Skip to content

Lead Singer Of The Cars Dead At 75. Listen To Ric Ocasek’s 2013 Acoustic Set At Amoeba

Ric Ocasek acoustic set

Ric Ocasek

I had the chance to attend Ric Ocasek’s acoustic set in an intimate venue, inside the mega music store Amoeba about 6 years ago.

 

As you may have heard, Ric Ocasek, lead singer of the rock band The Cars has just died today at age 75 in New York. Ocasek and The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, a late recognition for a brilliant career: The Cars had 13 top-40 singles in a career spanning the mid-70s to late-1980s.

Here is what I wrote and recorded on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013:

I realized at the last minute that Ric Ocasek, lead singer of the Cars, was at Amoeba on Wednesday night. I thought he was just doing a signing of his book ‘Lyrics and Proses’, but they also announced a conversation with KCRW’s Chris Douridas, and the event turned out even better, when Ric treated his fans with three songs, played acoustically.

However, I was first surprised,… Ric Ocasek wrote a book? Actually, the book is a collection of his song lyrics, including his band’s 1978 debut, through his solo career and The Cars’ first release in 25 years, ‘Move Like This’. I looked at it briefly and it also included handwritten pages, some doodles, pictures, I had never pictured the main lyricist of the Cars as a writer! His conversation with Chris Douridas, who was apparently a big fan, surprised me a little, as Ric seemed to be someone even more interested by the lyrics of a song than its rock’ n’ roll side. And that was not how I remember The Cars. I especially loved this one, ‘Here she comes again/When she’s dancing ‘neath the starry sky/You kinda like the way she dips/She’s my best friend’s girl/She’s my best friend’s girl/And she used to be mine’, not exactly deep literature, but he played it and it’s a classic.

And maybe Ric realized what I mean because he said at one point he had refused to do the audio version of the book, as he couldn’t just ‘read’ the lyrics. In any case, he is an artsy guy, looking ultra-chic, very tall and thin, wearing an earring on the right ear and some black nail polish on one hand, he admitted he writes all the time and draws a lot, some abstract stuff, Kandinsky-style that has been exposed in gallery shows, ‘The creative process for any kind of art is the same’, he said.

During a retrospective of his career and humble beginnings in Baltimore, then Iowa, he talked about his profound admiration for acoustic music, Bob Dylan (especially before he went electric), the ‘god lyricist’, Lou Reed, and the beat poets, specifying that poetry wasn’t fiction, but more like a painting of reality.

He talked about his love for production and studio work– astonishingly he has produced or worked with artists as diverse as Bad Brains, Weezer, No doubt, Devendra Banhart – and he also talked about the evolution of music-making,… ‘before people came with instruments, in the 90s, one guy came with a laptop, now, five guys come with five laptops and sent files to each other over the internet!’ At this moment, he seemed to be torn between a nostalgic feeling and his love of technology.

He read some excerpts of his prose and played three songs ‘Moving in Stereo’, ‘I’m not the One’ and of course ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’, and he sounded great. ‘I haven’t done this since 1968’ he jokingly said after the first one, it wasn’t that much about words alone, but rather about this magic combination of words in music.

Ric Ocasek's acoustic set Ric Ocasek's acoustic set Ric Ocasek's acoustic set

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo
LET-ME-HELP-LOGO

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top