In other words:

On Ben’s diagnosis and death: “That was crazy. I went to see him. He was pretty strong; I have to say that. Very strong, considering he knew very well that he didn’t have very many days to live. It was very sad. It’s hard to even comprehend, because a year before that, there was nothing wrong. So no one really expected that.

ben ric
Sorry for the crummy screen shot… spj

“To make it more sad, he had a little boy who was about four at that point, and when I went to see Ben in Atlanta, his little boy was there, too. It was sad for me, because I have kids, like, ‘Oh my God, the poor little kid doesn’t even barely know what’s gonna happen.’ I guess I didn’t really believe it. I was asking some people around, ‘Well, how long do you think?’ They were going, ‘A few weeks.’ I said, ‘Nah. You gotta be kidding.’ But there’s no way to get out from under pancreatic cancer, from what I understand. It’s a horrible thing to have.” — Ric Ocasek, Magnet Magazine interview, 2005



18 thoughts on “In other words:

  1. I feel they buried the hatchet. Whatever was the issue between them was resolved. If so, that’s good. Some closure & peace for both. Sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. So sad to read this and I also feel and would like to believe they buried the hatchet. When I was reading ( and re reading as I often do) the part in wonderful biography LET’S GO ! BENJAMIN ORR AND THE CARS the part where Benjamin was so excited to meet his Cars’ band brothers again (for dinner the evening before the recorded final interview) I get teary. I do believe they got closure. One of the MANY reasons I love and respect Benjamin so immensely is that he was such a brave man who battled this horrible disease with dignity and never gave into it and continued doing what he loved doing as he said he would. Thanks to the help of his “band brothers” and his lovely supportive partner Julie Snider.
    Thank you for sharing this dear Donna ❤

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Hi Tia, i was just wondering about a tweet you had put out a while back. you had tweeted a statement by Joe Milliken that he was asking for people to write his site, to to say how excited they were that Joe was planning on getting started on his companion book of photos of Ben as a follow up to his Let’s Go book. the letters were for, as stated in the tweet, to show his publisher how fans were so eager for the follow up photo book. I wrote an e-mail to Joe saying how over joyed i was to hear the news, but i never heard anything back from him and i haven’t seen anything on his or Donna’s sites about the follow photo book at all. its been about a month since i saw that tweet, i was just wondering if maybe you heard any more news on the subject.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hope you don’t mind if I jump in, Sherry and Tia. Thank you so much for your support of the project! Joe received a terrific response and hasn’t had time to respond to each email yet. I know that it takes quite a bit of time to pull together the proposal for the publisher, too, so it may be a while until any new announcements are made. Any progress will be shouted from the rooftops, for sure! ❤

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Tia, that final interview was so incredibly heart wrenching to watch. Just so sad that someone who was so authentic off stage, had so much more to give as a person/musician and then ends up passing away so young. You are right because Ben did face it with bravery and strength. I don’t know if many people could stare at death like that and just keep going until they couldn’t anymore. That shows an incredible strong will on his part by his sheer determination to keep doing what he loved to do and to make others happy by sharing his gifts even in the face of adversity.

    I think of the son whom he never got to see grow up. Ben didn’t get to see his son go through those awkward teen years and everything else that comes with it, he didn’t get to experience seeing his son excel in sports, He didn’t see him become a college grad and won’t be there to see him get married-or stay single-with or without children in the future and so much more.

    His son didn’t have his father to teach him to be a real man. A good man with morals & ethics. Ben didn’t get to teach his son things that fathers teach their sons. He didn’t have his father there to impart his wisdom on life. Ben wasn’t there to share his love of scuba diving, dogs, sports and hunting/fishing. He wasn’t there to share his musical gifts with his son either. All of that to me is extremely heartbreaking. I do think it’s great that they both got to spend ime with each other no matter how short it was. Because in the long run that’s how it was supposed to be for them. That’s exactly how it was supposed to be for Ben, his son/his mother and Julie. I mean realistically, this was how it was supposed to play out for Ben and all the people that he met in his life and kept in his life.

    I do believe that we decide before coming to this earth who we will be, what our mission will be in life & when/how we will pass away from this world. We are all given an infinite amount of time do what we set out to do. I believe that our souls want to evolve, grow and learn and this is why we choose all of this before hand.

