Quoting Benjamin

With regard to his boat, the Blue Di, and writing songs on the water: “This is the best thing I’ve ever bought, bar none. It’s not too conspicuous. It’s big enough for one guy to operate and the chief pretty officer over here [referring to Diane]. She hates taking orders, but somebody’s gotta be captain of the boat… I enjoy my free time. I like doing this [boating]. I’d much rather do this, now that we’re writing…. We love the water. It’s really soothing. It seems to be good for us.” — excerpts from “The Rewards of Rock Stardom” by Jim Sullivan, The Boston Globe, November 1, 1986

ben with the blue di boat

Quoting Benjamin

Ben played all the instruments on his demos for The Lace. When asked why he chose a band when it came time to record the album: “It’s much easier to sit back and watch it be done. I play a lot of instruments, but I don’t play them well. I get through them. The only thing I’m efficient at is drums.” — from “Benjamin Orr: The Cars’ Mr. Casual Steps Out” by Rob Tannenbaum, Musician Magazine, March 1987

waiting1

Quoting Benjamin

On recording The Lace: “When I went down to the studio, I was totally on my own. I had no influences… I don’t think anybody who sits down to write a song wants to be thought of as pulling off somebody else’s material.” — from “Benjamin Orr: The Cars’ Mr. Casual Steps Out” by Rob Tannenbaum, Musician Magazine, March 1987

waiting1

In other words:

2Hot2Stop crop
Diane and Ben on the video set for “Too Hot To Stop,” 1987 (Photo credit: Jim Mahoney, The Boston Herald)

“I remember one of the happiest days of my life was when we did our first promotional tour for the album. We were in Cleveland and riding in the backseat of the promoter’s car when ‘Stay the Night’ came on the radio for the first time. We were so excited and yelling like kids!” — Diane Grey Page, Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars by Joe Milliken

Quoting Benjamin

On writing lyrics for The Lace: “I didn’t have a lot of success. Lyrics are my weakest point. I don’t listen to a song for the first five or six times for the lyrics, I listen for the melody. Never really pay attention to the lyrics until after that point. [My desire was] to tell a story. Just something you would actually say to someone, rather than one line and then something clever to rhyme with it.” — from “Benjamin Orr: The Cars’ Mr. Casual Steps Out” by Rob Tannenbaum, Musician Magazine, March 1987

waiting1

In other words:

“Our objective was to make a very radio-sounding pop record. And the songs dictated that direction. They weren’t the type of thing you’d want to superimpose some kind of quirky approach to, just to be interesting. Since it’s very pop-sounding, some people are just gonna turn off to it right away. But if people listen to it carefully, there’s some real interesting textural stuff going on there.” — Larry Klein, co-producer of The Lace, from “Benjamin Orr: The Cars’ Mr. Casual Steps Out” by Rob Tannenbaum, Musician Magazine, March 1987

Pic49
Larry Klein, phootograph by James Minchin III

In other words:

larry klein 2.jpg“We were searching for some sounds with some humor, because Ben’s writing is very quirky, with a lot of non sequiturs and strange juxtaposition of words. In that way, it’s similar to The Cars.” — Larry Klein, co-producer of The Lace, from “Benjamin Orr: The Cars’ Mr. Casual Steps Out” by Rob Tannenbaum, Musician Magazine, March 1987

 

Lyrics: This Time Around

This Time Around (written by Benjamin Orr and Diane Page ©1986)

 

So many times disappointed

Thrown about with a doubt you could never see

And out of nowhere it sounded…. something is happening

 

Someone who happened to hear it

Listened in silence and knew how to understand

One step ahead of a feeling, touching with loving hands

 

Now I know that things are going to be alright (this time, this time) this time around

Lonely days give way to warm and gentle nights (this time)

 

No need to keep second guessing

Racing in circles and trying to figure out

Answers to all of the questions… you had them all along (you had them all along)

 

Yes, I know that things are going to be alright (this time, this time) this time around

Lonely days give way to warm and gentle nights (this time)

 

