Dance all night with everyone/ Don't let nobody pick your fun
September 15, 2019 7:54 PM   Subscribe

RIP Ric Ocasek: For all the road trips in all the states and all the dancing in the seat.

He follows Benjamin Orr who died in 2000.

My Best Friend's Girl, Shake It Up, Drive.
posted by frumiousb (125 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
He kept it going, 'til the sun fell down. He kept it...going.

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posted by jburka at 7:55 PM on September 15, 2019 [27 favorites]


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posted by kneecapped at 7:57 PM on September 15, 2019


Just a little magic.

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posted by Melismata at 7:58 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by Dillionaire at 7:59 PM on September 15, 2019


My first cassette tape was The Cars' Greatest Hits.

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posted by Chrysostom at 8:00 PM on September 15, 2019 [12 favorites]


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posted by lalochezia at 8:00 PM on September 15, 2019


...since you're gone.

But my absolute favorite Cars rock-out song is Good Times Roll, one of the iconic guitar riffs of my adolescence.
posted by drlith at 8:02 PM on September 15, 2019 [12 favorites]


First concert I ever saw, freshman or sophomore year of high school. I loved The Cars.
posted by Gorgik at 8:05 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Anyone who produces a Guided by Voices album is okay in my book.
posted by rikschell at 8:08 PM on September 15, 2019 [8 favorites]


The Cars were a big part of the soundtrack of my youth. Their eponymous first album is one of the all-time great debut albums. 9 songs of which 7 are amazing. But their second album Candy-O is probably my fave. Only 5 amazing songs on this one lol. The title track rocks and It's All I Can Do is just fantastic. RIP Ric.
posted by chris24 at 8:08 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 8:09 PM on September 15, 2019


Candy-O...the weirder stuff was always the best. I can track my adolescence by their catalog.
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posted by j_curiouser at 8:10 PM on September 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


I was a nerdy teen in the early 80s and I was constantly telling myself "The idea of being 'cool' is just some bullshit the popular kids made up" and then I'd see Ric Ocasek on TV and be like, oh yeah, no.
posted by escabeche at 8:10 PM on September 15, 2019 [27 favorites]


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posted by tclark at 8:11 PM on September 15, 2019


The Cars were an inescapable part of the landscape growing up in the 80's and I loved, loved, loved them. There were lots of memories, but by far the most indelible was getting on the Gravitron at my local Fireman's Fair and and feeling the whole room start to turn to the unearthly opening synth washes of Magic.

Keep walking on water, Ric.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:12 PM on September 15, 2019 [11 favorites]


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posted by get off of my cloud at 8:16 PM on September 15, 2019


After my adolescence I could never get The Cars to hook me, even in the past 15 years when I've been deeply mining that era in rediscovery, but he produced Bad Brains' Rock for Light and that made him permanently jake in my book.

Plus, come on, everybody of a certain age was surprised that he married Paulina (Porizkova, but just "Paulina" back then), which these days would be something like Guy Fieri marrying Taylor Swift.

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posted by rhizome at 8:17 PM on September 15, 2019 [14 favorites]


Plus, come on, everybody of a certain age was surprised that he married Paulina (Porizkova, but just "Paulina" back then), which these days would be something like Guy Fieri marrying Taylor Swift.

And he was married when he met her and in his thirties and she was 18. That was 1984, and provided me with one of my first teenage inklings that men might really suck.

But still, I loved his music. Still do.
posted by frumiousb at 8:20 PM on September 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


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posted by gwint at 8:21 PM on September 15, 2019


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posted by Lyme Drop at 8:35 PM on September 15, 2019


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posted by riruro at 8:35 PM on September 15, 2019


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posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 8:38 PM on September 15, 2019


Though I can't find when he divorced his 70s wife, to be fair he and Paulina didn't marry until she was 24, and didn't have kids until some years after that.
posted by rhizome at 8:39 PM on September 15, 2019


"Beatitude" was his solo album that got me so well after the Cars had done. Rest well; so many rhythms and beats.
posted by buzzman at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Wow, the music of The Cars was the sound of the summer I turned 12, in 1981. It was a great summer. I always associate their music with that time. Thanks, Ric.


