RIP Ric Ocasek of the Cars, a man who was part of my youth in Warwick and New York heads to a better place

Tom Winnifrith Monday 16 September 2019


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Boy, I did not realise that Ric was just six years younger than my Dad. How on earth can he have been so cool when I was 18?  Anyhow, aged 75 he heads to a better place. The front man of “The Cars” is dead.

In Warwick, in my school days, I am not sure if The Cars were cool. They were not The Cure, or The Ramones, a band you could wear on a T-shirt to impress the young ladies from King’s High. So maybe I was a bit of a closet Cars fan.  In New York a year later it was a bit different. Ric lived, I’m pretty sure, in lower Manhattan where it was then cool in a grimy and dangerous way. This was the eighties. There were syringes on the streets, folks got mugged or held up at gun point. There was dirt, poverty and it was vibrant. It was fun.

These days the same districts drip in money, are clean and rather dull. Anyhow, back in those days, you would see him in the street with a young lady in tow. Well I did a couple of times. She was, in fact, a super model 22 years his junior and later his wife. Rock stars eh, that’s the way it used to be.

So although, I discover to my shock today, he must have been in his forties by my time in NY, he seemed almost of my time. Certainly not my parents generation, although quite obviously he really was.  Anyhow Ric composed and knocked out some utter classics a trio of which are below.

Feeling just a bit older on the news, as another bit of my youth goes pop,  I am again reminded  that ever less slowly, the line ahead of us thins out a bit more and we all head closer to the front line ourselves.


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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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