Take away all the old doubts

‘Cause there’s something for you that comes from a different place

In a different way

 

Straight ahead, you and me every day,

You just got to be you… just believe

You know that love can give you what you need

 

Now I know that things are going to be alright (this time, this time) this time around

Lonely days give way to warm and gentle nights (this time)

Warm and gentle summer nights…

 

So many times disappointed

Thrown about with a doubt you could never see

Then out of nowhere it sounded straight to the heart of me

 

Now I know that things are going to be alright (this time, this time) this time around

Lonely days give way to warm and gentle nights (this time)

Yes, I know that things are going to be alright (this time, this time) this time around

Lonely days give way to warm and gentle nights (this time)

Warm and gentle summer nights

 

This time… it’s gonna be alright… this time

This time… I know it’s gonna be alright… this time

This time… it’s gonna be alright… this time

This time… I know it’s gonna be alright… this time

In other words:

On writing songs with Benjamin for The Lace: “I kept hearing this song coming upstairs from the studio and one day he said, ‘Hey, do you want to try writing lyrics with this song?’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ And I said, ‘How will you know whether it’s going to work or not?’ and he said, ‘I’ll know immediately. If it works, it works.’ So we wrote ‘Stay The Night’ and it came very easily, and it was smooth, and he seemed to like my work, so we continued on from there and we wrote eleven songs.” — Diane Grey Page, “Rock Of The World” interview with host Phil Harvey, 1986

Lyrics: That’s The Way

That’s The Way  (written by Benjamin Orr and Diane Page, ©1985)

She’ll get you mystified, you’re going for a ride
Or you can let it drop.
Or you can take the hit or you can miss the ship
Or you could take the top
That’s the way I want, I gotta see you anyway…yeah

Well, you can jump the fence or you can have some sense
Or you can call the cop.
Or you can close the book or you can just unhook
And all I know is…
That you can have some if you want to (don’t close your eyes)

I could show you if you want to
But all I know is…

That’s the way I want
Shake you, take you down
All the way…yeah
(I tell you) That’s the way… all the way

Well, you can take what you want to (don’t close your eyes)
You can do what you like (** your eyes)
Just something else to get through (don’t close your eyes)
But you got to want to win
It’ll come around again anyway

Well, you can take what you want to (don’t close your eyes)
You can do what you like (** your eyes)
Just something else to get through (don’t close your eyes)
But you got to want to win
It’ll come around again anyway

Hey you can take the piece or you can shake the squeeze
You can let it drop.
Well, you can take the pass or you can break the glass
And all I know is…
That’s the way I want
Shake you; take you down
Yeah

Well you can roll it back or you can counteract
or you can shut it down.
Well you can take the hit or you can transmit (transmit)
And all I know is…
That you can have some if you want to (don’t close your eyes)
I can show you if you want to.
But all I know is…

That’s the way I want
Shake you; take you down…yeah
(I tell you) That’s the way…

All the way

Lyrics: The Lace

The Lace (written by Benjamin Orr and Diane Page, ©1985)

 

Just walking through the city, some need to sort things out

I don’t need to know the pity I’m feeling for us now

 

We walked right back together, back when I hardly knew

Why do the strangest things bring back those times with you?

Just when we’re getting closer I’m seeing something new

 

Just soaking up the city, drifting the days away, yeah

Searching through crowds of people, the face that got away

 

We talked good times together, put all my dreams on you

You led me down some path and now I see where to

Turns out my best just wasn’t good enough for you

 

You couldn’t recognize the loss in the world

I want to lose yourself, you couldn’t feel the pull

Everything just ends up so sad, too bad, I gave it what I had

 

Just walking through the city, drifting the days away, yeah

Searching through crowds of people, the lace that got away

 

You’re telling me it’s nothing when I would watch you stare

How could I get to you when you were never there?

 

We walked right back together, back when I hardly knew

Why do the strangest things bring back those times with you?

Just when we’re getting closer I’m seeing something new

 

You couldn’t recognize the loss in the world, so sad