Benjamin Orr and The Cars

In a strange twist of serendipity, my Dollar Store Riot bandmate Paul sent me a link to this YouTube video in the interest of our band doing a cover. It was a strange coincidence because we don’t do many covers and he just happened to suggest this one “out of the blue.”

About ten years ago, for fun, my husband Peter and I started messing around with playing a cover of this very same song. I don’t remember why we picked it, but it was fun to play and I have always been a big fan of The Cars. I used to listened to their albums a lot back in the early 80’s (which gives you some indication of my quickly approaching geriatric status, but I digress.

Another topic that I wanted to bring up is the fact that I have a sudden and troublesome obsession with Benjamin Orr. Back in the day, I used to listen to The Cars, but without MTV and much access to photos or videos, I never paid much attention to the way they looked. I just loved their music. I always thought that photo of Ben on the back of the Candy-O album with a lollipop in his mouth was rather obnoxious in a David Lee Roth sort of way, but after seeing this video, I am smitten. I think he is the most gorgeous man I have ever seen. Or rather, he WAS the most gorgeous man.

This lead me to do a little more reading about what happened to him. I had heard about him dying of cancer, but I didn’t read the full story. I did a little reading after seeing this video, and it is such a sad story that he had to go too early and so suddenly. It’s even more sad, now that The Cars have gotten back together. I so wish that he was still here to play with them. I’ve always loved The Cars music, and am feeling even more like I missed out on a lot of things in my youth, including playing in a band in my teens (much more on that later though, as that is a another blog post or ten!)

So many musicians and celebrities dying of cancer these days (Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Farrah Fawcett..) but that’s another blog post as well!

I’m really looking forward to playing this song with Dollar Store Riot as I never had a chance to play it live the last time I tried it. I hope I do it justice and can dedicate it as a tribute to the memory of Benjamin Orr, now that I’m a confessed Orr-ite. And, of course to all of the other members of The Cars Elliot Easton, David Robinson, Ric Ocasek, Greg Hawkes — who are totally rad too!

If you are inspired, please donate money or read more here:  National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

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