Ric Ocasek

  • Date May 17, 1982
  • Total Length 56:34
Sample this concert
  1. 1Interview Part 147:17
  2. 2Interview Part 209:17
Liner Notes

The Cars signed a record deal with Elektra in 1977 as a result of a local Boston radio station's incessant playing of a "Just What I Needed" demo. By 1982, The Cars were still going strong, but Ric Ocasek seemed to be heading in a more behind-the-scenes direction.

Recorded in Syncro Sound, a studio The Cars purchased in 1981, this interview contains a great deal of evidence suggesting that The Cars would eventually break up and that Ric would start to focus on producing. Besides the more obvious snippets about his role as the leader of the group and the resulting tension within the band, there are also stories about his dislike for the limelight and his love of electronics. What is perhaps most noticeable during this great sampling of information about his childhood, personal life, and success, is that Ric is a truly unique personality.

Part 1
00:00 - Plans for shorter tours / sympathy for those that throw TVs out of hotel windows
02:26 - Performing without being into it / being considered aloof
03:58 - Why he lives in Boston / recollections of living in Manhattan
05:59 - The club scene in Boston, other bands that have come through
06:53 - The state of radio (as per Lisa)
09:16 - The state of radio (as per Ric) / a call for local radio support
11:32 - Radio stations that do play local bands' music
12:28 - Attitudes of record companies towards taking chances
13:44 - In praise of Iggy Pop
14:10 - Potential for working with Iggy / working with Romeo Void
15:17 - Finding the time for different projects / prioritizing
16:45 - The band's reaction to Ric's plans for a solo album
17:45 - Translating songs from Ric's head into Cars songs / in-band tensions
21:23 - Not saving any songs for the solo album
22:12 - Differences between the solo album and a Cars album
23:42 - Plans for personnel on the solo record
24:11 - Not a benevolent dictator / why he doesn't do all the lead vocals
25:28 - Sounding like Bryan Ferry
26:45 - Not being able to distinguish between Ric and Benjamin Orr's voices
28:20 - Sticking with the gut instinct lyrics
29:38 - Lyrics written in their own language / accepting that you don't understand lyrics
31:38 - Reason for printing mysterious lyrics on the albums
32:58 - Writing a book
34:49 - A license to build transmitters and the eventual benefits in the studio
36:39 - People he grew up with in Baltimore / John Waters
37:54 - Not liking school but still getting good grades
38:35 - A promise to his grandmother at age 5 to not use Heroin
40:02 - Experiences with drugs / heeding grandma's advice
40:58 - A slew of rock stars trying to stay on the wagon
41:32 - Getting a guitar from grandma, age 12; early band experiences
42:33 - A long-standing ambition for stardom
43:17 - Other jobs (switching system design)
44:24 - The Ocasek family / the rock n' roll lifestyle
46:00 - Playing for undiscerning audiences / playing bad shows

Part 2
00:00 - Making music to be as big as The Beatles
00:44 - Keeping his private life private
01:35 - His children / his son's favorite bands
02:34 - Dealing with the press / not trying to impress
03:57 - Comparing his music to what else is out there
04:33 - Not considering himself a musician / not liking musicians
05:24 - Style vs. musicianship / perks of not being able to read music
06:40 - Reflections on his childhood
07:43 - Reaction to the success of The Cars (1978)