Rest in Peace, Ric Ocasek of the Cars, a Musical Force of Undeniable and Far-Reaching Influence

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Tremendously sad news came through the wires on Sunday when it was reported that Ric Ocasek, lead singer of the Cars, has died at the age of 75.

NBC New York reported that Ocasek was found unresponsive at his residence early Sunday morning:

Police said they received a call around 4 p.m. for an unconscious male at a townhouse on East 19th Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Law enforcement sources confirmed the deceased was Ocasek.

UPDATE: On Monday, Ocasek’s family shared a statement about his passing via social media.

Posted by The Cars on Monday, September 16, 2019

In 2018, Ocasek and the Cars were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, rewarding a legacy of music that has influenced countless acts in their wake and left an indelible mark on the music industry as a whole.

The Killers’ front man, Brandon Flowers, who inducted the Cars into the Hall of Fame, had a lot more to say:

While Weezer, whose self-titled Blue and Green albums were produced by Ocasek, issued this heartfelt remembrance:

As you might expect given the astronomical influence Ocasek had on plenty of musicians, tributes poured out on social media after the sad news made headlines.


Speaking about the lasting impact of the Cars’ 1978 debut album, guitarist Elliot Easton summed it up as follows:

Somehow our music was accessible to a lot of people without us making any real concessions to commerciality or trying to calculate what would sell or compromising in any way. We just kept on being us, and people liked it on a large scale.

This was all made possible by the inimitable presence of Ocasek, an industry legend who will be sorely missed among all who came into contact with the Cars’ music and those who have yet to discover them.

May he rest in peace, and may his music with the Cars live on forever.


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