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Monday, September 16, 2019

RIP Rick Ocasek

Another leading musician of the '80s is gone:
The lead singer of The Cars has died at the age of 75 after being found 'unconscious and unresponsive' in his Manhattan townhouse.

Ric Ocasek was discovered by estranged wife Paulina Porizkova at around 4.14pm inside his Gramercy Park home in New York, Page Six reported.

The frontman was pronounced dead at the scene and appeared to have died from natural causes.
The Cars were my first favorite band as a teenager. Their sound was definitely new and different, as they bridged the gap between guitar rock and synth pop in a way that pretty much defined the New Wave.

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41 Comments:

Blogger Dan in Georgia September 16, 2019 5:35 AM  

Great band. We really needed a band like that after the disco invasion of the 70s. My last 8 track was Candy-O.

Blogger Emmett Fitz-Hume September 16, 2019 5:37 AM  

Oh man. The Cars were always a favorite. I can't believe he was 75.

Sad to see he was estranged from Porizkova. I always thought highly of him since they stayed married so long in that business.

Blogger Brett baker September 16, 2019 5:53 AM  

Well, at least better music on the radio today.

Blogger Titanium Bear September 16, 2019 5:56 AM  

"Just What I Needed", "Good Times Roll", "My Best Friend's Girl","Shake it Up". Good stuff

Blogger God Emperor Memes September 16, 2019 5:59 AM  

They were the soundtrack to my childhood. Let the good times roll...

Blogger Stephen Davenport September 16, 2019 6:02 AM  

The Cars were my favorite band as well, RIP Ocasek.

Blogger Scuzzaman September 16, 2019 6:02 AM  

Who’s gonna drive him home?

Blogger Warunicorn September 16, 2019 6:27 AM  

"Moving in Stereo" is my favorite from them, way before Stranger Things made it popular.

Watching people that gave you joy fade away is sad but expected. At least they leave us with their gifts to share.

Blogger Silent Draco September 16, 2019 6:30 AM  

Here's hoping that it was an archangel driving him to the "personal session room", to play a first set for the Lord. Good music with synth blended well, and great lyrics. RIP, man.

Blogger Steve Canyon September 16, 2019 6:36 AM  

He and Ben Orr are having one heck of a jam session now.

RIP.

Blogger Arthur Isaac September 16, 2019 6:50 AM  

Weird, I just woke up to "Let's Go" on repeat in my brain....

Blogger Amy September 16, 2019 7:01 AM  

I still have the vinyl of their debut album. My mom gave it to me from her collection, years ago when I got married. she knew it was one of my favorites from childhood. I’ll never forget those synth sounds blended with rock, and the songs are so memorable.

RIP Rick.

As for his long marriage with Porizkova, they were of the same heritage and ethnic root. Perhaps that is part of what drove what appeared to be a happy marriage. In any case they were relatively private about their life together and that is likely what kept them together. You almost never saw their kids or either of them splashed about in the media.

Rick superstars like Ocasek had the talent and work ethic to succeed without making a media circus out of their private lives. He shared his enormous talents with the world and I’ll celebrate that.

Blogger FALPhil September 16, 2019 7:10 AM  

The boomers are dying off. I often wonder how much of their music will be remembered over time. I suspect only a tiny sample will. The Cars were somewhat unique. Will The Cars be represented in that sample? I hope so.

Blogger JG September 16, 2019 7:18 AM  

Very sad. The Cars were my favorite New Wave band and I saw them in Louisville with the Motels as the front band. Quite a show.

Blogger peacefulposter September 16, 2019 7:36 AM  

The Cars were all right but Paulina Porizkova was spectacular.

Blogger glueballs September 16, 2019 7:48 AM  

RIP Ric Ocasek.

After I had taught myself how to play guitar and become "really good" at it, my wife treated me to a charity auction prize that comprised a full day of professional guitar instruction by Elliott Easton, brilliant lead guitarist for The Cars. I showed up and Elliott had a full support band waiting for me. The group warmups began terribly and my playing rapidly deteriorated from there as I was completely outclassed by Elliott and Muh Band. God taught me considerable humiliation, and the kindness of strangers, that day because my GenX chopstick fingres could not keep up with an "old man" even though I was "really good."

