Hi friends! As tragic as it is that Ben’s life ended so soon, I’m looking forward to celebrating the unforgettable person he was and the wonderful talent that he shared with the world. These are the things I’ve posted on Facebook over the weekend in honor of him on the 20th anniversary of his death.

Benjamin Orr, September 8, 1947-October 3, 2000

PHOTO: Performing with The Grasshoppers, September, 1965. Photo by George Shuba.

Photo credit: George Shuba

ARTICLE: “Friends and Bandmates Pay Tribute to Ben Orr” — Rolling Stone, November 13, 2000

VIDEO: The earliest known published song written by Ben.

VIDEO: Joey Kurilec was the drummer for one of Ben’s early bands, The Mixed Emotions. In this video, Joey pays tribute to his close friend and bandmate by reading the speech he gave at Ben’s memorial at the Rock Hall in 2000, and by sharing some photos from those carefree days in the 60s.

VIDEO: Leo Yorkell is an event coordinator who developed a trusted friendship with Ben in the mid 90s when Ben agreed to play softball for Leo’s charity league. Leo reminisces about how they met and some of his favorite memories, and gives us a peek at some of his treasured memorabilia.

[You can read more details of Leo’s adventures with Ben here: https://sweetpurplejune.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/leo-yorkell-play-ball-ben/ ]

VIDEO: That voice!

VIDEO: A short and sweet set from the early days of The Cars. ❤

PHOTOS: Benjamin Orzechowski, 1966. Photos courtesy of Joey Kurilec; shared with permission.


Good morning, friends! Our celebration of Ben’s life continues on today, as there are two dates associated with his death: October 3 and October 4.
The “Time-time 🎶” connection.
Ben passed October 3 near midnight, but was not officially pronounced until October 4.
Was it meant to be?
Two dates locked in time!
The “Time-time🎶” connection.

GRAPHIC: Words of comfort from the members of Styx. (Originally shared by Tracey Lindstrom.)

VIDEO: “Stay The Night”

VIDEO: “Silver” by Ric Ocasek

VIDEO: “Amazing Randy” by John Kalishes


Truly, there can never be enough footage of Ben, right? But of all the concerts that are available for viewing, which one is your favorite? Comment below!

Everyone who responds will be entered into a drawing to receive a sweetpurplejune prize pack. Twenty winners will get a free Panorama sticker, a Big People magnet, an ORR Band keychain, a beautiful watercolor print by Clau Atencio, and a bit of huckleberry taffy. 

[Fine print: One entry per person. The drawing will be held Sunday, October 4, at 9:15 p.m. PST. Winners will be announced on Facebook and here in a special blog post, with instructions to follow to make mailing arrangements. Due to current shipping restrictions, prize packs will only be shipped inside the continental US. Sorry about that.  ]

ARTICLE: John Cafferty pays tribute to Benjamin Orr

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VIDEO: Benjamin Orr’s Friends and Family Tribute Compilation

This weekend was so wonderful! Thank you all for coming together to celebrate Benjamin. I feel emotional and exhausted and exhilarated, which is a lot of E words for one night.

Though this event is over, all of the posts will remain on Facebook, so if you get a chance you can feel free to come back and browse at your leisure.

Closing out with my favorite song. Rest in peace, sweet Ben. We love you!