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Ric Ocasek finally looking his age
March 23, 2007 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Happy Birthday Ric Richard Otcasek turned 58 today. It's All Mixed Up, I had no idea he was so old. Well, no matter how old you are, you still need to let the Good Times Roll, so Let's Go wish him our very best, since it's pretty much Touch and Go for any rock star approaching age 60. Though many of the Cars hits where sung by the late, great Ben Orr, Ocasek was one of the more recognizable front men of the 1980s. So distinctive that, on April 18, 2006, he was ranked number 50 in The Boston Phoenix list of "The 100 unsexiest men in the world." Ocasek has had a low-key, but reasonably successful career as a solo artist, written a book of poetry and had a cameo role in the John Waters feature film Hairspray. He also appeared on the Colbert Report where he volunteered to lead a commando mission to "rescue" Stephen Jr., the baby eagle at the San Francisco Zoo. Ric also is notable as a producer, though he is probably best known (or infamous in indie circles) for producing Guided by Voices' much maligned Do the Collapse. As for my own personal connection, the first time I saw him was in 1984, when the Cars played a show with Wang Chung and the last time was when I stood next to Ric at Luna's Farewell show at the Bowery Ballroom, a well known Nightspot. Nice guy, he let me buy him a beer. It was, he said, Just what he Needed.
posted by psmealey (61 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now THAT is a FPP.
posted by grubi at 1:49 PM on March 23, 2007


He's got nothing on his brother Vic.
posted by SBMike at 1:59 PM on March 23, 2007


His uber hot wife is on Dancing with the Stars, too. Not that I watch it. 'Cuz I don't. I would never watch that crap. Never.
*uncrosses fingers*
posted by miss lynnster at 2:00 PM on March 23, 2007


He already looked 58 in the '80's, I thought.
Good post.
He also produced the first Weezer album (the good one.)
posted by chococat at 2:02 PM on March 23, 2007


Rick Ocasec?
posted by Balisong at 2:05 PM on March 23, 2007


His moment in Hairspray is utterly ace.
posted by escabeche at 2:06 PM on March 23, 2007


Ric Ocasek?
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 2:16 PM on March 23, 2007


More outside
posted by Elmore at 2:17 PM on March 23, 2007


born Richard Otcasek
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 2:17 PM on March 23, 2007


I used to work with his son, Adam (who is/was a pretty talented web designer). I always wondered what it must be like having a supermodel step-mom, but I never asked.
posted by bashos_frog at 2:25 PM on March 23, 2007


I like him cause he's friends with P.
posted by django_z at 2:26 PM on March 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Vic Ocasek's Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp. Couldn't find any video, unfortunately

Nice post.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 2:27 PM on March 23, 2007


I saw him on Third Avenue day before yesterday - he looked great. Certainly much better than the last time I saw him, in Comme des Garçons on 26th in mid-2002, when he looked like reheated corpse. Things must be looking up in the Ocasek household.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:28 PM on March 23, 2007


didn't he turn into todd rundgren?
posted by quonsar at 2:42 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


don't forget he produced several albums by Bad Brains! great stuff.
posted by sineater at 2:47 PM on March 23, 2007


I really love The Cars. Really.
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:48 PM on March 23, 2007


He's the Kevin Bacon of music producers. In addition to producing Weezer and Bad Brains, he's also produced No Doubt, Hole, and the Killers.
posted by jonp72 at 2:51 PM on March 23, 2007


didn't he turn into todd rundgren?

In Todd Rundgren's dreams...
posted by Bearman at 3:11 PM on March 23, 2007


Hey thats funny about Luna's final Bowery shows.
I designed the farewell poster for that.

http://www.gigposters.com/poster/42074_Luna.html

They used it in their dvd packaging too for Tell Me Do You Miss Me. I was a giggly bitch about it for a week.

