Veteran rocker Joe Cocker agreed to perform at the inauguration of former U.S. President George Bush, Snr. because he hoped officials would wipe his drug convictions from his police record in return.

The Up Where We Belong hitmaker famously joined the bill at the Republican's election celebration party in 1989, but reveals he was not aware of Bush's political ideals and was simply hoping for a favour from U.S. authorities.

Cocker insists he later turned down a similar request to perform at the inauguration of Bush's son George W. Bush because he had become more politically aware.

He tells Uncut magazine, "I had these drug busts on my record, none of them too serious but they'd accumulated over the years. When I got married to an American girl the authorities quashed one, and it was thought I could get rid of another if I agreed to play for Bush.

"I had no political leanings at all, I just convinced myself that it was like playing for the Queen, y'know (sic), the head of state. I was asked to play for Bush Jnr. years later, and by that time I was taking more of an interest in world affairs so I turned it down!"