Lyrics: So Far Away

So Far Away by Cap’n Swing

It’s not too clear to me just why I came, I guess it doesn’t really matter

The fact remains that I’m still insane over you

The summer breeze is singing in your ear, it leaves you feeling so mellow

Then just remembering mascara tears, just for once you are between

So far apart, so far apart, so far apart, so far apart


It’s running tired and I’m getting late, I stand here mumbling by your frozen gate

Sometimes I wish you would disintegrate but I know you’re not the type

In every movement that you do so free you send out swooning epitome

of what it might be like to ride by the sea and sail so far away

So far away, so far away, so far away, so far away


The summer breeze is singing in your ear, it leaves you feeling so mellow

Then just remembering mascara tears, just for once you are between

It’s running tired and I’m getting late, I stand here mumbling by your frozen gate

Sometimes I wish you would disintegrate but I know you’re not the type


So far away, so far away, so far away, (lookin for you) so far away, (everyday)

So far away, (yes we do baby) so far away, so far away, so far away



It reminds me of him.

1613766_10203267520995493_839956680_n“It was a good thing he didn’t say anything else, as suddenly my ears were filled with the roaring sound of my own pulse. How can I describe how it felt, to have him say my name? Oh, it was rubbish, ridiculous, I  knew, but for once I felt as if I might understand the literal definition of the word swoon.”

Melanie Benjamin, The Aviator’s Wife

A list of the oodles.

Not long ago I posted this video to my twitter account citing, “Oodles of sexiness, a couple of matchy-matchies, & just a ton of over-the-top awesomeness!” Well, some friends were a little distracted by Ric’s… uh, shall we say… ‘uncharacteristically hyper movements’ and could not see past *that* display, so I feel compelled to document (in nerdy list form, of course) the ‘oodles of sexiness’ that actually make this performance drool worthy — even with Benjamin in the back. Here we go!

  1. Right off the bat: Benjamin in black leather.
  2. Benjamin’s beautiful face at 0:37 and the way he mouths, ‘star.’
  3. Working that bass from about 0:45 – 0:50.
  4. Benjamin’s retreat into his rock-and-roll pose at 1:31-1:34.
  5. David’s gorgeousness at 1:35!
  6. Getting into it at 1:41… ah, that mouth!
  7. Elliot’s adorable dancing at 1:52, and all through Gimme Some Slack.
  8. Matchy-matchy: shirts on Benj and Greg; guitar straps on Benj and Ric.
  9. Catch Benjamin’s face at 2:26-2:27.
  10. Pretty much every single time they show David… he’s working hard and looking GOOD! Hot stuff!
  11. At 2:47: the stance,the moves, the sexy little bass grind at 2:55. Mercy!
  12. Ooo, that look at 4:00-4:02.
  13. The way his hair moves on his collar gets me all woozy, especially at 4:05.
  14. View from the back at 4:28 – his hair, his jacket, the way his arm moves… damn amp’s in the way.
  15. His face at 4:52, and then how they cut to the gal in the audience that is in awe… you know she watched Benj the whole time.
  16. Close call with Greg as they are leaving the stage at 4:58. LOL
  17. David’s manly shoulders retreating at 5:04.

So much yumminess!

[Nerd fact: original airdate of this performance is September 19, 1980.]

Quoting Benjamin

“Whether you want to or not you have to know about the business, as much as you can. Otherwise you’re going to walk in the studio blind or you’re going to sign a piece of paper and then… God knows what’s going to happen to you then. There’s so many bands out there that are just wandering around, doing whatever they do and not making any money at it because they didn’t know in the first place that they can ask for certain things and really get it.” — The Cars: Riding the New Wave, radio interview, 1982



That rock and roll kick!

Normally I don’t care for songs with long, drawn out solos (as you may know) and in fact, I had heard “Take What You Want” once or twice and thought, “blah!”… but then I saw this footage of The Cars playing it for Musikladen on the big screen and the thrill of watching them boosted this powerful tune onto the list of my all-time favorites. Their performance is off.the.chain.

Before I dive into my looooong recap of what I love about this video segment, I’ll lay out my research. I believe Ric wrote the song in 1977, and it was played in concerts with some consistency through the latter half of that year and on into 1979. The last live performance of it may have been at a charity concert on December 12, 1982, at the Metro in Boston. A quick search for “the cars take what you want” will bring up a few fan videos with various live audio tracks — their performance at the El Mocambo in Toronto is pretty great. For whatever reason, this song didn’t make it to vinyl, but thankfully it showed up on Elektra’s 1999 CD release: “The Cars: Deluxe Edition.”