(Oh no, now every MeFite will know my true identity)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:14 PM on March 23, 2007


Now with clicky-ness:

http://www.gigposters.com/poster/42074_Luna.html
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:14 PM on March 23, 2007


The Cars are awesome. Love "Since You're Gone" particularly.

But, weren't they involved in a scandal back in the way that involved them lip-syncing or using backup tapes in concert?

I'm not trying to be snarky, and I could be way off base here- google turns up nothing. Does anyone else remember this at all? Am I thinking of someone else (I know it's not Milli Vannilli)?

posted by drjimmy11 at 3:24 PM on March 23, 2007


Holy hell, psmealey, that Heartbreak City tour with Wang Chung was the first concert I ever saw. In Queens somewhere, I think, with my best friend whose dad scored the tickets for us both. He stayed the hell home while we went and pretended to be jaded concert-going women of the world. I was all of twelve.

I love, love, love The Cars. Yet even at twelve, I knew Wang Chung sucked like an Electrolux.

Thank you so much for this post.
posted by melissa may at 3:33 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]



didn't he turn into todd rundgren?

In Todd Rundgren's dreams...


Nuh-UH! In Ric Ocarsick's dreams! TR FTW!
posted by bink at 3:36 PM on March 23, 2007


Todd should produce a Fountains of Wayne record.

Id love to see the results of that.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:39 PM on March 23, 2007


"what's that guy doing back in the corner?"

"uhh... he's Wang Chung-ing."


-Beavis & Butthead, watching video for "everybody have fun tonight"
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:48 PM on March 23, 2007


I saw The Cars in 1979 at The Rockford Speedway with Head East and Ian Hunter. man am I old

Also a Ocasek production - Weezer
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 3:51 PM on March 23, 2007


"I stood next to Ric at Luna's Farewell show at the Bowery Ballroom, a well known Nightspot. Nice guy, he let me buy him a beer."

Is psmealey lying?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:58 PM on March 23, 2007


Is psmealey lying?

See... tkchrist's stories, though great, now cast a pall of suspicion over us all.
posted by psmealey at 4:07 PM on March 23, 2007


See... tkchrist's stories, though great, now cast a pall of suspicion over us all.

IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!! I SHALL BE VINDICATED AND LO THE ALBATROSS REMOVED FROM ROUND MY NECK!

Though I have an old girl friend who has a Ric Otcasek story. It is VERY complicated. THIS story IS widely disputed amongst my friends. Some say Ric was waving to them from his Limo sun-roof as it pulled away from the Burger King Drive Through. But Jen SWEARS he flipped them all off. From that point on—and to this day—Otcasek is on her enemies of the state shit list. To the extreme that when 'Let the Good Times Roll' (our class song) was played at our 20th reunion she stood and turned her back to to the dance floor in a defiant inverted Black Power salute through out the entire song. Such a breach of protocol got her ejected from the post reunion bong out. Let the past die, Jen. LET IT DIE!
posted by tkchrist at 4:25 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ohhhh, how I long for the day where a post appears that allows me to stay on topic whilst sharing with you Mefites the fascinating tale of the night that John Fogerty became my mortal enemy...

Because... he IS.


FOGERRTYYYYYY!!!!!!
posted by miss lynnster at 4:39 PM on March 23, 2007


I always wondered what it must be like having a supermodel step-mom, but I never asked.

Adam's mom has got it goin' on.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:41 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's fantastic that lots of you have interesting tidbits about Otcasek, and his wife, and tales about run-ins with him, and his son.
I don't know who this person is.
And I'll let it stay this way.
posted by jouke at 4:46 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


...
I don't know who this person is.
And I'll let it stay this way.


He came a long way
To tell us.
That he didn't care.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 5:02 PM on March 23, 2007


Is Ric Ocasek someone you would need to have a television to understand?

Because I do not have a television.

I actually have a gap where a television might go... it is so powerful that if you brought a television into my home, it would leap into the gap of its own volition and disappear in a flash of light.