    What is Ben’s legacy? I think there are many lessons on how he lived his life that can be used for reflection on how we live our lives. It’s people like him who have a gentle but flawed down to earth spirit that touches people so deeply. Something that most of us can’t explain. It’s really hard sometimes to put in words about whyhe attracts us so. Besides the obvious good looks/talent there is something more than that that we are attracted to him for. It’s a very deep connection to someone that we’ve never met or maybe we have who knows. I do think it’s his personality that shines through first more than anything for many of us and that’s why we feel such admiration.

    I’ve said this before but I have felt a deep connection with Ben/The Cars/solo music since I was very little. It’s a connection that I’ve never really felt towards anyone else in the industry. There’s huge respect and admiration going on here. OK seriously, not even my love of Dave Grohl is this deep and I do love me some Dave a lot and I do mean a lot LOL! He is second to Ben in this respect for his own musical abilities and personality. Plus, I turned 18 in 1989 so the whole “grunge scene” was totally my jam! I was a 80s teen though and loved all the music in the 80s & every genre. And why yes, I did see The Cars and and beautiful Ben on the Midnight Special in the 70s, the videos on MTV, the Ben interviews, the SNL performances, his solo videos and watched Live Aid in real time-💕Ben 💕in ALL his yumminess!!

    We as humans should always try to do our best and not seek self serving accolades and attention for who or what we do. Ben was extremely humble and modest in everything he did and said. He truly cared about people, animals and the music that he put out into the world with his name on it, the co-writer or with the band he was with. With all of that he showed that he was still a flawed human being who struggled with things that everybody else struggles with. Does that not make him more relatable? Yes, it does.
    Yes, his legacy was his music but I really think his legacy is how he was as a human being. Because this is what everybody always goes back to. The first things out of someone’s mouth is what a great and down to earth guy he was. Then the music comes second.

    Of course, sometimes people see his looks first-NOT hard to see/do, but this isn’t as often as people talking about his personality first and foremost. When they mention his looks first they’re saying this purely on a physical level. When someone mentions his personality first this is coming from the emotional and mental levels.

    His personality I think is respected above his music. And I don’t mean that as a dig at all. Actually, I think if anything it’s better to be remembered and respected and loved for how you treated people and how you were as a person. The talent that people feel you had and the respect for that talent that would just be the icing on the cake. I do think He wanted to be known for his musical talent over his looks.

    I do agree that perhaps later on Ben dressed with the biker gear and whatnot to be more of himself. To reinvent himself. To see if people really cared about his musical talent over his looks. And let’s not kid ourselves he did know he was a good looking man. When he said (paraphrasing here) maybe randy but not the sexy one…. being modest and humble. He. Knew. He. Was. Goodlooking. He just didn’t walk around with an inflated ego about it. It didn’t matter if he was going through his struggles because everybody still loved him because of who he was as a person, as a musician and there was still a good looking man there. so what if he was a little bit heavier or a little bit older. Everybody fluctuates with things and it shows on all of us. Positive or negative.

    By all accounts that I’ve read he was very devoted to his son and to whatever woman he was with. The past girlfriends, fiancé‘s & wives-those relationships were long-term and clearly shows he chose women that were not only beautiful but intelligent. Ben didn’t go for the vapid airhead type. I think he really wanted someone who felt obviously the way he did about things like most people. I also feel that given his personality from what I’ve read and heard, he was someone who loved passionately and that can mean many things. I think he also didn’t like being alone and there’s nothing wrong with that there are many people out there that don’t like being alone. Ben seem to be a very generous and caring person to be in a relationship with whether that be romantic or friendship. He was extremely attentive when conversing with someone.

    Some people have to be in a relationship because it makes them feel whatever it is that they’re trying to feel that they don’t maybe have in their life or didn’t have enough of in their life. People do many things to fill voids and distract them selves with many things in order not to feel what they feel. Many times people don’t want to admit to themselves what’s really going on and how they’re feeling. Sometimes people don’t even know how they feel.

    I also feel that when he was hurt or betrayed it was like a knife to the heart and he took that seriously. He really seem to like being in a band and while he liked some of the spotlight of course who wouldn’t, but didn’t completely feel comfortable being the leader. Ben definitely liked being a part of a band and sharing the spotlight. He definitely wasn’t an attention seeker in that respect. He really wanted a strong brotherhood of musicians that he could just be himself and create music for the world.