I loved listening to The Cars, altough I never did see them in concert, well at least there was this one time solo with Elliott Easton ... and I do note Ocasek score with Paulina, snake woman, and thus glimpsed a little slice of heaven.

Blogger pdwalker September 16, 2019 7:49 AM  

damn... it’s not been a good week for the musicians of my youth.

so long and thanks for the music Rick.

Blogger lowercaseb September 16, 2019 8:12 AM  

pdwalker wrote:so long and thanks for the music Rick.

For an entertainer, that's the sign of a life lived well. When total strangers can look back on your life and smile, you've done your job.

Blogger JD Curtis September 16, 2019 8:22 AM  

Since you'regone, the nights are getting strange

RIP

Blogger Patrick Kelly September 16, 2019 8:53 AM  

The Cars were an acquired taste for me. I saw them in concert touring their first LP at one of those odd 70's lineups, Angel, The Cars then headlined by Styx. At the time I was there for Styx. Cant't stand them (Styx) now, but still crank up "Just What I Needed", "My Best Friends Girl" or "Let The Goodtimes Roll" if they're on the radio on the truck.

Elliot Easton is a monster guitarist and my favorite country picker. You can hear much from the Chet Atkins or Roy Clark pickin' and grinnin' method for guitar in his playing. Combined with the Rick Ocasek voice, songwriting, and that whole new wave vibe and synth sounds earned them a place on my shelf of iconic music.

Rick Ocasek
Memory Eternal



Blogger Mystic On Main September 16, 2019 9:11 AM  

Never a fan of The Cars in the 80s. Music never touch me. Much bigger fan of Prince, The Police and Dire Straits. However, The Cars did put on a good show.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope September 16, 2019 9:23 AM  

I loved the Cars. Still have their albums loaded on my phone.

But they didn't hold a candle to my love for Paulina Porizkova. I had her pictures everywhere in my dorm room. Even spent time tracking down the near mythical topless photos that existed in a foreign GQ or something. Ah, pre-internet days.

First heard them of course while watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yes, the epic pool scene. Candy-oh, Good Times Roll. Who's gonna drive you home. They definitely had a different sound. And Ric proved that you don't have to be a pretty boy to win a supermodel.

Blogger sammibandit September 16, 2019 9:33 AM  

Good band all around. When seasoned punk rockers dig you and put your albums on display you did something right. Nice to hear he passed at home. Hope he wasn't alone.

Blogger Amy September 16, 2019 9:37 AM  

All Mixed Up might be my favorite, eclipsing Moving In Stereo.

Rick Ocasek might have been a Boomer but his art had moved beyond his generational cohort. He and Orr had a more typical Boomer rock sound at first, influenced by folk and CRosby Stills and Nash and the like. As a poet and songwriter, he was far more into the Beats and white urban underground culture than anything the hippies had to offer. The Cars didn’t invent New Wave but they were some of its most successful early riders, deservedly so.

Blogger JAG September 16, 2019 9:40 AM  

Bummer. The Cars are one of my favorite bands. Gonna go binge a few albums...

R.I.P.

Blogger Argus Bacchus September 16, 2019 9:56 AM  

Sad news to wake up to. The Cars were one of the best bands of the late 70's/early 80's, a sentiment shared by many of my friends and folks here as well.

My high school band covered "Just What I Needed", with its unforgettable Elliot Easton guitar solo. What a great song.

Their first album especially is a stone cold classic.

RIP Rick.

Blogger timothyjander September 16, 2019 10:16 AM  

My favorite Band of the 80's. Ric's look and style were so iconic, people forget what great players they were.

Blogger Longtime Lurker September 16, 2019 10:23 AM  

Let the stories be told.

They can say what they want.

Let the photos be old.

Let them show what they want.

- RIP, Rick Ocasek.

