Episode 44: “Let’s Go!” with Joe, Part 2

The manuscript evolves into a book. Photo courtesy of spj.

One episode just wasn’t enough to cover all of the deliciousness of Joe Milliken’s long-awaited biography, Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars. So much more to explore!

Dave and Donna start the episode with speculations about some rumblings in the Fanorama with regard to how much of Ben’s life was revealed in the book and the issue of privacy. Could it be the difference between the male and female perspective with regard to the focus of the book? Take a listen and then tell us what you think.

From there they move right into the second half of Donna’s interview with Joe, talking candidly about topics like:

  1. the reality of Ben’s lyrical abilities
  2. some factors in the increasing tensions in The Cars
  3. was Diane the Yoko Ono of The Cars?
  4. Ben’s moodiness and the changes in his personality
  5. the possibility of a Cars reunion in the 90s
  6. the blessing and heartbreak of Big People
  7. the absence of Ric and Elliot from the book

After the interview ends Dave and Donna pick up the discussion and process the new insights from Joe before reopening the book. They jump into their dissection where they left off in Part 1, with the formation of The Cars, and move through to the end. Along the way they point out their favorite parts and speculate on some of the new information. You’ll have to excuse Donna’s gushing; between the photos, the stories, and the research tidbits, there’s just SO much to love in this book!

The show winds down with the reading of The Midnight scroll: long-time friend of the show Harold and sweet listener Donna E. chime in on the Door to Door dissection episode, while Superfan BB cracks wise with regard to the shenanigans from “Let’s Go! with Joe, Part 1.”

Now don’t forget… Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ), and subscribe to our audio outlets! You can listen by clicking the Youtube link below, or visit us on iTunes or Soundcloud. Wherever you connect, be sure to subscribe, share and comment. You can also email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com. Let us know your thoughts — we’d love to hear from you!

Okay, friends, grab your coffee and let’s go with Joe!

10 thoughts on “Episode 44: “Let’s Go!” with Joe, Part 2

  1. Dear Donna 😀 Thank you so much for this ❤ I cannot wait to listen to this tomorrow,it's late at night here. I listened to a bit and I am with you Donna about what we women may have wanted to read about a bit more . I also wondered about whether Benjamin was interested in the 90's perhaps to get back together with. just listened to what Joe replied to this, that Benjamin would have been interested had there been different conditions. The Cars. I also agree that sensitive people seem to be more affected by moods. I always felt ( just my own belief) that Benjamin was so devastated by the band's break up and it affected him more than perhaps even Diane realized. And of course all that happened during Door to Door recording and touring made him more unhappy. The fact that the last album Door to Door was not a proper band effort also would have caused stress, my husband says it really shows that the band did not have the same incredible sound or production and indeed the vocals were sounding almost compressed and the production sound is so different, whereas all the other albums sound clear, sharp and with such dimensions suddenly it sounded over produced and instead of multi dimensional , much smaller, so we feel. I also think like Benjamin on The Door to Door photo shoot he looked different and I just feel so sad. I think a lot of musicians drink when on the road and so it does make sense that when things went bad , there suddenly was no band and he was lost and drank more. I also feel he loved the camaraderie of being in a band , some musicians feel happier in a band than as a solo star. I ended up listening to a lot of this interview so another late night but , what an interesting interview 🙂 THANK YOU. Again, I cried when I heard that Big People and Benjamin were on the brink of success and once again I curse damn cancer 😦 I can only imagine what amazing music Benjamin would have still made and the fans would have gotten to see and hear. Warm regards from Tasmania

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautiful thoughts, Tia! And very insightful, too. I’ll be sure to share them with Joe. So many little nuances to Ben’s life and I know that we will never really be able to know all the answers we crave. How I wish he was still with us! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved both installments and all the added insight Joe sheds on his years of research not all of which is in the fabulous book he has written on Ben’s life.
    Both interviews on NiGHT THOUGHTS worth a great through.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wow. Loved hearing him talk in this kind of detail. Only to you Donna, I’m sure. Other interviews I heard didn’t give this scope and time. Very nice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That was fascinating, thank you. I haven’t gotten around to getting the book yet (still purging the books we already have) but this sparked more than a few memories and answered some questions I’ve always had, forgotten, and remembered again, as well as suspicions confirmed. I cannot say I’ve loved every single Cars album, but until Door to Door I always held out hope that I’d fall in love again, and with that record I knew it was over. I only listened to it once along with other employees at a record store (yes, we were all terrible snobs) we all worked at when it was released. Upon hearing part of it again recently, I remembered saying to my co workers way back in 87(?) that the band had finally made the full transition to “the Ric show” which I had felt had been creeping up for a while, and for me, the spell had been broken. I also remembered reading an article sometime in the 2000’s when Ric made some remark regarding the breakup, and suggesting that Ben’s offer to contribute more, specifically “my girlfriend writes lyrics”, as some kind of catalyst. He also threw in something non specific about Ben’s jealousy, of him, I guess. It was just a small exchange, but I remember thinking that was an unnecessarily bitchy thing to say, particularly about your dead former friend and partner in crime. But, on the other hand, he did say that it took him a crazy long time to process Ben’s death. So, if I ever see him around here (everyone shows up in south Florida eventually), I’m not saying that I’ll spit in his coke. But I’m not guaranteeing I won’t, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, I remember that article. I have it around here somewhere… I was a bit shocked and achy when I read it the first time. But here’s the thing: Ric is human. And yes, probably a jerk in many ways. But I do believe he loved Ben so much, just like I believe Ben loved Ric. They were best friends. It sucks when relationships turn to garbage, for whatever reason. I confess, I still go back and forth in my feelings about Ric, but I do try to give him some grace. If nothing else, he wrote amazing songs for our Ben to sing, and I’ll always appreciate him for that.


  5. I completely ate this book up, it’s wonderful! I have to say that I’m incredibly curious as to what happened when Joe approached Elliot. Elliot has always had nothing but nice things to say about Ben and freely shares stories about him during interviews, so his absence strikes me as odd. Ric’s absence makes a little more sense… Greg and David just made me love the two of them even more.

    Liked by 1 person

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