I never cared for The Cars when they "came onto the scene". I never cared for that new wave rock synth sound. I absolutely refused to give it a listen. I longed for what I though of as the "true" rock groups - Led Zeppelin for example. Yes, I am rolling my eyes as I type this. I thought that Ric Ocasek sang all the songs and that it was basically vocals over synth. Uh....no. I'm convinced now that The Cars were the perfect antidote to the testosterone fueled mega-super groups who rented jets to get from point A to point B to avoid checking out of hotels. "Has anyone taken groupie roll call yet?" Yawn.
My brother and I lived with my grandmother and we used to watch Midnight Special on Friday nights. By the time The Cars made an appearance on Midnight Special, my grandmother had passed away and we were living with my dad and step mother. This was a real game changer. My dad ruled the TV and that was that. If he didn't want to watch something that was that. We were never able to watch Midnight Special again (that was the least of our worries, however).
I'm wondering if I'd had a chance to watch that episode I would've seen that The Cars were a real band and they were probably worth following. The synth/keyboards added this additional layer that sort of blended with the guitars. I must say, they picked the ultimate name for an American band. Ric Ocasek played rhythm guitar and wrote the songs. He embraced his odd appearance by choosing very cool, modified rockabilly jackets with wacky ties. Ben Orr sang at least half the songs. While he actually looked like a rock star, I don't get the impression he acted like one. Clearly the camera guy had a bit of thing for Ben while filming this performance. I had no idea that Ric and Ben were originally from Columbus, Ohio, which proves that, yes, cool people can come from the great Midwest. They were friends in high school and clearly each other's alter ego. Greg, Elliot, and David seemed like those really nerdy but talented guys you'd know in high school.
I have to admit, "...I don't mind you hanging out and talking in your sleep..." is adorable compared to the in-your-face command to ..."squeeze my lemon..." Yep, I can see myself cruising around in the summer listening to The Cars on my eight tracker player if I had it to do over.