I was unofficially working at a record store called Second Coming in Greenwich Village, when The Cars debut had come into the shop as a promo about a week before it was released officially. I was never hired by the husband and wife owners, but I spent so much time in the shop, Chuck the manager started given me things to do and records for doing them. He gave me The Cars album and said I should listen, that he loved it and I would love it.
I loved it alright. I couldn't stop playing it. It sounded like nothing else. There were these layered harmonies that reminded me of Queen. Maybe that had something to do with producer Roy Thomas Baker. There was a drum sound that was just perfect. Definitely real drums, but yet something electric and precise about every snare smack. There were guitar solos that rivaled some of my guitar heroes, yet on these tracks, those solos felt like their own songs. And of course, the songs, all but one to my memory, getting as much airplay as another.
The Cars debut remains a groundbreaking pop classic thanks to Ric Ocasek leading the way, The Cars went on to do it a few more times in their career. Nothing after the debut packed the same wallop, but there were still enough hits that followed to solidify the brilliance of this Boston band forever.
Didn’t see this one coming. Though I’m not surprised by the outpouring of “I was lucky enough to...” posts on social media. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? We love death on Facebook. But...happiness? Good news? Expressing joy? Pfffft. Move on. "Calm down." "Relax."
“Yeah, I love that guy...(insert name of deceased.) “I was lucky enough to...”
First Cars record is as important as “Sgt. Pepper.” Not better, but as important. When was the last time you talked about it? When Ben Orr died?
Love music. All of it. All the time. Get excited by it. Listen to it every moment you can.
My friend Geoff left this as a comment on my Facebook page:
"You are the only guy I know that consistently talks about what's good for no reason other than it's what you're enjoying at the moment."
I know that is not completely true, but I love that he noticed me trying, and it was certainly a lot more satisfying than being criticized or shot down for listening to too much music.
Ric Ocasek, R.I.P.
I was lucky enough to buy and love those Cars records. And I am going to play all of them...well, maybe not "Door To Door"...today.