It’s been 6 months since Ric passed away. I have kept a social media vigil ongoing since that day with my Facebook profile picture being the cover from his first solo album, Beatitude.
I have thought about why Ric and The Cars meant so much to me over my formative years. I was enamored with all sorts of artists and bands since the late 70’s, but The Cars were nearly bedrock for my tastes over the next 40 years. I explained a lot of it in my tribute, but now I have some distance on it.
Without The Cars, I would not have listened to any number of artists. Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, The The and countless others might have been ignored in lieu of whatever was on the radio in Bloomington Illinois. Those early influences led to me to have an open mind and explore countless fringe bands.
If David Byrne passed tomorrow (heaven forbid!!), would I post a tribute like I did ofOcasek? Probably not. Byrne, and the late Lou Reed along with many others have had a firm grip on my musical brain for decades, but they will have (and had) a musical going away party that stretched for decades. Ocasek kinda faded out into the mist of nearly-forgotten by many. I guess that’s why I felt like I had to share my love for his work. An underappreciated artist?
So, with that, I will say rest in Peace Ric. You are missed… and I am playing that first solo album a lot lately.
It’s worth a side note here… When you compare what the band looked like in 1978 vs 1986… It’s a shocking display of styles changing. How can that much happen in 8 years?
You know what Mumford and Sons looks like after 10 years? The same band. Eddy Vedder? That dude has been wearing flannel for 30 years! Nobody changes it up anymore… Except Madonna, and everyone thinks (knows) shes crazy. Maybe people cant handle a brand changing that much anymore. Steve Jobs rocked a black turtle neck for decades. Stick with your brand or be the cutting edge. I like to think Ric and other New Wave bands were on the lead edge. Whether that was music, style or even videos… They were leading the charge for new and regional while others kept repeating formulas for success.