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posted by droplet at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Some days, my biggest joy has been in playing "Living in Stereo" on repeat, with its theremin siren loops, so that it starts just as it ends.

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posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:48 PM on September 15, 2019 [9 favorites]


Always loved the Cars. Ric was obviously a pretty big part of why they were awesome. Speaking of big parts, he had a cameo in the movie Made in Heaven, playing a filthy mechanic alongside Tom Petty (I think). Thirty years later or so and I still remember it the scene but not much else from the movie. I couldn't find it on youtube - perhaps somebody with better skills can.

I have a few Cars song on my playlist that get regular rotation. They're still awesome.

Keep on moving in stereo, Ric.
posted by ashbury at 8:49 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:49 PM on September 15, 2019


The Cars, and Ric Ocasek weren't just pop monsters. They had an edge, and an interest in the avantgarde. DEVO's Jerry Casale directed the videos for "Panorama" and "Touch and Go" while Ocasek also worked closely with the band Suicide—booking them on The Cars 1979 episode of Midnight Special, their first major TV exposure. Ric also produced Suicide's second and fourth albums. It's incredible how he managed to straddle pop success and experimental music.
posted by SansPoint at 8:50 PM on September 15, 2019 [30 favorites]


Putting on a Cars CD is one of the surest ways I know to shoot me back to my teenage years, just like the smell of autumn leaves will shoot me back to being a little kid in Connecticut.

They were a formidable pop band and I think their stuff, as much as it is "of an era" really holds up.

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posted by maxwelton at 8:52 PM on September 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


When I moved back from Venezuela to the US in 1979, a big part of the soundtrack of that summer was "Candy-O", I got to see them in October of that year in Miami, they were soooo good, and sounded fantastic live. Caught them a couple of times after that up in the NY area, always a fun time and really energetic shows, they didn't seen to have bad nights. Summer of 2018, I was hanging out at the week-long ToddStock birthday gathering for Todd Rundgren and got to spend some time speaking and chilling with Greg Hawkes, who had just been inducted into the R&RHOF with the band, such a sweet, good soul. The Cars sounded like nothing before them, and were essential to making the way for the New Wave era of popular music, but were always edgier and better live than most bands normally considered NW. I've been listening to that first album lately, and like the first Van Halen record, it will stand the test of time as a classic rock album, and it many ways is the best thing the band ever did. Of course, Ocasek had such a prolific second career as a producer, he's left an absolutely indelible mark on the music of the era.

RIP, Ric, and thanks.

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posted by dbiedny at 8:53 PM on September 15, 2019 [7 favorites]


"Somewhere sometimes, when you're curious, I'll be back around."
posted by DaddyNewt at 8:57 PM on September 15, 2019 [14 favorites]


Life's the same; it's all inside you.
("Moving in Stereo" is the eightiesest of '80s songs, which is quite a feat considering it was released in 1978.)
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posted by obloquy at 8:59 PM on September 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


Oh, man. Hope he has somebody to drive him home.

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posted by nubs at 9:00 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


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posted by holborne at 9:03 PM on September 15, 2019


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but to me he'll always be the “Beatnik Cat” from Hairspray.
posted by scruss at 9:04 PM on September 15, 2019 [10 favorites]


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posted by dogstoevski at 9:11 PM on September 15, 2019


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posted by fshgrl at 9:23 PM on September 15, 2019


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posted by bryon at 9:27 PM on September 15, 2019



posted by bz at 9:29 PM on September 15, 2019


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posted by FallibleHuman at 9:29 PM on September 15, 2019


I shouldn't like The Cars, there's a lot of a certain kind of 70's classic rock DNA in their music and I can't overstate how hard it is for me to hang with that, too many car rides as a kid listening to the same old classic rock radio station rotation over and over and over like the soundtrack to an especially boring purgatory, but they took the core of that, tropes and all, and made it so ridiculously cool, some of their songs could be released unchanged today and sound fresh as hell.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:31 PM on September 15, 2019 [12 favorites]


Always loved the cars. Since eight grade in 1979 in western Mass and always.

