It reminds me of him.

I’ve been dancing on top of cars and stumbling out of bars
I follow you through the dark, can’t get enough
You’re the medicine and the pain, the tattoo inside my brain
And, baby, you know it’s obvious

I’m a sucker for you

You say the word and I’ll go anywhere blindly
I’m a sucker for you, yeah
Any road you take, you know that you’ll find me

I’m a sucker for all the subliminal things
No one knows about you (about you) about you (about you)
And you’re making the typical me break my typical rules
It’s true… I’m a sucker for you

— Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”

It reminds me of him.

This whole song makes me reflect on Ben’s later years, and brings to mind pieces of the mosaic like the band’s break up, his romantic relationships, his musical direction… and how he might have coped with all of that. I do believe that he was strongly loved during those hard years; I only hope he recognized it and took it to heart.

 

“Most were being good for goodness’ sake but you wouldn’t pantomime

You are more beautiful when you awake than most are in a lifetime

Through the haze that is my memory, well,

You stayed for drama though you’d paid for a comedy

I know I can be colorful, I know I can be gray

I know this loser’s living fortunate and I know you will love me either way”

— The Verve Pipe, “Colorful”

It reminds me of him.

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Well it’s not far back to sanity, at least it’s not for me

And if the wind is right you can sail away and find serenity

Oh the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see

Believe me

Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be

Just a dream and the wind to carry me

And soon I will be free…

— Christopher Cross, “Sailing”

 

Thank you to my sweet friend MW for sharing this song connection with me. ❤

 

It reminds me of him.

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Benjamin Orr, 1984

“He was smart and clever, and he was movie-star handsome, better looking with every year he grew older. Physically, he was still the marvelous changeling child dropped into a plain family. More than that, he had a glow about him, a wild, rakish charm that well-nigh hypnotized anyone who came close. He was kind and considerate and infinitely amusing and attractive. Everyone wanted to be his friend.”

–Ann Rule, The End of the Dream

 

Our Fanorama Family

With the passing of Ric Ocasek on September 15, the world has gone into mourning. Rock legends and up-and-coming musicians (and everyone in between) have been paying tribute to him all week long, in all sorts of meaningful ways: posting photos, tweeting remembrances, and singing his songs in live sets across the country. Not only do they celebrate the man they loved and admired, but they give us a gift in revealing more about who Ric really was. I am deeply appreciative.

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Photo by Paul McAlpine

Seeing all of the headlines day after day, my sixteen-year-old daughter remarked, “Wow. I didn’t think it would be this big of a deal.” You see, here in my house, my family obviously knows about my fixation with Ben and The Cars, and they lovingly humor me about it, but they think it’s just my ‘little thing.’ They don’t know how important The Cars have been to the world at large, and none of them really understand how much the band matters to me. They don’t get that it is more than just an obsession or a hobby. Ben, Ric, David, Greg, Elliot… these guys move me. Their music is part of my brain matter, intimately inseparable from my emotions and memories. Their existence is important to my existence. And when they are no longer leaving fingerprints in this world, I feel it deep down inside. Not many of my peeps around here get that.

And so it has been all the more precious to me to see how the Cars fans have come together over the news that Ric is gone.

A few years ago someone coined the term ‘Fanorama’ to encompass the members of the Facebook groups and Twitter pages (and anywhere on social media, really) who regularly check in to geek out about The Cars. Over the years I’ve developed many solid relationships inside the Fanorama; people who I may or may not have ever met in ‘real life’ but that are part of my daily landscape. And while I’ve long considered them friends, I believe that Ric’s death has made us a family.

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Artwork by Jim Clarke

When someone you love dies you automatically want to go to others who also loved that person and express your shock and sadness. You want to share the memories and pictures, you want to cry together and tell of regrets and give words of hope. It’s a natural human response, right? “Misery loves company.” And you bond as brothers and sisters in your grief.

And that’s what we did, our Fanorama. When Ric died, we virtually looked at each other in disbelief and said, “tell me it’s not true!” We collapsed on each other’s shoulders and cried together in grief. We gave strength and we took strength and we squeezed each other’s hands and asked, “how are you holding up?” We wrapped our arms around each other and held on tight and assured each other, “it’s going to be okay.” And we shared memories, music, stories, artwork, awe, laughter, frustration, gratitude. I felt it — I still feel it — every time I get on social media, the healing comfort of my dear Cars family.

I find that in the midst of this devastating loss there is so much love. It’s a beautiful thing.

So many offerings I’ve seen and heard this week have helped me, but I think this video comes the closest to encompassing my emotions in a visual form. I woke up the morning after Ric passed away feeling confusion and achy longing and at a bit of a loss. My FB feed was flooded, but this post from Becky B caught my eye. As I watched the incredible video she created, the tears came again, but as much pain as I felt watching it, it was different somehow. I saw the celebration of Ric and Ben. Her tribute skillfully addressed the hurt and the healing and the hope, all at the same time.

The song choice, the photos and live footage, the spiritual aura… I’m not sure how to explain my impressions.  I’ll just let you watch it. Be sure to grab some tissue.

I send out a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Becky. I can’t imagine how late she stayed up the night Ric left us in order to create this tribute, but I’m so glad she did. It went straight to my heart.

And thank you, my Fanorama family. Being able to stay in touch with you this week has been such a consolation to me, and I know you are comforting one another, too. We’ll see each other through this, like a family should.

It reminds me of him.

Image result for rob lowe stories i only tell my friends“The effect famous people can have on other people’s lives is not to be underestimated. They can inspire us with their talent; make us feel like kings with their kindness, with a hello, a handshake, or an autograph. They seem like creatures from another race with supernatural abilities.

“And the true stars understand that. When you are around them, the ones at the top of their game, there is always the possibility that some of their magic could rub off on you.”

— Rob Lowe, Stories I Only Tell My Friends