Rest in peace, Ric Ocasek.
It's probably not that hard for you to fathom myself and my high school buddies all being 'Cars' nerds. But somewhere around 1984 i was beginning to feel a dilemna. Everyone loved their fifth album 'Heartbeat City', but I really didn't. We've all been there, the band you grew up with no longer had that shiny paint. It was an okay album, but didn't pack the immediacy and the full-throttle of those first two albums. Good God, those were real records. I think the first album is perfect, and it still purrs like a kitten. I was so excited a year later when they released their sophomore album 'Candy-O', with that incredibly simple (and sultry) Vargas album cover. They were the perfect balance of pop and art, and they nearly single-handedly ushered in the 'New Wave' movement. I even wrote a high school theme paper on them. (I got an A+)
So in this era of 'driver-less' cars, that old chassis will just continue to sit under it's protective car cover gathering dust in a rarely visited garage. And when we do take it out for the occasional ride, we'll have to be grateful for the years when Ben Orr and Ric Ocasek took us from zero to sixty down those streets of homogenized, decentralized and alienated orange-y skies. And yes, with the wind in our rock and roll hair. Let the Good Times Roll, indeed.
A lot of people probably broke out that first album last night, but without thinking I went to Ric's first solo album 'Beatitude' (he had seven!). It seemed like a good night for a solo drive, and while clearly a product of the early 80's, the engine of that record didn't seem to out of time.
My nerd buddies and I probably would've gotten through our high school years without Ric, Ben, Elliot, Greg and David... but I'm glad we didn't have to. Bye. Bye Love. Rest in Peace, Ric Ocasek.