A post on Facebook suggested a two week moratorium on speaking ill of the freshley deceased, and I get the thought: there is a time and place for everything under the sun, but celebrity death is an odd thing. Ric Ocasek, former leader of the Cars, died on Sunday and the shock shaking through through the music biz and the Cars fans was a little odd. It is hard to warm up to Ric, he had that lanky, shades in the dark, Devoish metronome vibe (which is why they were so stolid on stage), so, we are not talking soft and cuddly. Still, people are in perpetual shock over death, Ric was 75 years of age -what did they expect to happen to him in the end?
It doesn’t help to lie, the moral imperative has been discovered as the best policy. How does lying about your opinion of a man you don’t know and never have, help him. And sure, Facebook can live without your opinion I guess, but in the first moments of death it is never more important to keep faith with who people really are.
If all Ric had done was produce Weezer’s Blue album, he’d have a place in rock and roll heaven and The Cars were the innovative kick off to new wave so he did more than that. At his best, Ric had some great melodies recorded with an ironic distance and sophomoric lyrics where bad poetry reared its head from time to time. And he did this while having a lot of hits and steadying the ship of rock: after all, he was in his mid-thirties when the debut album was released and helped bring an end to a teenage revolution. He had a handful of great songs, “Best Friend’s Girl,” “Drive,” “Shake It Up” though with the exception of the debut failed to make that perfect album.
I’m sure his former wife and four children will miss him a great deal.