The Indie World Reacts To The Death Of The Cars Frontman Ric Ocasek

The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek died on Sunday, September 15, at 75 years old. The New York Police Department received a call at about 4 p.m. ET “for an unconscious male at a townhouse on East 19th Street, and Ocasek was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Cars were known for singles like “Just What I Needed” and “My Best Friend’s Girl,” both of which came from their self-titled 1978 debut album. The band had a prosperous career after that, and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2018. Aside from his work with The Cars, Ocasek released seven solo albums, the final of which being 2005’s Nexterday. Ocasek was also respected as a producer, and is perhaps most noted in that regard for working with Weezer on The Blue Album, The Green Album, and Everything Will Be Alright In The End. He also produced for acts like Nada Surf, Bad Religion, No Doubt, and Guided By Voices.

Since the news of Ocasek’s passing broke, many figures from the indie world (and beyond) have shared their reactions. Weezer shared photos of them and Ocasek from throughout the years, and wrote in the heartfelt caption:

“Ric meant so much to us. He produced 3 key weezer albums, Blue, Green and 2014’s ‘Everything…,’ and taught all of us so much about music, recording and songcraft. But more importantly he taught us that one can be in a respected position of great power and yet be absolutely humble and have the biggest sweetest heart in the industry.

Ric was so kind to us, and never faltered or changed a thing either professionally or personally in the 3 different decades we worked with him. When you were his friend, it was for life, and he was always as generous as could be with his time and care.

He is the only producer to have worked with all 7 current and past weezer members, and all 7 love and loved working with him and hanging out with him. There is a massive hole in weezer’s heart now. We will miss him forever, and will forever cherish the precious times we got to work and hang out with him. Rest in Peace and rock on Ric, we love you.”

Find some other reactions below, from people like Beck, Nile Rodgers, and The Killers.

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Devastated to hear of the passing on this man, Ric Ocasek. It has brightened my spirit to see how many have posted about Ric, praising his originality, flair, and brilliance. I was blessed to have known him, through friendship and work (his solo album Troubilizing was one I produced). It's hard to share the measure of a man in so few words, because, despite his greatness, Ric was open and down to earth in a way that surprised me. And in that allowed our private conversations to flow and float over 100's of topics (I was mostly interested in what he loved): the Cars, of course, his children and marriage to an eastern siren whom the world (he was aware) didn't think he deserved (he did, and she him), his guitars, Andy Warhol the person and not the myth, Boston (the city), new wave, deco art, NYC living, producing Weezer, being an A + R man, why he got out of the rat race of making hit records, Mutt Lange, grunge, and on and on and on. He's opine easy and I'd listen (for a change). Such pleasurable times I didn't fully appreciate until decades later. Lastly, two things: Ric did me a great honor when he recorded a song I'd written just for him, questioning none of it except it's quirky title (I'd gone quirky as a wry tribute). And a small memory I'll share: we were in Ric's basement, where he had a small, ad hoc studio for writing. And I was asking him a 1000th question on The Cars; in this case, the sound of the keyboard solos. He pointed at a relic. 'Well, that's it' he said. 'THE keyboard', said I? It was, and ironically at that moment Greg Hawkes stopped by and he demonstrated all those great sounds! But then I went for broke. I wanted Ric to show me how to play 'Best Friend's Girlfriend'. He picked up a guitar, played it perfectly (he was an ace guitarist) and handed it over. The sound, I noted, was exact. It was the pink Fender pictured above, and I dutifully played the opening riff as he'd showed. So what was the guitar, I asked? Ric pointed at the flamingo in my hands. My jaw dropped. It was THE guitar! Love you Ric! Gonna miss you forever

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