The Cars signed a record deal with Elektra in 1977 as a result of a local Boston radio station's incessant playing of a "Just What I Needed" demo. By 1982, The Cars were still going strong, but Ric Ocasek seemed to be heading in a more behind-the-scenes direction.
Recorded in Syncro Sound, a studio The Cars purchased in 1981, this interview contains a great deal of evidence suggesting that The Cars would eventually break up and that Ric would start to focus on producing. Besides the more obvious snippets about his role as the leader of the group and the resulting tension within the band, there are also stories about his dislike for the limelight and his love of electronics. What is perhaps most noticeable during this great sampling of information about his childhood, personal life, and success, is that Ric is a truly unique personality.
00:00 - Plans for shorter tours / sympathy for those that throw TVs out of hotel windows02:26 - Performing without being into it / being considered aloof03:58 - Why he lives in Boston / recollections of living in Manhattan05:59 - The club scene in Boston, other bands that have come through06:53 - The state of radio (as per Lisa)09:16 - The state of radio (as per Ric) / a call for local radio support11:32 - Radio stations that do play local bands' music12:28 - Attitudes of record companies towards taking chances 13:44 - In praise of Iggy Pop14:10 - Potential for working with Iggy / working with Romeo Void15:17 - Finding the time for different projects / prioritizing16:45 - The band's reaction to Ric's plans for a solo album17:45 - Translating songs from Ric's head into Cars songs / in-band tensions21:23 - Not saving any songs for the solo album22:12 - Differences between the solo album and a Cars album23:42 - Plans for personnel on the solo record24:11 - Not a benevolent dictator / why he doesn't do all the lead vocals25:28 - Sounding like Bryan Ferry26:45 - Not being able to distinguish between Ric and Benjamin Orr's voices28:20 - Sticking with the gut instinct lyrics29:38 - Lyrics written in their own language / accepting that you don't understand lyrics31:38 - Reason for printing mysterious lyrics on the albums32:58 - Writing a book 34:49 - A license to build transmitters and the eventual benefits in the studio36:39 - People he grew up with in Baltimore / John Waters 37:54 - Not liking school but still getting good grades38:35 - A promise to his grandmother at age 5 to not use Heroin40:02 - Experiences with drugs / heeding grandma's advice40:58 - A slew of rock stars trying to stay on the wagon41:32 - Getting a guitar from grandma, age 12; early band experiences42:33 - A long-standing ambition for stardom43:17 - Other jobs (switching system design)44:24 - The Ocasek family / the rock n' roll lifestyle46:00 - Playing for undiscerning audiences / playing bad shows
00:00 - Making music to be as big as The Beatles 00:44 - Keeping his private life private 01:35 - His children / his son's favorite bands02:34 - Dealing with the press / not trying to impress03:57 - Comparing his music to what else is out there04:33 - Not considering himself a musician / not liking musicians05:24 - Style vs. musicianship / perks of not being able to read music06:40 - Reflections on his childhood07:43 - Reaction to the success of The Cars (1978)
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