This song is pretty hard rocking for The Cars. It has such a terrific garage-band-jam-session sound to it. Taking Greg off the keys and hanging a guitar around his neck has a lot to do with that, I’m sure, since he usually plays the bright, pop-ish synth riffs that put one Cars foot on the ‘new wave’ side of the rock-and-roll fence. I think the other reason it comes across so gritty and ragged is because Elliot is allowed to spend some time coaxing those bad-ass sounds out of his guitar. In the meantime, Benjamin is playing out his driving bass and deep background vocals, and David keeps our blood moving with that steady beat. Overlay the primal music with Ric’s edgy lyrics (posted separately) and you’ve got one heck of a wicked song.


As for the video itself, right off the bat you know things are going to be different because out pops Greg from behind his keys, donning a guitar. I love his silliness with Elliot, and how Greg and Benjamin share a mic — or don’t, at 2:32. [Keep an ear out for what sounds like the keyboards at around 4:44 (yes, really!)… I wonder if Ric is playing? Greg is still clearly in the guitar group at that point so it’s not him. I’d love to get some insight on that.]

And then things get a little crazy. Benjamin gets his attitude on starting at 1:30, when he approaches the mic with that cocky swagger. His vocals rise and there’s a little shoulder shimmy before he sets the world on fire with that rock and roll kick. Luckily Elliot was positioned well enough to NOT get his head taken off, and instead he responds with some smokin’ attitude of his own. You just know he’s winding it up…

It’s a tiny gesture, but there’s also that little chin lift that Benjamin does at 1:50. He’s still in rock star mode all the way; and here he comes with it: the ten best Benj seconds of the whole video. Throwing out his pick, strumming that chord before aggressively grabbing another pick off the mic stand, and then retreating into his sexy jamming stance, adjusting his bass, as he gets ready to watch Elliot burn the place down (2:37-2:47). I always need a healthy swig of ice water after that little sequence.

Unfortunately the camera is not catching the beginning of Elliot’s pyromaniacal activities, so I  amuse myself by focusing on the way Benjamin’s hair moves on his collar. Makes me crazy; that’s how much of an obsessed freak I am.

Now look out, Elliot steals the show from about 3:10 on out. It is rare that we get to see him unleash like this, and it is mesmerizing! It’s like he goes into his own little bubble, just him and his baby, and the intensity on his face pays tribute to how far gone he is. Do NOT miss him twist his guitar to make it moan at 4:10 — incredible! (I’m convinced I see a little smile from Benjamin in the corner there.) Elliot seduces us like this for almost a full minute more before we are reined in by a return to Ric’s invasive, forceful vocals.

Elliot is still feeling the grind and we can see it in his growly face at 5:29, and on into his jam with Benjamin from 5:33-5:39. Excuse me if I can hardly focus on anything but Ben’s mouth at that point.

The song comes to its abrupt end and I have to tell you, I’m exhilarated and dying to watch it again. It’s so addictive! Take a turn with it yourself and tell me what you think.


Lyrics: Take What You Want

Take What You Want by The Cars

Take what you want and leave what you don’t

Take what you want and leave what you don’t


I’m painting a face, the color is dripping

Magnesium moments in black fairy tales

I live on emotion and comic relief

I put this one on you; run run, run like a thief


Am I all alone? Am I all alone?


Salamander sunrise comes at 4:44

Lingerie madness, don’t you kick down the door

Sweet Sarah’s so wild, don’t you know I’m losing your head

Down the dark alley where rumors are spread

The room is so dark I’m catching on fire

I’m in love with your face, it’s so confused by desire


Am I all alone? Am I all alone?


I’m winding it up, it’s running back down

I’m winding it up, it’s running back down

So take what you want and leave what you don’t

Take what you want and leave what you don’t

Take it

Take it

Take it


In other words:

benandderek“When I called him to ask him to join the band, he just started laughing. And I said, ‘Okay, I don’t even know you. Why are you laughing on the other end of this phone?’ (laughs). He goes, ‘I can’t believe Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent is calling me and asking me to be in a band with him.’ And we just fell out laughing and we became fast friends …” — Derek St. Holmes, member of Big People and former guitarist for Ted Nugent; Glide Magazine interview, June 6, 2016.

Quoting Benjamin

When asked if he thought of himself as the sexy one: “Hell no! Randy, maybe, but not the sexy one (laughing)… I’ve always kept my one foot on the ground. It’s just a show, an act, and you leave the stage and you’re somebody else, but nobody else sees that except these guys (motioning to the other band members) and the crew. And that was terrifying.” — The Cars Live DVD, final interview, 2000