Also, I gather that this Ric Ocasek is your favorite band. He or she therefore sucks.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:27 PM on March 23, 2007


I maintain that "My Best Friend's Girlfriend" was the Cars' best song. Here it is covered by Nirvana, frighteningly.
posted by HeroZero at 5:31 PM on March 23, 2007


My old college roommate used to clean the pool of his house in Weston. That's my second-hand anecdote.

The Cars rule.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:37 PM on March 23, 2007


"He came a long way
To tell us.
That he didn't care."


Who's gonna drive him home?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:12 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


But, weren't they involved in a scandal back in the way that involved them lip-syncing or using backup tapes in concert?

They were sued for allegedly stealing a melody. I seemed to remember it was "Shake it up" (how could anyone lay claim to such a simple song?) but all I could find was a reference to "Let's Go".

Anyway, assorted radio tracks ranked from Best to Worst (IMHO):
Bye Bye Love
Dangerous Type
Candy-O
Moving in Stereo
Good Times Roll – Made Billboard top 100; Debut on 03/17/79
Just What I Needed – Debut on 06/17/75
Let’s Go – Debut on 06/30/79
My Best Friend’s Girl – Debut on 10/21/78
It’s All I Can Do – Debut on 10/13/79
Since You’re Gone – Debut on 03/27/82
You Might Think – Debut on 03/10/84
Magic – Debut on 05/19/84
Hello Again – Debut on 10/27/84
Shake it Up – Debut on 11/21/81
Tonight She Comes – Debut on 11/02/85
I’m Not The One – Debut on 02/01/86
You Are The Girl – Debut on 08/29/87
Drive – Debut on 08/04/84
posted by kurumi at 6:27 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here it is covered by Nirvana, frighteningly.

Frighteningly good, mate. Love it.
posted by psmealey at 7:46 PM on March 23, 2007


the fascinating tale of the night that John Fogerty became my mortal enemy...

Heyyy tonigh-hiiite... Fogerty's birthday is a bit more than two months away, Miss Lynnster (May 28). I'll give you a head's up on the 27th and let you know it's on the way.
posted by psmealey at 7:52 PM on March 23, 2007


I see on wikipedia that Paulina claims Adam beat her. Wow. Hard to picture that. He seemed like an OK guy.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:53 PM on March 23, 2007


Wow. Do I need 2 minutes in the penalty box for gratuitous erroneous use of apostrophes.
posted by psmealey at 8:04 PM on March 23, 2007


The Cars were awesome. The only band that successfully - commercially - was able to integrate rock, pop, and new-wave into a slick, functional package.

Great FPP. And Happy B-Day to Ric!

Slightly O/T, but it always amused me that the two most commercially successful solo Cars had song titles identical (or nearly) to other famous songs:

"Stay The Night" - by Chicago
"Stay The Night" - by Ben Orr (RIP)

"Emotions In Motion" - Billy Squier
"Emotion In Motion" - Ric Ocasek
posted by davidmsc at 8:28 PM on March 23, 2007


Thanks, ps. Yes, please do.

And I repeat: FOGERRTYYYYYY!!!!!!
posted by miss lynnster at 8:32 PM on March 23, 2007


Normally I'm one to shun any/all comparisons between myself and famous people when I do my music. But recently I threw out a small rock number for a songfight, and more than one person said I sounded like Ric Ocasik.

