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!


Episode 14: The RRHOF

There tends to be a lot of high emotion and misunderstanding surrounding the fan vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but is it really THAT big of a deal? In this episode, Dave and I attempt to keep things real by discussing how the voting process works, how the band has fared in the past and The Cars’ likelihood of being inducted on their third nomination, and how the members themselves seem to feel about the whole shebang.

In the meantime, the fan vote is open until December 5th. Click here to go to the RRHOF website and cast your vote for our boys!

Have a thought to share yourself? Email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com and give us an earful! And don’t forget to check out our new youtube channel for easy listening.

Here’s the blogtalk link for Episode 14:


ep14rrhofep14rrhof (2)

Episode 13: The New Cars

thenewcars13“Friday the 13th” tends to be a frightening day in the annals of superstition, so Dave and I face it head-on by addressing what may well be the scariest element of The Cars’ history: The New Cars. Haha!

Tune in as we discuss the pros and cons of the venture, how the band members felt about it, and our impressions of the music that came from it. And what might have happened if Doug Powell had been chosen to lead the band instead of Todd Rundgren?

We also talk with a record number of callers (4!), including a surprise visit from closet Cars fan, Kermit the Frog!

Couple of announcements:

  1. Be sure to tune in for our special episode about the Cars’ nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to be recorded live on Sunday, October 15, 3pm PST, 5pm CST, and 6pm EST.
  2. I’ve started a youtube channel with the audios of our episodes for those that are having trouble with blogtalk. A huge thank you to my talented son (@NickRNeale) for managing the uploads, designing the channel art, and customizing the visuals for each video using graphics by @night_spots. Listen, like, comment, subscribe!  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpBQiSp1iY1nBo2VN3K-fcg

Unfortunately, the audio quality of this episode succumbs to the curse of the night and slowly deteriorates toward the end of the recording. Damn you, blogtalkradio! Or… did Todd Rundgren hack the show? Well, hopefully you can get enough out of it to enjoy our discussion. We had a blast!



In other words:

On remastering the Cars’ catalog: “The technology of recording… and the way people approach bass these days… is so different than it was in the 80s… didn’t have the finite things that some of the new technology has, so I was practically shocked by how much more clarity and bass… On all these albums I was like, ‘I can’t believe how good Ben’s playing the bass.’ It’s like, you can hear every bass thing going on. And that was… to me like… a whole new force, so remastering was a really good idea.” — Ric Ocasek, August 17, 2017

Episode 12: The Cars In Concert

Episode 12: The Cars In Concert


The Cars have been declared by some to be “the worst concert of the 80s,” but Dave and I disagree! Tune in to hear our discussion on what made The Cars a great live show. I’m also looking for anyone who can send me a convincing audio of Benjamin singing, “You need a hit, you need a slug”… because I am 100% convinced he says, “su-uck” in every recording of “Cruiser” I’ve heard — in spite of what it says in Lyrics and Prose. Haha!

Oh, and if you’re a male over the age of 50, Dave’s got a special PSA just for you (yeesh!).



Lyrics: Little Mind Working

Little Mind Working (written by Benjamin Orr and John Kalishes ©1993)

I heard you screaming deep in my dreams

No sense in sleeping, max my machine again, my friend

I heard you breathing, I know it was you

Such heavy breathing left me speechless too, my friend


I know you’re watching and hiding from view

I feel your frustration and I’m walking new

I feel your frustration, I’m watching you, yeah


I heard it’s healing, an eye for an eye

Do me I’ll do you, out from the side again, my friend


I heard you crying alone in the dark

A little mind working, a big broken heart

And I know you’re watching, I’m watching you, yeah


I know you’re watching… I’m watching you


I heard you screaming deep in my dreams

No sense in sleeping, max my machine again, my friend

I heard you breathing, I know it was you

Such heavy breathing left me speechless too, my friend


And I heard you crying alone in the dark,

A little mind working, a big broken heart

And I know you’re watching, I’m watching you


I know you’re out there and hiding from view

I feel your frustration and I’m out here too

I feel your frustration, I’m watching you, yeah

I’m watching you

You know I’m watching, too, yeah

And “Panorama” makes three!

I announced several weeks ago that I was invited to do some writing for Joe Milliken, biographer for Benjamin Orr, and his diverse website, Standing Room Only. I’ve been working on a short series of reviews about the current reissuing of The Cars’ back-catalog, including the debut album in 1999, and the recent expanded editions of Candy-O and Panorama, released in July of 2017.

The final piece was published this weekend, so I am providing links to all three reviews down below (all photos courtesy of Joe Milliken). Hope you enjoy them, and be sure to like the Standing Room Only Facebook page to keep up with Joe’s excellent articles on arts and entertainment in the greater New England area and across the nation!



First up: I took a look back at the 1999 The Cars Deluxe Edition:





Then I examined the 2017 ‘expanded edition’ of Candy-O to see how it measured up to the deluxe treatment:





And finally, I went through the Panorama expanded edition and shared my thoughts:




I’ve got one more assignment coming up (a review of The Cars Live at the Agora 1978) and then we’ll see where we go from there. I’m excited for the possibilities! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts; comment below or find me on Facebook or Twitter.