“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)
What was the discussion in moving forward without Benjamin? “In a nutshell, we felt as though we couldn’t replace Ben, so we wouldn’t even try, and we would just come up with technological solutions to the huge gap that his… absence leaves in the band… That’s just not The Cars, you know; that’s just not us.” — Elliot Easton, interview with Slacker Radio at Lollapalooza, 2011
On remastering the Cars’ catalog: “The technology of recording… and the way people approach bass these days… is so different than it was in the 80s… didn’t have the finite things that some of the new technology has, so I was practically shocked by how much more clarity and bass… On all these albums I was like, ‘I can’t believe how good Ben’s playing the bass.’ It’s like, you can hear every bass thing going on. And that was… to me like… a whole new force, so remastering was a really good idea.” — Ric Ocasek, August 17, 2017