Ric Ocasek

Rock Musician / Songwriter
Date Of Birth:
23 March 1944
Date Of Death:
15 September 2019
Place Of Birth:
Baltimore, Maryland
Best Known As:
The big-eared founder of the rock band The Cars

Name at birth: Richard Theodore Ocasek

Ric Ocasek's pop tunes helped to make The Cars a quick success in 1978 with their eponymous debut album. The band went on to sell millions of albums over the next decade, based on the popularity of hits such as "My Best Friend's Girl," "Candy-O" and "Drive." Ocasek and Ben Orr had been in bands together for years when they founded The Cars in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1976. Ocasek wrote the songs, played guitar and shared singing with bass player Orr; Elliot Easton played lead guitar, Greg Hawkes played keyboards and David Robinson played drums. The band's demo song of "Just What I Needed" became a fan favorite on Boston radio and the band hit the studio to record an album.Two weeks later, The Cars had a record that produced three hit singles and went platinum. Their second album, Candy-O (1979) also went platinum, as did their third, Panorama (1980). In fact, The Cars was still on the charts when Panorama was released. During the 1980s, The Cars were radio and MTV favorites, with the songs "Let's Go," "ShakeIt Up," "You Might Think" and "Magic." Ocasek also released solo albums and had a hit single, 1986's "Emotion in Motion." He was also a record producer, working with bands such as Bad Brains (1983's Rock for Light), Weezer (their 1994 self-titled debut) and Guided By Voices (1999's I'm So Confused).
Extra Credit

Ric Ocasek was married to fashion model Paulina Porizkova (1989-2019) — they met while filming the music video for “Drive.”

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