    Here is another observation of mine…it really doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about any of the women that he was with. Whether you liked them or not it doesn’t matter because he cared and loved those women for his reasons. And really, I think it’s ridiculous when people pick apart the relationships that he’s had. I do understand sometimes where people are coming from but remember we are looking on the outside and we don’t know what was going on, so how can we point fingers at anyone? Were any of us there? No.

    I don’t think there’s anything going on behind the scenes about why people are so tight lipped about him. I don’t think that because of how private he was, and how he treated his family, women and friends is the reason to think that there’s some deep dark secret that no one wants anyone to know about him. I think they all respected him and his privacy and felt it would be a great disservice to spill all of his personal details. It would be like they’re betraying him. And even if there was a deep dark secret who cares. Everyone has secrets. It doesn’t make you a bad person because you want to be private and you want to keep things private. Secrets don’t necessarily equal something bad.

    Back to the subject of the relationships. Can you really blame anyone for breaking it off with somebody who may have had struggles and can’t find a way to reach the person to help them? It can be frustrating. It can be frustrating to see somebody who you really care about going through things that you can’t possibly understand, because you are not them and you are not in their shoes. It can be a really long haul. Sometimes people don’t want to let others go but they know deep down it’s the right thing for them as well as the other person. At times we just have to let that person go and let them deal with their struggles on their own, in their own time and their own way. I don’t think it’s easy for either party involved. I would bet that there are many of us here who have been in similar situation(s).

    I also can’t stand when people start throwing out so-called nasty and slanderous comments about someone who cannot defend themself. That’s really low. Yes, we all wish that we could’ve been a fly on the wall for many conversations that went down between Ben and other people that seemed interesting to us, but sadly we couldn’t so we will never truly know…. maybe someday when we’re all up there in the afterlife with Ben we will be able to talk with him and then ask him all those burning questions that we really want to know LOL!

    I feel like towards the end of his life it felt like he was gypped. Towards the end of the 90’s Ben again had things falling into place the way he wanted them to be after kind of going through a struggle in the mid 90s-who can blame him? When you’re with the band from the beginning and the band is no more, of course you’re going to feel lost. You’re going to go through ups and downs. It’s like any relationship. It’s almost as though universe just pulled the rug right out from underneath him. Not fair.

    This was a great post as usual. These again are just my thoughts, speculations and opinions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m late to this party I know even though I remember the excitement of the groups breaking out into the music scene. Anyway, the what resonated with me was the last part of Ben’s life. I have taken a similar journey with my son . He had a new job an apartment and everything ahead of him. He was diagnosed with cancer, and it was a three year course of treatment including chemotherapy, transplants and treatment in another city for months. Even though he had a great group of friends, wonderful doctors and his family what touched me was no matter how old your children are or how grown up they seem, a mother’s love is so important and special to them. I thought about that while reading the book. How much Ben missed his mom and wanted her special love and care It touched me deeply.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Donna for putting this interview with Ric on our Radar as I hadn’t come across this one before. Obviously Ric was very cut up about seeing Ben so sick and from what Paulina said in her interview after the death of Ric. Bens death really shook him up. Makes you think life in a different way I think when you lose someone so young.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Thank you so much Donna for letting me know that Joe has definetly begun work on the companion photo book. So excited! Which is why I jumped the gun a little when I didn’t see any posts at all on his or your sites, apologies for that. I know it is a long process to get things going and I’m sure you and Joe are super busy! If Joe needs any more letters to show how much Ben fans want this photo book, you can be sure I’d write a million if he needs 😁 and I’m positivly sure I’m not the only one who would!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops — I don’t mean to get the cart ahead of the horse. There is a process to go through with the publisher before he begins work on the actual book itself, so I don’t think he’s quite at the stage of starting the manuscript. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, I do totally understand. I’m just really happy that the process has begun. I’m not a very patient person, lol, but just even knowing the photo book is in its earliest stage, and not just a thought any more, is awesome. This book, as with the Let’s Go book is very well worth the wait!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Dear Donna, thank you for replying to Sherry as I am not as much as usual on the net at the moment. I keep fingers and toes crossed for all things to go well and then full steam ahead for a companion book from dear Joe. I wish him well with the work and I realize that it will be a lengthy process and hard work but I know so many fans will be thrilled and excited and waiting with joy ❤

        Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s