Ric Ocasek – RIP


La commozione è tanta. Il dispiacere tantissimo. I ricordi sterminati. All’età di 75 anni scompare Richard Theodore Otcasek leader dei magnifici The Cars. Un pezzo della mia vita non c’è più. Con la band di Boston e con quei sei album (dal 1978 al 1987, escludendo l’inutile rivampa del 2011) di cristallino power pop intriso di wave ho passato l’intera adolescenza. Ric Ocasek ne è stato l’artefice massimo. Produttore a cinque stelle (dai Suicide ai Bad Brains, dai Bad Religion ai Nada Surf, dai Weezer ai Cribs giusto per citarne alcuni), autore raffinato (conta sette album solisti proprio come la band madre), pittore stimatissimo, Ocasek era nato a Baltimora e presto si era trasferito a Cleveland, città dell’incontro con Benjamin Orr (morto nel 2000), siamo a metà degli anni ’60 – e agli inizi dei ’70 i due formano i Milkwood realizzando un album nel 1973 perso tra la polvere di chissà quale scaffale. Poi i Richard and the Rabbits e a seguire i Cap’n Swing. Ma è il 1976 l’anno del break. Nascono i Cars. Che si sciolgono nel 1988 per ritrovarsi nel 2010 e nel 2011. Un anno fa (2018) l’entrata nella Hall of Fame più importante. 25 milioni di album venduti solo in USA e una grandezza che è difficile spiegare pigiando tasti. Ric Ocasek era stato sposato tre volte (sui rotocalchi di mezzo mondo il suo matrimonio con la modella/attrice Paulina Porizkova) e lascia sei figli (Christopher il più grande fa parte della band Glamour Camp). Ocasek è morto nel suo appartamento a New York. “New York City’s medical examiner has determined that the cause of death was hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Ocasek also suffered from pulmonary emphysema, which also contributed to his death”.

La Porizkova scrive:

“Ric was at home recuperating very well after surgery. Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together. I found him still asleep when bringing him his Sunday morning coffee. I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on. We appreciate the great outpouring of love. We, his family and friends, are completely and utterly devastated by his untimely and unexpected death and would appreciate the privacy to mourn in private. From the Ocasek Family”.

THE CARS were the ultimate New Wave dream machine: a hook-savvy super-charged quintet that fused 60s pop, 70s glam and avant-rock minimalism into a decade of dashboard-radio nirvana

Paul Stanley > RIP Ric Ocasek. A very sad loss. My condolences to his family.

The Cribs > We will remember #RicOcasek for many reasons-his friendship, his artistry, but most of all for his generosity. Here was a bona fide legend, who seemed to care as much about our record as we did. Which was a huge thrill, of course. A star through and through. RIP Ric, love you x

Jimmy Eat World > RIP Ric Ocasek

Beck > Sad news. much respect to the great ric ocasek.

ICE T > Oh wow. I’m just hear this awful news…. I’m a huge CARS fan.. RIP. Ric.

Alice Cooper > RIP Ric Ocasek

Brad Wilk > RIP Ric Ocasek. I’m a huge fan of the Cars. And Ric produced some amazing bands notably the Bad Brains and Weezer. I remember hearing the Cars first record for the first time living in Chicago, Pre teen.. and my friends older brother telling me “This is New Wave.” Whatever it was, I thought it was awesome. The song playing was Let the good times roll. Also, me and my son Luka would love playing their first record when I would drive him to pre school and he would describe to me what each song sounded like to him. The Car’s music transcends time. Thank you

Fu Manchu > R.I.P. Ric Ocasek…The Cars are an all time favorite band of ours!!!! Click screen to hear our attempt at covering “moving in stereo” recorded many years ago.

Dee Snider > So sad to hear that we have lost another one. Ran into Ric on the streets of NYC last year and we had a nice chat. Just two guys/no fanfare. I’ll always remember it

Flea > Ahh man, say it ain’t so. I loved Ric Ocasek. What an interesting, smart, kind, funny man who made incredible records. I loved those Cars albums when I was a teenager. Perfect pop songs with those wicked elliot easton guitar solos. Absolute candy. Then he went and produced Rock For Light by the Bad Brains. As an adult I met him several times and he was gracious, funny and engaging. Ahh man. Ahh damn. Bless his soul. R.I.P. Transcend to the other side Ric. So much love and appreciation from me. You’re All I Got Tonight.

John Taylor > Who is gonna drive us home now? Ric the writer behind one of our favorite American bands of all time. We were truly saddened to hear of his passing.