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posted by Gotanda at 9:35 PM on September 15, 2019


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posted by jabo at 9:58 PM on September 15, 2019


True To You

Funny thing about Ric Ocasek; he didn’t present himself as a rock star despite the deep back catalogue of hits. He always presented himself as comedic. The songs weren’t funny but the music videos (like the one above) were often a little oddball.
posted by Eikonaut at 10:21 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


She tricks me into thinkin'
I can't believe my eyes
I wait for her forever
But she never does arrive
It's all mixed up
posted by Candleman at 10:23 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


Given Ocasek's pallid, spindly, dessicated appearance, I'm impressed the coroner could tell the difference.

Keep them on call so Marilyn Manson and Robert Smith can also be definitively confirmed when they pass..

Rock on, Ric.

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posted by zaixfeep at 10:27 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've had "You Might Think" going through my head all night.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:44 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Around 1982 I think, I wasn't particularly a fan, but a stoner friend offered me a tape of the album The Cars in trade for something. I shrugged and accepted. Turned out to be one of my favorite albums ever. I liked every song.

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posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:55 PM on September 15, 2019 [7 favorites]


Their debut album was one of two records I bought the first time I purchased music on my own.

40 years later I still listen to that album, it's perfect, and thank you Mr Ric Ocasek for what you put out into the world all those years ago.

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posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:56 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


and she used to be mine
she's so
fine

posted by praemunire at 10:59 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


the early stuff like “My Best Friend's Girl” is such a genius fusion of roots rock with New Wave
posted by thelonius at 11:02 PM on September 15, 2019 [12 favorites]


when I 1st came to emerson I saw him on boylston st but he looked like he wanted to be left alone, so I didn't approach him.

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posted by brujita at 11:09 PM on September 15, 2019


When you get tired of fitting in, then you'll be what you are.
That band. Those lyrics. Those clicky guitar eighths.

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posted by otherchaz at 11:25 PM on September 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


Oh, I had forgotten about this band. We saw them in maybe... 1980? Was it so long ago? I wouldn't have guessed he was 75, old enough to have been in the late 1960s generation of bands, older than Neil Young.
posted by pracowity at 11:40 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


New York Times obit. In my ideal world, all car steering wheels should like the one on this cover - and a shout out to the model Natalia Medvedeva who died back in 2003.
posted by rongorongo at 12:12 AM on September 16, 2019 [5 favorites]


Every few months, I need to drive around with The Cars turned up loud, ironically yesterday was one of those days. It’s been said before but that debut album has better songs and more hits than their Greatest Hits album.

I came home from my drive sort of marveling that he and Paulina had kinda beaten the odds and stayed together building a life all these years, a victory for weird nerdy guys everywhere. Then I looked it up and discovered they’d split sometime last year. Still, 29 years and 2 kids is a pretty good run for a relationship that everyone was pretty damn cynical about in 1989.

For me, The Cars work much better as a late glam band a la Roxy Music or The Tubes or even The New York Dolls than as a new wave band. Far more, they were rock oriented instrumentalists and less hit making dance party scenesters and really just plain weird and original for their time (I mean pre-Heartbreak City).

For me, my personal favorite song of theirs is the opening track off Shake It Up, which is now kinda poignant with Ocasek’s death — Since You’re Gone, with its simple mournful distorted guitar riff and brilliant guitar solo and Ocasek’s strange one of a kind voice. It’s worth having a listen right now.

Since you're gone
I missed the peak sensation
Since you're gone
I took the big vacation
Since you’re gone
Well, never feel sedate
Since you’re gone
Well, the moonlight ain't so great

posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:32 AM on September 16, 2019 [14 favorites]


That slide from Shoo Be Doo into Candy-O was always one of my favorite sonic experiences.

