“Benjamin. He would have loved this night, right here, in his hometown of Cleveland, this city that was so proud of him. His beautiful voice, solid bass playing and good humor was such a huge part of the band’s success. Not a bad-looking guy either!” — Elliot Easton, in his acceptance speech during The Cars’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, April 14, 2018
“I just want to start off with a little known fact about The Cars. When we started the band Ben was supposed to be the lead singer and I was supposed to be the good-looking guy in the band. But after the first gig that changed. I got demoted to just the songwriter.
It’s hard not to notice that Benjamin Orr is not here. He would have been elated to be on this stage, receiving this award, in his hometown. It feels quite strange to be up here without him, and we miss and love him dearly.” — Ric Ocasek, in his acceptance speech during The Cars’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, April 14, 2018
“And finally, I’d like to give my acknowledgement to Ben Orr. How fitting that we are in Cleveland tonight. Without Ben’s innate talent and rock star good looks, it’s unlikely we would be here tonight.” — Greg Hawkes, in his acceptance speech during The Cars’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, April 14, 2018
Speculating on how Benjamin would have reacted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction: “Ben would be overjoyed. He’s from Cleveland. Ben has been sort of a legend in Cleveland since he was a teenager. The town would go crazy if he were still alive and made a comeback appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” — David Robinson, Rolling Stone magazine, December 13, 2017
“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 Only, January 28, 2015
“I saw Ben at the Paradise last year. His band was really good. I thought he looked the best he’d looked in years, and he was still hitting all those high notes.” — Carter Alan, former WZLX-FM Program Director, Boston Globe, October 5, 2000
“One night at a Voices show in Greensboro, North Carolina, Ben walked through the hotel lobby and bellied up to the bar. He sat down beside the Starship boys and ordered a round of tequila. It was like he was always there, like he belonged. He just fit right in. And he brought all that talent of his with him, too. The cool, the class, the big hits, and the voice. He was so great on stage. Every time.
“But I could never talk him into coming out on the golf course with us. And I tried hard. I know he would have liked hitting the ball. He was a pretty good athlete. And I know he liked hanging out with all the guys. I think he just couldn’t get used to the clothes, especially in Hawaii. You know, it’s all those khaki shorts and stuff. Not enough black leather. Maybe it would have been different if the golf cars had Harley Davidson logos painted on them!” — John Cafferty, Voices of Classic Rock, 1999 (retrieved from the “Benjamin Orr Remembered” Facebook group; used with permission)