Episode 24: A Show About Nothing

With things heating up in The Cars world, it feels a little like a game of Whack-A-Mole, trying to keep up with the variety of stimulating tidbits that are popping up here and there. Dave and Donna relax into an informal chat about nothing… and everything… surrounding the band and their current goings-on.

Special guest and good friend Jenny Durgin (aka Hank) takes a break from her ‘internet protest’ to hang out and join the discussion. Welcome, Jenny!

With only a pencil-scratched outline to follow (written by Ric — haha), the conversation meanders to such topics as:

  1. The Expanded Editions: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free… or uh, the cake? And what of that colored vinyl?
  2. For those following Donna’s age-old grudge: new connections are made in the saga of the Panorama turntable cover.
  3. What to wear to the Rock Hall ceremony — NOT pajamas!
  4. Informal updates on the current activities of Elliot (and The Empty Hearts), Ric (with his art activities), Greg (touring with Rundgren’s band), and David (well… there’s that beard, anyway).
  5. Reactions to the idea that The Cars will replace Benjamin with an outside bass player for the induction ceremony. Excuse Donna’s stuttering… you know how she gets.
  6. Did Diane Grey Page really mean to put the word out to the Fanorama that she would be in Cleveland?

The Midnight Scroll prompts the YouTube posting of an elusive interview with Ric and Benjamin on The Other Side of the Tracks (check it out HERE) and a brief discussion of Ric’s looks.

Graphic by @night_spots

We are also treated to a hilarious email from Rico, who will surely become one of the most beloved members of the Fanorama. He captivates us with his story of the 1979 Cars concert at Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park… he and his buddy, Vinnie, were staggered by the ‘ice skating shenanigans’ of our favorite band.

Stay tuned for Episode 25 where Dave and Donna will record the unboxing of the expanded editions of Shake It Up and Heartbeat City.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Contact us and tell us your thoughts! You can email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com, or join us on Facebook in The Cars NiGHT THOUGHTS Podcast group and let us know how we’re doing. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter (@night_spots@sweetpurplejune), too!

Click below to listen, subscribe and comment.

Lyrics: Mod Socks

Mod Socks by The Grasshoppers (written by Carl Maduri and Lou Pratile, 1965)

Well who wears mod socks?
Well, girls wear mod socks.
My sister wears mod socks.
My mother wears mod socks.
My aunt wears mod socks.

Now Benny wears mod socks.

Girls wear mod socks.
My friends wear mod socks.
My mother wears mod socks.
My aunt wears mod socks.
My cousin wears mod socks.
My fans wear mod socks, let’s go now….

Well I said who wears mod socks?
Girls wear mod socks.
Your sister wears mod socks.
Your mother wears mod socks.
Your aunt wears mod socks.

Now Benny wears mod socks.

Girls wear mod socks.
Your sister wears mod socks.
My granny wears mod socks.
Your cousin wears mod socks.
Your sister wears mod socks.
Your mother wears mod socks

I said who wears mod socks?
I said who wears mod socks?
My baby’s got some mod socks.
Yeah I think those are mod socks.*
Go on and grab some mod socks.*
Come on and grab some mod socks, yeah right now*

Quoting Benjamin

On singing Ric Ocasek’s lyrics for “Drive”: “Sometimes, with the way he writes, you’re conscious about doing a lyric in a particular way. At times it just comes off so naturally you don’t have to even think about it. It just sort of comes out of your mouth. It just flows. ‘Drive’ was that kind of natural thing. We heard the song on tape and he said, ‘Do you want to try it?’  I said, ‘Yeah.’ So I went out there and tried it and it just came off. We really didn’t have to think about it. It happened right there. That’s the really weird thing about it; it was one of the easiest ones.” — The Cars by Peter Goddard and Philip Kamin, 1986


In other words:


“I honestly cannot recall how Ben was originally exposed to ‘River of Fire.’ I only heard one early demo of the song, and I remember that some of the lyrics had been changed but I didn’t care, I was just thrilled that Ben Orr was singing one of my songs!

I did meet Ben years later when I was with Styx and his Big People band was touring with us. I had a couple opportunities to have a conversation with him and it was a big deal for me because I always thought Ben was very cool.” — Glen Burtnik, co-writer of “River of Fire” (recorded for Benjamin’s unreleased second solo album), Standing Room OnlyJanuary 28, 2015

Episode 23: The Cars Essential Library

Cars Essential Library.jpg
Graphic by @sweetpurplejune

Our 23rd episode, recorded on the 23rd of February… it’s time to get nerdy!

Dave and Donna take a look at some of the written material floating around related to The Cars. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the biggies are covered, with mentions of tour books, sheet music, liner notes, and appearances in compilations.

They also discuss the unique and rare offerings of Ric Ocasek, as well as the probability of Joe Milliken’s biography about Benjamin coming out in 2018 (click here to message Joe and get on his mailing list).

During the discussion Dave shares a recent email conversation he had with Luis Aira, director of the elusive film Chapter X (among his many other amazing accomplishments), and reveals some inside information Mr. Aira dropped about other never-released projects he worked on with Ric. (Read Standing Room Only‘s article about Luis Aira and his involvement with The Cars here.) Donna plots a chance ‘run in’ with Ric in order to get her hands on all of the hidden stuff that you just KNOW is in that vault of his.

The Midnight Scroll is saved from further colonoscopy PSAs by the emails of three of our favorite listeners: Harold, Kurt, and L. Glenn Douché (pronounced “doo-shay” — it’s French). Dave still manages to get his spam in there, but Harold saves the segment by sparking a quick discussion about Ric’s solo CDs, and Kurt gets the Cleveland vibes going with some great ideas for honoring the band during the RRHOF induction weekend. And uh, L. Glenn… keep us posted on how that Go Fund Me campaign works out for you.


Dave and Donna close out the episode by picking the winner of the ‘Benjamin Orr swag’ giveaway from episode 22… Congratulations to Beta Sanchez for sending in the right answer! The generous Kurt Gaber will be in touch with you to get your prize to you. Enjoy, Beta, and thanks for listening!

Click below to hear Episode 23, and be sure to subscribe, comment and share. Follow Dave (@night_spots) and Donna (@sweetpurplejune) on Twitter, too! Oh, and don’t forget to send your questions for the ‘Midnight Scroll’ to nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com. Also, join The Cars NiGHT THOUGHTS Podcast group for all of the little extra uploads you’ll hear about in the show.