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posted by eclectist at 1:29 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


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posted by mfoight at 1:55 AM on September 16, 2019


Ric Ocasek was living proof that 80s hair was not for everybody. But he was still great with the tunes, good job and thanks!
posted by Meatbomb at 2:23 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


I loved the cameo he did in "Hair Spray".

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posted by james33 at 3:37 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


As a rock musician who came of age (and was born) in Boston, all my early 80s bands played most of his songs. Or we didn’t get paid. He was a local hero and quirky model of how to be a “rock star.” At the time his music made me roll my eyes a bit at their digital gloss, but with the years the songwriting stands out as meticulous craft. RIP bro.

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posted by spitbull at 3:38 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


This one hits me hard. The Cars were the soundtrack of my high school years.

If you've never listened to it, I urge you to give the underrated Panorama album a listen.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:08 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


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The first album came out the summer before highschool right when I started listening to FM radio out of New York. It was such a great time for music.

It's weird how many musicians of youth have passed away already. I'd expect the stars of the sixties to all be getting on by now but not the ones from the late seventies and early eighties.
posted by octothorpe at 4:21 AM on September 16, 2019


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posted by Thorzdad at 4:31 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Ocasek got his star late in life. He was 25 when Woodstock happened and 34 when The Cars’ first album hit. He was six years older than Stevie Wonder.

Like a few New Wave greats, he was closer in age to the Beatles generation than the post-punk generation.
posted by ardgedee at 4:32 AM on September 16, 2019 [6 favorites]


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posted by oneironaut at 4:43 AM on September 16, 2019


I saw The Cars during their last tour in ‘87 or ‘88. The crowd waited an hour for the band to hit the stage, they played a short set, and then they were gone. I didn’t realize that I would never have a chance to see them again. I was just happy to hear a few songs live.

A couple of years later Ric and Paulina were back in town, but this time for a wedding that my then girlfriend’s family was somehow invited to - I forget the connection. I remember her father, telling me afterwards: that Ric guy is one scary looking dude, never seen anyone that pale.

I guess the folks a little disappointed in Ric for being married when he met Pauilna will be really disappointed when they figure out Paulina was his third wife, not his second.
posted by grimjeer at 4:43 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by filtergik at 4:55 AM on September 16, 2019


Ocasek got his star late in life.

Well, he was in Milkwood, Richard and the Rabbits, and Captain Swing before The Cars
posted by thelonius at 4:57 AM on September 16, 2019


Oh man. Why Can't I Have You was the song I cried to after every failed teen almost-romance...

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posted by Mchelly at 4:59 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by camyram at 5:04 AM on September 16, 2019


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posted by skye.dancer at 5:07 AM on September 16, 2019




The 45 single of "Just What I Needed" was the very first record I ever bought with my own money. I was 8 years old and up until then my record player played "kids music", but this record was my entry into rock and roll (and by extension capitalist consumerism, but let's ignore that).

Everything about the single was perfect, in 1978, companies would go all out in promoting their big hits so the sleeve had color photos on the front and back. I would play the record and examine the sleeve like it was the Shroud of Turin.
  • I was fascinated by the front cover, was she crashing? But she looked happy, not scared. So confused.
  • The back cover was also strange, the band wasn't smiling or playing instruments and seemed more like zombies in an apocalyptic wasteland.
  • Last but not least, the 45 was pressed on cherry red vinyl, the exact same shade as the model's lipstick! I don't know if that was intentional or not, but either way it was brilliant.
Then, the song itself, man, is there any better song to sit around the stereo with your friends and pretend to be a rock and roll band, singing at the top of your lungs? No, no there is not.

RIP Ric, thanks for the ride.
posted by jeremias at 5:10 AM on September 16, 2019 [12 favorites]


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posted by zengargoyle at 5:14 AM on September 16, 2019


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posted by coppertop at 5:31 AM on September 16, 2019


He also produced several other artists that've made your mixtapes for decades. (Romeo Void, Jonathan Richman, Bad Brains, Guided by Voices, etc.)

And by all accounts was a super nice guy.

