The Cars

1976-1988, 2010-2011
Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek)Vocals, guitar
Ben Orr (Benjamin Orzechowski)Bass, vocals
Elliot Easton (Elliot Steinberg)Guitar
Greg HawkesKeyboards
David RobinsonDrums
Todd RundgrenVocals, guitar2005-
  • Ocasek met the supermodel Paulina Porizkova on the set for their 1984 video for "Drive." They got married in 1989 and had two boys. Ocasek has four other children from two previous marriages.
  • Orr died October 3, 2000 of pancreatic cancer. He vowed to continue playing music until he was dead. Honoring that vow practically to the day cancer took his life, Ben was on stage performing with his band Big People on September 27. He passed away at his Atlanta home six days later. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyleigha - Rochester, NY
  • Orr had been in the Cleveland Sixties band The Grasshoppers. They opened for the Beach Boys and had their own fan club. They were even the house band for the TV show, Upbeat.
  • Ocasek dropped out of both Antioch College and Bowling Green University.
  • Ocasek and Orr recorded an album together before the Cars under the name Milkwood. Hawkes played keyboards on it.
  • Robinson had been a member of Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers and DMZ.
  • Ocasek has made a name for himself as a producer. Early on, he produced bands like Romeo Void and Suicide, and he later worked with Weezer and Guided By Voices.
  • In 1978, the Cars were named the Best New Artist by Rolling Stone and Creem, among others.
  • In 1979, they lost the Best New Artist Grammy to one-hit wonder A Taste of Honey.
  • The first Cars show was performed at an air force base in New Hampshire on New Year's Eve 1977.
  • Before the death of Orr, Ocasek ruled out any possibility of a Cars reunion, saying that he would rather have "hot diarrhea for six months than tour with the Cars for six months." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL
  • In 2003, Ocasek was named senior vice president of A&R (Artists and Repertoire) at Elektra Records. According to The Boston Globe: "Technically his job is to scout and sign new bands. But Elektra is investing in more than a fresh pair of ears." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Annie - Marshfield, MA
  • Ric Ocasek was booted off producing Hanson's second album after three weeks. Ocasek had a strict rule of no corporate presence during recording sessions, which was a problem for Hanson's record company.
  • Ocasek's father worked for NASA on Top secret projects. Ric recalled one time when government agents visited his house and questioned his mother about the dreams his father had at night. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Eddie G. - Long Island, NY, for above 2
  • In 2005, Easton and Hawkes joined Todd Rundgren to form "The New Cars," performing many of The Cars hits. They toured in 2006, but the project disbanded when Easton broke his clavicle - he fell out of his bunk when their tour bus swerved to avoid another vehicle.
  • The group reunited in 2010, releasing the album Move Like This in May 2011. A motivation for Ocasek: his youngest children had never seen him as a rock star.

    The reunion didn't last long: They toured for less than three weeks before calling it quits. The next time they appeared together was when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. It was their last performance, as Ocasek died the following year.

Comments: 9

  • Michael from Morris County, Njprobably my favorite new wave band
  • Fifi from Nyc, NyRic looks just like his mother ( his dad was kind of sweet looking-round and jolly with bright blue eyes ) and Ric has allopecia is balder than a billiard ball with no eyebrows or eyelashes and that is why the fright wig. His sister Maureen is the source of this information and says that no one is allowed out of their bedrooms after 11pm at night in their house in Grammercy Place in NYC because he wants to be alone-including Paulina.
  • K from Toronto, CanadaRic's "Emotion in Motion" is one of my favourite songs. It's beautiful.
  • Derick from Land O Lakes, FlWrite to the Songfish Feedback and see if you can get them up there.
  • Jammie from No Where, MiThe Cars to me is one of the greatest bands out there. The music can cheer me up. Or just make me feel better. Their songs "Let the good times roll" and "Magic" are my favorite. So why aren't they on songfacts? They really should be. I LOVE THE CARS!
  • Mellissa from Wasaga Beach, CanadaThe Cars have the ccolest name ever lol
  • Joshua from Cleveland, OhThe Cars are finally getting back together!!

    See link (specifically paragraph 6)

    http://www.axlmusic.com/Elliot_Easton.896.0.html
  • Scott Evans from Bradford, FinlandRic Ocasek produced 'Rock For Light' by Bad Brains, and The Blue Album' by Weezer. He has also worked with No Doubt and Suicide
  • Al from Redondo Beach, CaThe base they played at in New Hampshire was most likely Pease AFB. This might explain some of their early road tours. While stationed at Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota, in 1977, I lived in town, in apartments a couple hundred yards from a bar/night club/restaurant complex. I went over one night and stuck around after dinner to listen to this band. I believe it was The Cars. This was before almost anyone outside of New England had heard of them.

    A. Chamness - Redondo Beach, CA
see more comments

PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Philip CodySongwriter Interviews

A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."