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The Cars

  • Ocasek began playing guitar at age 10.
  • 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 6 days later.
  • 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. Recently he has worked with Weezer and Guided By Voices.
  • In 1978, the Cars were named the Best New Artist by Rolling Stone and Creem, among others.
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • Ric Ocasek was booted off producing Hanson's second album after 3 weeks. Ocasek's has 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 recalls one time when government agents visited his house and questioned his mother about the dreams his father had at night.
  • In 2005, The Cars re-formed with Todd Rundgren replacing Ocasek.

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