We all have our stories, don’t we? The ways in which The Cars touched our lives, and how and why they continue to bring us happiness. Connecting with other fans and telling about our journey brings us such a sense of community and camaraderie that knit us together, and in some cases, it helps us feel like we’re not entirely nuts!
A couple of months back we received an email for the podcast suggesting that we allow guests to come on the show to share what the band and the music mean to them. Dave and I talked about it and didn’t feel like the pod was the best fit for that kind of thing, but we came up with another plan.
We’ve created “Got A Lot On My Head,” an audio forum for the Fanorama, featuring the memories and musings of our Cars family who have something they’d like to share with the rest of us, in their own words. It can be as simple as how you got into the music, or you can go deeper into your personal connection with a song. Or you can share what it was like to see the band live, your memories of meeting a band member, or your “so close!” moments. There are lots of possibilities… If you’ve got something to share, we want to hear it!
Interested in participating? It’s super simple! Get in touch with me via the contact page on this blog, or through Facebook or Twitter. We’ll schedule a recorded phone call, we’ll have a great chat, and I’ll publish it on my Youtube channel.* Done and done!
Our first foray into this forum features Norah Wiley, the sweet lady who gave us this idea! She shares her story of how “Drive” got her through a very painful time in her life. Take a listen, leave a comment, and make a new friend. ❤
*Of course, I reserve the right to edit the audio and/or decline publishing at my discretion.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve listened to this show for any length of time, you know that the NiGHT THOUGHTS podcast is all about having fun diving deep into anything and everything ‘The Cars’ and discussing it with a moderate degree of intelligence, a generous helping of humor, and a bit of unavoidable immaturity. This episode is a little different, though…
After careful consideration, Dave and Donna revisit the tough topic of the fanaticism that snakes its way through the Benjamin Orr fanbase. The intent is not to target individuals, but to call out behaviors that cast a pall on fan group dynamics: words and actions that hurt innocent members and dishonor Ben’s legacy.
They make it clear they are not discussing the average fan; it goes beyond that. Dave and Donna take a look at embellished authority and acquaintance, fake romances, and excessive spirit-world experiences. They also examine the possible reasons why this sort of thing is even an issue. While they handle this dark discussion with the respect and sobriety it deserves, they do throw in a little humor here and there to break the tension.
Dave also offers a sincere invitation to anyone who has a struggle with this topic (either good or bad, especially if you feel like it is YOU that is being talked about) to let him know directly. If you’d like, he will arrange for you to come on NiGHT THOUGHTS as a guest to discuss your side of the issues at hand. Use any of the links below to make your thoughts known:
Connect with us via our audio outlets: Youtube (at the link below), iTunes or Soundcloud.
Email us at email@example.com.
As always, wherever you connect with us, be sure to subscribe, share and comment.
The show closes with an optimistic letter on the Midnight Scroll, and Dave and Donna both look forward to returning to their usual ‘podcast shenanigans’ for their next recording: a dissection of The Cars’ fourth album, Shake It Up.
Until then, grab a cup of coffee and brace yourself for a visit to the dark side.
The excitement of Cleveland and Rock Hall Weekend still lingers … We’re all asking, “When can we do it again???” Time to take a good hard look at what it would entail to organize an ‘official’ Cars Fanorama get-together! Join Dave and Donna as they brainstorm the various logistics involved: location, funding, merchandise, special guests, and so much more.
We’d really love your feedback! What are YOUR ideas for the ultimate Fanorama Cars convention? Who do you think would come to represent the band? Where would you travel to attend? And entertainment events? Nothing is off limits — from cover bands and Q&A sessions with rock photographers, to interviewing band members’ neighbors, to re-enacting fan fights with a Ric lookalike… Lay it all on the table so we can tell the Woz about it when we call him for funding. (Just kidding — podcast joke! (but maybe?))
Be sure to listen to the Midnight Scroll, too; we’ve got a little photo challenge for you from our podcast friend ‘across the pond.’
There are plenty of ways to get in touch with NiGHT THOUGHTS:
Follow the podcast on Twitter! @TheCarsPodcast . If you’re looking for the hosts individually, Dave goes by @night_spots and Donna is @sweetpurplejune.
Well, time to try something new! My good buddy from @Night_Spots and I are giving podcasting a whirl. We’ll be gabbing on anything and everything about The Cars. How many episodes? Who knows? We like to listen to ourselves talk so we could go on forever. Hahaha!
Check out the debut episode by clicking on the link below. (Excuse the technical difficulties; we’re both kind of dopey with technology.) Hope you enjoy it!