September 8, 1947 – October 3, 2000


Writing in the real world!

The name Joe Milliken is familiar to most of you… he’s the guy who is writing a music biography about our wonderful Benjamin Orr. What you may NOT know is that he is also the publisher of his own website called Standing Room Only, a site dedicated to promoting music, arts, and specialty foods in the northern New England area. Music reviews, concert recaps, and exclusive interviews with badass rockers are the norm, along with lots of attention given to local businesses and arts events, making this a website with something for everyone.

Joe also runs “The Jock of Rock Presents” facebook page, providing a shot of rock and roll in your newsfeed, just when you need it.

Through our common interests of music, The Cars, and writing, I’ve become good friends with Joe over the last several months. And… I am thrilled and honored to announce that I have received an invitation from him to contribute to his site!  I am in the process of writing a series of album/CD reviews revolving around the recent re-issuing of The Cars’ classic back-catalog, which will be published soon. Not sure where we’ll go after that, but I am excited for the possibilities!

Not only that, but as his book gets closer to hitting the market, I will be involved in getting the word out through as many channels as possible. You can imagine the joy it gives me to have another way to promote Benjamin’s life and legacy in the world.

Please be sure to check out his website, and stay tuned for links to my contributions.

It reminds me of him.

audience“He is becoming extremely, unpleasantly famous. He wasn’t expecting fame, although he secretly longed for it in his twenties just like everyone else, and now that he has it he’s not sure what to do with it. It’s mostly embarrassing. He checks into the Hotel Le Germain in Toronto, for example, and the young woman at the registration desk tells him what an honor it is to have him staying with them — ‘and if you don’t mind me saying so, I adored that detective film’ — and as always in these situations he isn’t sure what to say, he honestly can’t tell if she really did enjoy the detective film or if she’s just being nice or if she wants to sleep with him or some combination of the above, so he smiles and thanks her, flustered and not sure where to look, takes the key card and feels her gaze on his back as he walks to the elevators. Trying to look purposeful, also trying to convey the impression that he hasn’t noticed and doesn’t care that half the population of the lobby is staring at him.

“Once in the room he sits on the bed, relieved to be alone and unlooked-at but feeling as he always does in these moments a little disoriented, obscurely deflated, a bit at a loss…”

–Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven

Happy Anniversary to Me!

blogphotoToday marks one year since I created this blog. I clearly remember my resolve to start it. I needed a place to get out all of my thoughts and feelings about Benjamin without having to worry about how others would react. And I had been researching him and The Cars for a couple of months at that point, and I had a burning desire to categorize and sort the info.

In fact, it was my husband who unwittingly gave me the idea. One day we were driving to town (about an hour away) and I was going on and on about how the band would work on a new song, with Ric maybe making a demo and then all of the guys adding their parts, blah blah blah, when Ken jokingly commented, “You know, you should teach a class on these guys.” Well, that’s all it took to get these good times rolling.

I confess I’ve been surprised at how important this blog has been to me. I’ve enjoyed it so much! And I’m going to tell you why… in true Sweetpurplejune fashion: with a numbered list! Haha! And at the bottom I’ll add some nerdy stats. Here we go (in off-the-top-of-my-head order):

  1. It gives me unending pleasure to go back and read through it, not because I think I’m “all that,” but because it so perfectly represents who I am and my personal journey with Benjamin.
  2. I feel like I’ve come to know Benjamin so much better. Do I think I’ve learned all there is to know? Not even close! (Aren’t we all waiting eagerly for Joe Milliken’s biography???) But I feel like I’ve moved from being entirely possessed by his good looks, to appreciating more of what made him tick as a man and a musician (and yes, still his good looks).
  3. I am in awe of the precious relationships I’ve found… people who have started out as readers and who are now so dear to me! They have enriched my life immeasurably.
  4. I also treasure the friendships I’ve formed with those sweet people who have been willing to help me out; sharing their talents, answering questions, giving advice, and slogging through research with me. The time they spend is always an invaluable gift to me, never taken lightly.
  5. I’ve rediscovered my love for writing. I was always a big scribbler through high school and college, but then, you know, life happened and marriage and kids… and it had been many years since I put pen to paper for something that didn’t involve lesson plans or tetanus shots.  That feeling of pouring my heart into a 1,500 word article and being proud of the result? Off the charts!
  6. Going hand-in-hand with writing is the opportunity to research. I love jumping on an idea or question and following it over hills and dales to find the answers I’m looking for (and often some surprises along the way). Plus, I’ve learned so much about things I’ve never thought to explore before, like copyright law (!), monitor mixing, the history of video production, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Whew — very enlightening!
  7. I’m picking up all sorts of other skills along the way, too: making gifs, creating video clips, crafting interview questions, and tip-toeing through Facebook drama fields.
  8. This blog has helped my through my MLC (mid-life crisis). Or wait… maybe it’s actually been my MLC? Haha! Entering the season of life where I’ve got kids graduating and gray hair popping up everywhere (on me AND my husband!) had me looking around for something to fill the void, to renew and refresh my energies. This blog has been just the thing.
  9. Not only have I gotten to know more about Benjamin, but I’ve come to love and respect each member of The Cars so much. Their history, group dynamics, and individual talents are constant sources of fascination for me; may I never come to the end of them!
  10. Because of many of my dear “Benj world” friends, I’ve been introduced to, and rediscovered, a LOT of great music!

“And I’m doing just what I like to do…”

So here’s to another year of discovery, my fellow Cars’ fans and Benjamin lovers! Looking forward to more rock-and-roll adventures with all of you. ♥♥

#BenjaminOrr #neverenough

Stats for my first year:

Total posts (including this one): 160; total visitors: 8,282; total views: 27,561

Most countries reached in one day: 14

My first post: Just What I Needed

Top 3 “most viewed” posts: Rock Goes to College (861), Derek St Holmes quote (611), and Viele’s Planet (410)

The one post that has 0 views: the lyrics for Cool Fool.