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posted by DigDoug at 5:34 AM on September 16, 2019 [7 favorites]


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posted by nickmark at 5:39 AM on September 16, 2019


And by all accounts was a super nice guy.

A friend lives a block from his place and would see him in the neighborhood all the time. She said he was always very friendly and nice to her and everyone in the hood. Last time she saw him was a couple months ago at Bed Bath & Beyond at the end of a long line for the register waiting to buy a black bath mat.
posted by chris24 at 5:50 AM on September 16, 2019 [15 favorites]


Through all of my vagaries in musical tastes over the years, in one opinion I have never wavered: Their first album was perfect.

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posted by whuppy at 5:51 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


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posted by Kwine at 6:05 AM on September 16, 2019


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posted by jquinby at 6:07 AM on September 16, 2019


The Cars' debut album was one of the first records I owned. "Shake It Up" was a major part of my high school soundtrack. (I got in trouble once for wearing a button with Vargas' cover illustration to Candy-O.) A week or two ago I was listening to that debut album in my car and marveling at how well I remembered all those quirky lyrics. And their sound evolved interestingly -- Panorama is far from the same album that their debut was, but remains as listenable for me.

And by the accounts I read before (and truly hope remain accurate), his marriage to Paulina Porizkova was a happy one.

Thanks for the music, Ric.
posted by Gelatin at 6:49 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by evilDoug at 7:18 AM on September 16, 2019


Everyone else has said it for me already--the Cars were one of the massive formative parts of my childhood and adolescence, and this one hits hard.

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posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:18 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


a MA friend posted that she saw him hit on an uncomfortable Aimee Mann when she worked at Newbury Comics.
posted by brujita at 7:31 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


When I worked at a gallery in Chestnut Hill, MA, Ric was an occasional shopper there. He and Steven Tyler both liked to buy silk scarves from us.
posted by xingcat at 7:39 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


A towering figure on the Boston music scene. Here's Letters to Cleo covering "Dangerous Type."

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posted by HunterFelt at 8:29 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


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posted by Silverstone at 8:30 AM on September 16, 2019


He was so much more real than so many of today's made for video rock stars. And "mournful" is a good word to describe many of his songs. He provided the sound track for my wasted youth.
posted by mecran01 at 8:38 AM on September 16, 2019


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posted by eckeric at 8:45 AM on September 16, 2019


My favorite unusual fact that I encountered reading about Ocasek today:

The house where they shot the "Magic" video (i.e., where he appears to walk on water) is Paris Hilton's west coast family home.

I'm also pretty impressed that he'd been married to Paulina for 30 years. I mean, yeah, they've been estranged for a year, but holy cow "rocker and supermodel with a 20+ year age gap" is not the configuration you'd expect for a 30 year marriage. Good for them.
posted by uberchet at 8:47 AM on September 16, 2019


It's incredible to me that although The Cars broke up over 30yearsagogodimold, so many of those songs are still ever-present/evergreen and unimpeachably catchy.

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posted by missmobtown at 9:08 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


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posted by pt68 at 9:45 AM on September 16, 2019


Many an eve I sit on the front steps strumming Just What I Needed to the fading light doing my best to do it justice. Like Colin Hay's Overkill it just works. The Cars were always a reliable listen to give my mood a change or to relive those wondrous days of youth. The lyrics were just fantastic and consistently unique. When he and Paulina married it gave at least one other gaunt weirdo hope that I could find my own Paulina. RIP Ric, the music you helped create will live on and touch others in that way only music can. Thank you.

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posted by mrzz at 9:46 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by Token Meme at 10:03 AM on September 16, 2019


I wanted to give a shout out to one of his first post-Cars solo hits, Emotion in Motion. (For me, it's on my list because, on a long 1988 drive piloting a giant Ryder box truck from Houston to Seattle, it sticks out as one of the few listenable songs I could find on the religious, talk, and country wasteland that was southwestern AM radio even back then.)
posted by maxwelton at 10:11 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


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Still brushing my rock 'n' roll hair after all these years.
posted by niicholas at 10:24 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


In case you missed The Cars'' 2011 Move Like This album, take a few minutes to check it out. It's really quite good - sample "Sad Song" as an example.