Blogger lubertdas September 16, 2019 10:38 AM  

The Cars were my favorite band in early High School. I had all of their albums, even though they weren't considered "cool" by the working class heavy metal music fans I attended High School with.

Despite my love for their music, I have to say, there were just horrible live. A friend of mine said that it was because of the synthesizers--he said they couldn't recreate that live. I disagreed, and when we saw Ultravox, we couldn't believe how good they sounded live. So it wasn't the synths that caused the issue.

I think the problem was Ric Ocasek's shyness. Let's be honest, he was a proto-aspergers. He never seemed comfortable on stage.

But The Cars were his band. Ben Orr had a MUCH better voice than his, but in the end it was his band, and he wrote the songs.

RIP Ric Ocasek, you were a GOOD part of my childhood.

Blogger YIH September 16, 2019 10:43 AM  

Sadly, I suspect before Christmas a news item will pop up saying "toxicology results for the late Rick Ocasek were revealed to include Fentanyl" Why would I say that? Because that is what happened with both Prince and Tom Petty.
I hope I'm wrong.

Blogger SouthRon September 16, 2019 10:52 AM  

One of my favorite memories from school was a school day out at the local amusement park and walking in to discover The Cars would be the band that evening. That was a good evening.

Blogger lubertdas September 16, 2019 10:52 AM  

YIH, I hope you are incorrect. My guess is that his advanced age, 75, and his too-thin frame were the main cause.

Blogger kurt9 September 16, 2019 11:05 AM  

I remember The Cars around 80-84 and seeing Rick Ocasek's videos. I was surprised he was 75, right around the age as the 60's rockers like Mick Jagger. I always thought he was at least 10 years younger.

Blogger Himself September 16, 2019 1:37 PM  

They were a great band, with a truly unique sound. Many bands of that era were. Seems now, they all sound the same. May be my old ears.

That said, I have a tough time getting too emotional over a 75 year old dude dying. I should be so lucky to reach 75. No male in my family ever has.

We're going to see a wave of these, since all these rockers of that era are old. I suppose the sad part is that there were so many of them, the music was so great, and absolutely nothing came up to replace them.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel September 16, 2019 2:46 PM  

Apart from their talent, they had class. When they were inducted into the RRHOF last year, they gave Ben Orr more than cursory gratitude. You could see they missed him as a person. Their last interview all together is on Youtube, it's tough to see, because you can see the ravages of cancer in Ben's Face.

Blogger camcleat September 16, 2019 2:58 PM  

Titanium Bear wrote:"Just What I Needed", "Good Times Roll", "My Best Friend's Girl","Shake it Up". Good stuff

Good stuff indeed. Recently introduced early music from The Cars to my teen children. Found out "Just What I Needed" was already one of my daughter's favorite songs.

RIP, Ric. You'll be missed, but now you get to enjoy the jam with Ben again.

Blogger rumpole5 September 16, 2019 3:26 PM  

@FALphil: Re: "I often wonder how much of their music will be remembered over time. I suspect only a tiny sample will." OR, as Shelly put it:

'Look upon my works, ye Mighty and despair!' Nothing beside remains, Round the decay of that colassal wreck,boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ozymandias

Blogger Blastmaster September 16, 2019 7:38 PM  

The cover art for the Candy O album was displayed prominently above my stereo for years. The Cars are up there with Journey as the backdrop to my youth.RIP Rick

Blogger JD Curtis September 16, 2019 9:47 PM  

"The New York City medical examiner says Ric Ocasek , the 75-year-old frontman for The Cars, died of heart disease, worsened by emphysema."
Link

Blogger Up from the pond September 17, 2019 12:27 AM  

"Good Times Roll" was like water in the desert. Remember the Eagles' "Hotel California" was played in rotation 10 or 20 times a day back then. I'm starting to sound old.

Blogger Edgar Abbey September 17, 2019 8:45 PM  

The Cars self-titled album may be the tightest album in the history of music. Not a single note is wasted. Absolutely no fluff.

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