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This is what it’s all about:

The mission of this blog is to honor, non-commercially promote, and educate the world about Benjamin Orr, former bass player and one of the lead vocalists for the new wave rock band, The Cars. Articles here cover a whole range of topics surrounding his life, his career, and his continuing legacy. Enjoy!

Please feel free to also check out my “All Things Elliot Easton” blog!

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In other words:

Regarding how Benjamin would feel about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction: “He grew up in Parma Heights, Ohio… There was a weekly TV show he was on called Upbeat and The Grasshoppers were the big stars of it. He was a good-looking 16-year-old singing wonderful songs with that great voice. He’s been inundated with music since he was a kid. He was pretty proud to have come from Cleveland.” — Ric Ocasek, Rolling Stone magazine, December 13, 2017

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Ric speaking during The Cars’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, April 14, 2018. Photo credit unknown. 

It reminds me of him.

So many people would never understand my journey with Benjamin — and I don’t expect them to, really. There are just some days when it’s really hard to keep it to myself.

 

“Staggering through the daytime, your image on mind

Passing so close beside you babe, sometimes the feelings are so hard to hide but

In my midnight confession, when I’m telling the world that I love you…”

— The Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions”

 

Lyrics: Spinning

Spinning* (written by Benjamin Orr and Diane Page, ©1983)

What am I to do about this? Who am I to you?
There’s a splice somewhere in all this
You can find a way, you know it… Not so hard to do
All you got to do is show it
It’s only got to do with you

 

Spinning our wheels, spinning our wheels
Spinning our wheels for years
Well, you can’t get there, you can’t get there
You can’t get there from here

 

Doesn’t seem so well connected, threads are almost bare
Something’s new; just not expected
Tell me is it really there?

 

Spinning our wheels, spinning our wheels
Spinning our wheels for years
You can’t get there, you can’t get there
You can’t get there from here

 

Why should this be so hard? So close… Why are you afraid?
Just tell me where we are, I would try another way

How can I get to you? Where do I begin?

I try, but can’t get through… You won’t let me in

 

Spinning our wheels

How does it feel? Caught in the wheels for years

 

Doesn’t seem so well connected, threads are almost bare
Something’s new; just not expected
What am I to do about this? Who am I to you?
There’s a splice somewhere in all this
It’s only got to do with you

 

Spinning our wheels, spinning our wheels
Spinning our wheels for years (spinning)
You can’t get there, you can’t get there
You can’t get there from here (yeah)

 

Spinning our wheels, how does it feel?
Caught in the wheels for years (spinning… wheels)
You can’t get there, you can’t get there
You can’t get there from here (yeah)

 

Yeah, spinning our wheels, spinning our wheels
Spinning our wheels for years (spinning… wheels)
You can’t get there, you can’t get there
You can’t get there from here

 

*Original title: “You Can’t Get There From Here”

 

It reminds me of him.

It’s no secret that some of Benjamin’s songs move me deeply. “Wake Me Up,” “Take Me Now,” “Do You Know What it Feels Like”… The combination of poignant lyrics and the emotion in Ben’s voice somehow reaches in and twists my achy heart until I sob. Crazy, I know, but I am not the only one who has felt this way about a vocalist.

Listening to this terrific version of such a beautiful narration reminds me of the power Benjamin’s gift can have over me.

 

“Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words

Killing me softly with his song, killing me softly with his song

Telling my whole life with his words… killing me softly with his song…”

 

— Fugees, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel)

Episode 37: ORRbots, ORRbs, ORR Not?

ep37If you’ve listened to this show for any length of time, you know that the NiGHT THOUGHTS podcast is all about having fun diving deep into anything and everything ‘The Cars’ and discussing it with a moderate degree of intelligence, a generous helping of humor, and a bit of unavoidable immaturity. This episode is a little different, though…

After careful consideration, Dave and Donna revisit the tough topic of the fanaticism that snakes its way through the Benjamin Orr fanbase. The intent is not to target individuals, but to call out behaviors that cast a pall on fan group dynamics: words and actions that hurt innocent members and dishonor Ben’s legacy.

They make it clear they are not discussing the average fan; it goes beyond that. Dave and Donna take a look at embellished authority and acquaintance, fake romances, and excessive spirit-world experiences. They also examine the possible reasons why this sort of thing is even an issue. While they handle this dark discussion with the respect and sobriety it deserves, they do throw in a little humor here and there to break the tension.

Dave also offers a sincere invitation to anyone who has a struggle with this topic (either good or bad, especially if you feel like it is YOU that is being talked about) to let him know directly. If you’d like, he will arrange for you to come on NiGHT THOUGHTS as a guest to discuss your side of the issues at hand. Use any of the links below to make your thoughts known:

  1. Find us on Facebook.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ).
  3. Connect with us via our audio outlets: Youtube (at the link below), iTunes or Soundcloud.
  4. Email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com.

As always, wherever you connect with us, be sure to subscribe, share and comment.

The show closes with an optimistic letter on the Midnight Scroll, and Dave and Donna both look forward to returning to their usual ‘podcast shenanigans’ for their next recording: a dissection of The Cars’ fourth album, Shake It Up.

Until then, grab a cup of coffee and brace yourself for a visit to the dark side.