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posted by Joey Michaels at 10:24 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by twidget at 10:33 AM on September 16, 2019


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posted by jjderooy at 10:38 AM on September 16, 2019


Any friend of P is down with me.

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posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:51 AM on September 16, 2019


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posted by Splunge at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2019


Bye Bye Love
You’re All I’ve Got Tonight
Just What I Needed
Let’s Go
Night Spots
Good Times Roll
You Might Think
My Best Friends Girl
Moving In Stereo
Panorama
Magic
Drive
It’s All I Can Do
Shake It Up
Since You’re Gone
Heartbeat City
Candy-O
Dangerous Type
Touch and Go
Tonite she Comes

RIP, say hi to Ben
posted by artdrectr at 12:04 PM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


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posted by Lynsey at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2019


this just showed up in my Facebook, copy/pasted from a music-tech newsletter a friend gets. The author is Matty Karas:

>>> The Cars were rock's Schrödinger's cat, simultaneously classic rock and new wave, then and now, hot and cold, dead and alive, commercial and Suicide. They were an impossible band. It still amazes me that "Moving in Stereo" is played on classic-rock radio, which no matter how many times I hear it in that context and no matter how often I think about it while those synthesizers swirl through my tremolo brain, makes no sense ...It also still amazes me that "Moving in Stereo," written by Ric Ocasek and sung by Benjamin Orr, was the second-to-last song on side 2 of the Cars' debut album, like no big deal, we've gotta throw something on at the end of the album, right? Why not one of the greatest classic rock songs that ever will be (once someone invents that radio format, that is)? Also, why don't we just tack on "All MixedUp" after that? Ocasek, who was the primary architect of all of that, and of the decade of greatness that followed, died Sunday in New York.

It was unclear, as of late Sunday night, if he was 70 or 75 (respect to the 30somethings of early new wave!). About the same age as Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Boston's Tom Scholz, and the J. Geils Band's Peter Wolf. The '70s rock and roll giants of my native Boston. And he made every one of them sound like the old world. He was the future. A new waver and electronic music aficionado who understood the power of pop and knew exactly how to access it. (You really had to be there, with a radio tuned to a radio station like WBCN, to understand what a crazy breath of fresh air the Cars were at the time.) He drove Boston (the city, definitely not the band) toward a better future. On later Cars albums, he would lead the band deeper in all of those directions...

He was even more prolific, outside the band, as a producer, where his early clients included anti-pop legends Suicide and the Bad Brains... Among his later clients were Weezer (yet another classic weird-pop debut), Le Tigre, and No Doubt. Like so many pop gods who came before and after, he had a strange idea of what exactly pop is. I love this exchange from a 2011 New York Times interview. Q&A: Interviewer:

"In 2003, you became the head of A.&R. for Elektra Records. At the time, your old bandmate David Robinson said: 'Ric’s idea of a commercial group is Suicide. I can only assume he misunderstands the job description.'" Ocasek: "That’s 100 percent accurate." Among the bands he brought to Elektra were the Black Keys and Devendra Banhart. The label passed on both. He didn't seem to particularly care; he was content, by all accounts, to go on doing his thing and let the rest of the world go on doing its thing. Whenever the twain met, heaven. RIP... TL;DR version: He was the greatest new wave classic rocker who ever lived... <<<


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posted by philip-random at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2019 [15 favorites]


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posted by Ilira at 1:21 PM on September 16, 2019


Because I tend to geek out on segways (segues?) in songs, I have a list of my favorite “intos”. Shoo Be Doo > Candy-O > Got a Lot on My Head has always been at the top of my list.

The Cars remain one of my favorite groups to this day. Rest easy, Ric.
posted by sundrop at 1:37 PM on September 16, 2019


What's always amazed me is how great the Cars were when you compare their records to Ocasek's (and Orr's) earlier work. Especially the dreadful Cap'n Swing. I always figured Roy Thomas Baker whipped them into shape in the studio for their classic first album (and even better, IMHO, second one), but that doesn't really explain how Ocasek himself produced so many great records by other bands. So it couldn't all be Baker.

