Here we go again. Another star in the sky of music extinguished.
The loss of Ric Ocasek is such a big loss, that it's going to take me a long time to process this one. Why? Because the man's talent, uniqueness, and vision, was so overpowering on the FM dial...it's hard to actually register.
The Cars self-titled debut album is one of the greatest debut albums of all time...period. It is so jam packed with "hits", it's hard to fathom it was their debut. Not that they were a brand new band per se, but it was their first as The Cars with the Easton, Hawkes and Robinson filling out the band. The introduction of new wave melded with rock was fresh and interesting. The songs leapt out of the radio and stuck in your head. Think "My Best Friend's Girlfriend" with handclaps. The first album was so successful for so long, they actually struggled as to when to release their smashing follow-up with Candy-O (my personal favorite). I mean how many bands have that problem? Their songs were played incessantly on radio and are still to this day. Not one or two songs...but a zillion. Ric and bandmate- the late and fabulous Benjamin Orr- were a dream team one-two punch fronting the band vocally. Ric was the quirky looking and sounding guy, and Benjamin was the handsome, sexy guy with a haunting yet edgy singing style. The band was slick with genuine substance. They ruled the airwaves (not to mention MTV). This wasn't by accident... this was by design with music and image merging into one seamless band. This was because Ric Ocasek was a visionary with a mission. That vision led to timeless songs that will be played ad infinitum. Great songs are great songs...period.
I am just so grateful he was here for the induction of his band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Thank God for that. And in his usual humble manner, he was gracious and grateful.
The man married a supermodel. He had a family he loved. And I hope he knows he impacted all of us...in such a great way. My mind goes back to Univ. of Kansas and me and my sorority sisters piling into cars to see The Cars in KC. Such a blast. Popping in the cassettes and singing every word to every song all the way to the venue. Just the greatest time.
It's the pioneers like Ric that keep our music going and outlasting all the other genres. He made "quirky" cool and he was loved and respected in the industry. Get ready neighbors, it's time to blast Candy-O on 11. What an album, what a band, and what a man. Rock on Ric Ocasek...rock on.
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