Courtney Love > Rest In Peace #ricocasek I know all of the band hole loved working with you, much love to your family .. #paulina ❤️❤️❤️❤️#cars were one of the great bands

Peter Frampton > So sad. Such a great writer, singer, player, producer. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace

Nile Rodgers > We had a lot of fun making the album #FireballZone. This was one of my fav songs #TouchdownEasy. Though it was the 90’s we’d not gotten the memo. It’s super 80’s but cool.

Neal Schon > I  was reading and thinking about Ric Ocasek & Eddie Money just the other day passing and this came out R.I.P. Eddie & Ric our condolences to your families and friends God Bless.

Billy Corgan > Devastated to hear of the passing on this man, Ric Ocasek. It has brightened my spirit to see how many have posted about Ric, praising his originality, flair, and brilliance. I was blessed to have known him, through friendship and work (his solo album Troubilizing was one I produced). It’s hard to share the measure of a man in so few words, because, despite his greatness, Ric was open and down to earth in a way that surprised me. And in that allowed our private conversations to flow and float over 100’s of topics (I was mostly interested in what he loved): the Cars, of course, his children and marriage to an eastern siren whom the world (he was aware) didn’t think he deserved (he did, and she him), his guitars, Andy Warhol the person and not the myth, Boston (the city), new wave, deco art, NYC living, producing Weezer, being an A + R man, why he got out of the rat race of making hit records, Mutt Lange, grunge, and on and on and on. He’s opine easy and I’d listen (for a change). Such pleasurable times I didn’t fully appreciate until decades later. Lastly, two things: Ric did me a great honor when he recorded a song I’d written just for him, questioning none of it except it’s quirky title (I’d gone quirky as a wry tribute). And a small memory I’ll share: we were in Ric’s basement, where he had a small, ad hoc studio for writing. And I was asking him a 1000th question on The Cars; in this case, the sound of the keyboard solos. He pointed at a relic. ‘Well, that’s it’ he said. ‘THE keyboard’, said I? It was, and ironically at that moment Greg Hawkes stopped by and he demonstrated all those great sounds! But then I went for broke. I wanted Ric to show me how to play ‘Best Friend’s Girlfriend’. He picked up a guitar, played it perfectly (he was an ace guitarist) and handed it over. The sound, I noted, was exact. It was the pink Fender pictured above, and I dutifully played the opening riff as he’d showed. So what was the guitar, I asked? Ric pointed at the flamingo in my hands. My jaw dropped. It was THE guitar! Love you Ric! Gonna miss you forever

Alex Skolnick > Back to back “one-two punch” for rock music in one weekend, damn. Eddie Money & just now, Ric Ocasek of The Cars . Full disclosure: In high school, my friends & I always gravitated more towards music that offended & defied convention: The screaming guitars of Van Halen & Ozzy, the screaming (literally) of Halford & Dio, the shock of Kiss & Alice, the complexity of Yes & Rush, the sexual boundary-pushing of Prince (& for that matter, Plant) the weirdness & cultural critiques of Zappa etc etc…But what’s interesting about both these guys’ work is that despite its relative “safeness” (it fit none of the above descriptions, was generally accepted by mainstream gatekeepers, was never threatened with censorship, didn’t cause concern by parent/teacher groups or DC Congressional Committees), it somehow occupied that safer space while being liked by those of us into the more unconventional (even dangerous, if you will) side of music. No, my friends & I didn’t wear Eddie Money or The Cars T-Shirts; we didn’t hang up their posters; we didn’t run out to buy their albums or attend their concerts..But you know what else we didn’t do? We didn’t turn the dial when they came on the radio (and these guys were ALL over the radio)! It may have been “safe” sure, but the songs were undeniably good, the hooks incredibly strong – so strong, in fact, that I can’t even look at titles like “Just What I Needed” & “Let The Good Times Roll” or “Shaken” & “Two Tickets to Paradise” without the songs getting stuck in my head! And I can only imagine their pressure to do some stupid gimmick or rely too much on image in their area of radio friendly rock, but they did not. Even after MTV, they kept it real, just a couple dudes who happened to make super-catchy, fun to listen to music. I met Eddie once – a former guitar tech of mine worked with him for many years – he struck me as down to Earth funny and a great guy. I have heard the same about Ric, though we never met. These two may be more associated with early mid 80s , an era long past, but they were great guys and true artists who will be missed & remembered for many years to come

The Hold Steady > Our walkout: “Since You’re Gone”. RIP Ric Ocasek

Tom Morello > Rest In Peace #RicOcasek. THANKYOU for all those great Cars jams. First time I heard the Cars was at a Wisconsin rec center on the jukebox. Some older kids were really getting DOWN to the music and I’m just watching and listening, taking it all in thinking, DAMN that band is special.