This was apparently recorded only a year or two before The Cars' first album. Hilariously terrible!
posted by JeffL at 2:07 PM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]


segways (segues?)
segues
posted by thelonius at 2:31 PM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


This was apparently recorded only a year or two before The Cars' first album. Hilariously terrible!

Wow, that is terrible. Amazing the difference in good and bad production on the same song.
posted by octothorpe at 3:05 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Ocasek got his star late in life. He was 25 when Woodstock happened and 34 when The Cars’ first album hit. He was six years older than Stevie Wonder.

Like a few New Wave greats, he was closer in age to the Beatles generation than the post-punk generation.


Yeah, it's pretty crazy that Ric Ocasek was in his mid-30s when the first Cars album was released (I'm assuming that he really was born in 1944, and that Wikipedia's 1949 date is incorrect.)

Nothing he had done before that - and there's quite a bit of evidence of his pre-Cars work - indicated that he could produce the jewel-like, near-perfect first three Cars albums... Especially when, even just a couple of years before the Cars, his music was pretty lame. What was the spark?
posted by JeffL at 3:28 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


the jewel-like, near-perfect first three Cars albums

THERE. ARE. FIVE. LIGHTS.
posted by hanov3r at 3:53 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


(I'm assuming that he really was born in 1944, and that Wikipedia's 1949 date is incorrect.)

To me, he looks more like 34 than 29 in this 1978 show.
posted by thelonius at 5:06 PM on September 16, 2019


Mediocre music to amazing without any indication it was coming? Someone with his looks ends up with a supermodel? I'm not necessarily saying there was a deal vis a vis the ultimate destination of his eternal soul, but...

In any case the rest of us got a great deal.
posted by maxwelton at 5:25 PM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


I for one like that previous version of "Bye Bye Love!" The chorus could be punched up a little, but I like the understated and whammy-bar-free approach.

Yeah, it's pretty crazy that Ric Ocasek was in his mid-30s when the first Cars album was released

There was a bit of that at the time, people who seemed to have maybe been 60s late-bloomers who didn't get swept up in the hard rock and progressive trends of the earlymid 70s, fermenting until new space for something interesting opened up. Toni Basil is the same age as Ocasek was, Alan Vega was 39 when Suicide's first album came out, Ian Dury 35 in 1977 and probably more if I looked harder.
posted by rhizome at 5:36 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Toni Basil is the same age as Ocasek was, Alan Vega was 39 when Suicide's first album came out, Ian Dury 35 in 1977
And Deborah Harry is about 16 months younger than Ric Ocasek. She was 32 or 33 when Parallel Lines was released.

But, yeah, The Cars - the first album - was one of those rare albums in which every track is a gem. I am so sorry to hear of Ric's death.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:01 PM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


I quite like the Melvins cover of Candy-O.

The Cars were one of the few bands that managed to be poppy, cheesy, and utterly weird all at the same time.

Sigh.


he produced Bad Brains' Rock for Light


Holy shit I had no idea.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:41 PM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


This hits me in the gut, much like Tom pettys passing. Rest in peace, ric.
posted by kiwi-epitome at 10:11 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Toni Basil is the same age as Ocasek was, Alan Vega was 39 when Suicide's first album came out, Ian Dury 35 in 1977

Ian Hunter was 33 when All the Young Dude came out and Andy Summers was 35 when the first Police album was released.
posted by octothorpe at 2:55 AM on September 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


Stephen Colbert's tribute.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:36 AM on September 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:49 AM on September 17, 2019


The Time Ric Ocasek Helped My Band Make Its First Record (Nada Surf's Matthew Caws for NPR)
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:43 AM on September 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


The Time Ric Ocasek Helped My Band Make Its First Record
Ric was very gracious and asked me if my phone number was on the cassette.
Literal goose bumps.
posted by Etrigan at 12:21 PM on September 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


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