding arena. It’s certainly one that would attract outdoor enthusiasts. “One can horseback ride and hike for miles into the nearby West Elk Wilderness, and trophy trout fishing on the Gunnison River and the geologic wonders of Black Canyon National Park are both just down the road within easy reach,” say the estate agents. Then there’s a pond and fenced-in gardens and greenhouses where Joe has cultivated his love of tomato growing.
A games room features an antique English snooker table where Joe taught friends how to play and he hosts an annual tournament.
Pam Cocker told the Wall Street Journal that they were selling to move to a smaller place. They own land across the road from Mad Dog Ranch, where they plan to build a smaller house, and they have purchased a condo in Denver.
Joe shot to stardom in 1968 with The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends, famously devising his own arrangement in the outdoor toilet of the house in Tasker Road, Crookes. A string of successful albums and tours and a date at Woodstock sealed his place in the rock music firmament and, overcoming drink and drug problems, he has been content to be one of the “regular folks” in the town of Crawford, about a two hour drive from Aspen.
The Cockers bought the land for about $250,000 in 1992 so they could build the property, selling their Santa Barbara house two years later.
“The original plan was to build something small, just a place to go in the winter,”said Pam. “But we just fell in love with this place and made it our permanent residence.”
Joe retains a strong fan base, especially in Europe, where he can still attract big audiences. He released his latest album, Fire It Up Live, recorded in Cologne, last year.
His Sheffield-based biographer, JP Bean, who is in regular contact with the singer, updating him on Sheffield United, said Mad Dog Ranch is “a kind of small Chatsworth House on top of the Rockies”.
“I went 20 years ago when we made the documentary Have A Little Faith but Joe was living in a ranch house then, the mansion was being built.
“It’s very wild out there, bears and wolves lurking about. Not like Crookes.”