And I was surprised to find that it made me very, very happy.
posted by davejay at 9:19 PM on March 23, 2007


58 isn't old.
posted by rmmcclay at 9:33 PM on March 23, 2007


Kurumi: Not a bad line-up. I still call Moving in Stereo their best.
posted by Fenriss at 10:09 PM on March 23, 2007


Am I the only one who's going to stick up for GBV's Do the Collapse? You can't tell me "Teenage FBI" isn't a brilliant piece of power pop.
posted by Rangeboy at 10:10 PM on March 23, 2007


Since I'd only seen GBV a dozen or so times, I don't really consider myself among their hardcore fanbase, Rangeboy, but I never really understood the enmity either. I agree that Teenage FBI is brilliant and Do the Collapse, while not quite up to "Alien Lanes", is at least as good as "Under the Bushes" and a few of their earlier albums.
posted by psmealey at 10:13 PM on March 23, 2007


Oh, how I love the Cars, and most of the production stuff he's done since. And he's the exact age of my in-laws, which is freaking my husband right out. So thanks for this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:29 PM on March 23, 2007


Bah, the original Teenage FBI was a pretty damn good song, as is it's fetal version Rocket Head, but I feel the DTC version left it pretty much enervated.

But virtually all the material produced for Do the Collapse that wasn't just a rerecording of some material written during the classic linup years was pretty terrible. In the same leauge us Under the Bushes? Pishaw! I was just listening to it today at work and dude: Man Called Aerodynamics, Cut-Out Witch, The Official Ironmen Rally Song, No Sky, Your Name Is Wild, Ghosts Of A Different Dream, Acorns & Orioles, Underwater Explosions, It's Like Soul Man, Drag Days! There is so much gold in UTBUTS that I'd almost want to lump it in with Bee Thousand and the rest of the top tier stuff.

I can't claim to understand what it is specifically that causes anyone to find enjoyment in this band or that, but anyone who finds Do the Collapse to be a palate-able album is clearly attracted to something about GbV that is fundamentally different then what attracts me to the band (at it's best, at least).

Also, just as a note, I was mildly disturbed by the sight of him performing sober.
posted by Jezztek at 11:51 PM on March 23, 2007


His son Chris put out an album in the late 80's--he was gorgeous: dark hair and blue eyes; much less gawky than his father(I haven't seen any recent pictures of him, though I saw him on the sidewalk in Boston 17 years ago).

But I like big men....
posted by brujita at 12:05 AM on March 24, 2007


"Cut-Out Witch" is one of the greatest songs that I have ever heard.

I also love "Do The Earth"

/loves Do The Collapse as it was his first GBV record.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:15 AM on March 24, 2007


I was mildly disturbed by the sight of him performing sober.

Boy, howdy. Same here.
posted by psmealey at 5:39 AM on March 24, 2007


Oh man, this just brought back a bad memory for me.
Back in the late 70's when I was in middle school, I would wait for my older brother to leave the house so I could page through his back issues of Creem. It was my only source for finding new music back then; everyone I knew was either into The Wall or the Bee Gees or Styx and I was a lonely Gang of Four/Clash lovin' oddball. One afternoon my brother and his skeevy friend Craig walked in on me and stage whispered, so as to humiliate, "Oooh, my sister likes that 'punk rock', cuz she thinks it's cool." And Craig says, "Yeah, I bet she listens to The Cars."
I gathered up all his Creems in a fit of rage and ran to my own room screaming "You don't deserve these magazines! You don't know what Punk is!!"

He still goofs on me for that, but at least I never voted for Bush.
posted by maryh at 6:26 AM on March 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


FOGGGEERRRRRRTTTTYYYYYYYY!!!!!!
posted by miss lynnster at 6:35 AM on March 24, 2007


Oh for godssake, miss lynnster, tell the damn story!
posted by maryh at 6:44 AM on March 24, 2007


But... then I wouldn't get to scream anymore. :(
posted by miss lynnster at 8:34 AM on March 24, 2007


This is my favorite Metafilter post ever.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 9:08 AM on March 24, 2007


Awesome Ric Ocasek solo album that I can never find anywhere: Beatitude (1982). (Great Psychedelic Furs-ish cover art too.)
posted by blucevalo at 12:48 PM on March 24, 2007


No mention of Glamour Camp? I still have that CD around here somewhere...
posted by geckoinpdx at 6:00 PM on March 26, 2007


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