Bette Midler#RickOcasek, leader of #TheCars, has died. Unbelievable. Their sound was the sound of a whole decade; biting, mischievous, lighthearted, sardonic and fun…wish we were all that young again…RIP until vinyl returns…xoxo…

Richard Marx > Aw, man. RIP #ricocasek and thank you for the songs on “Heartbeat City” alone. You were a true original.

Bryan Adams > RIP Ric Ocasek. Great songwriter and singer for the Cars

Slash > RIP #RicOcasek

Rainn Wilson > I’m stunned and saddened by the loss of Ric Ocasek – he was a visionary who affected the lives and hearts of everyone who listened to music in the 80s. God Speed, Ric! Keep Moving in Stereo!

Jason Isbell > “It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, as long as it was deep.” There’s a #ricocasek lyric for you.

Danko Jones > The Bad Brains blew my mind but when I turned their album Rock For Light over to the back & found out Ric Ocasek of The Cars produced it, my world was set on fire. After that I didn’t give a fuck about “guilty pleasures” or what other people thought was cool. R.I.P. Ric Ocasek

Kathy Valentine > I’m not processing the death of Ric Ocasek yet, can’t even read a story about it. I didn’t know him, but I think we all felt like we did kind of know him. He picked great musicians, had impeccable popular music instincts. A classic.

Sacred Reich > Rest in Peace Ric Ocasek. He not only wrote a ton of killer songs but also found the time to produce Bad Brains “Rock For Light” and the first Weezer record. Total badass. Peace and love on your next journey

Matthew Caws > just woke to hear about ric ocasek. i’m so sad and thinking of him very fondly, as i have almost every day for 24 years. he was a father figure to me, always kind and true. making our first album with him was a transformative experience. i will miss him and be forever grateful. i had loved his songs and sound since my older sister started buying cars records in the early 80s. years later, as i saw him walking into the knitting factory, i approached him and gave him a demo tape. i’d been carrying one ever since seeing mitch easter on a subway train. ric was very gracious, and asked me if my phone number was on it. he called me two weeks later and invited me to his house in gramercy park. i was in such a dreamstate i locked my bike to nothing, missing the pole (it was still there later). i sat with paulina at the kitchen table while he made us coffee. she said “he likes your phrasing.” it felt like like the first someone outside the band and our friends had seen something in me. he asked about our demo tape and said we could release it as an album but that if we ever wanted to record it again, he would want to produce it and would charge very little money. i said we had a new drummer and we wanted to make it again. he asked if we had a record deal. i said we didn’t. he said to keep in touch and call anytime. a few months later we were at electric lady, recording our debut. he lent me books of poetry and let me use his guitars and amps. we always chose the second or third take, he always chose the first and had me sing a couple of scratch vocals on it. when we were done with guitars, i asked him if it was time to sing. he said “you’re done, you did it already.” i think he sensed the “real thing” might make me nervous and he wasn’t going to let me blow it. the record company wanted to visit during the recording and he wouldn’t let them. he was so kind and generous to everyone he worked with. one of the best songwriters who ever lived. plane taking off, will write more later… 

Vernon Reid > Awwwww Man….. Ric Ocasek was one of oddest, BEST Front Men EVER. The Cars! The TUNES! Ric Ocasek also showed Visionary taste in producing #BadBrains 2nd album Rock For Light. Am DEEPLY Bummed over this. Am a Cars FAN

The Killers > Feeling grateful for Ric. Had the opportunity to send him this email a couple years back. My first king. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Brett Gurewitz > I wanted to say something about what Ric meant to me but Brandon’s letter says it better than I ever could. He was a giant of rock n roll and his songs will outlast all of us.

Weezer > The weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek, who passed away Sunday. We will miss him forever, & will forever cherish the precious times we got to work and hang out with him. Rest in Peace & rock on Ric, we love you

Carl NewmanI will never stop imitating the first Cars album. His influence will always stay with me. RIP and Thank You to Ric Ocasek.

Living Colour > Peace and love to Ric Ocasek , his family and fans of The Cars! RIP!

Thomas Dolby > R.I.P. Ric Ocasek, lead singer with The Cars, at 75. A very cool cat. He was the first person to hear my album The Flat Earth from start to finish, in Mutt Lange’s house in Chelsea.

Terri Nunn > We were just playing your music on the bus last night. Just what I needed

Mike Portnoy > In the late 70’s, in between my obsessions for Kiss, the Ramones, The Clash & The Sex Pistols, I also was a big fan of The Pretenders, the B-52’s, the Police, Devo & The Cars…the 1st two albums are classics from start to finish. Sad to hear of Ric Ocasek’s passing

Billy Idol > Sorry 2 hear about #ricocasek RIP loved his work with the band