April 3, 2008

Concert Memory.... Benjamin Orr

Sometimes you hear a song that takes you back to a good memory of hearing that song. Today I heard this:



and was immediately back at The Forum in Inglewood with my sister. We were there to see The Cars. It was a Monday night. I don't remember they year.

We had great seats up front (this was possible back in the day!). When Benjamin Orr started singing this I could have sworn he was singing it to me. Sigh.

Ben died in 2002 of pancreatic cancer. I know most people think of Ric Ocasek when they think of The Cars, but I always think of Ben.

12 comments:

RAHM said...

I have the double cd Anthology, my favourite song is "Drive" sung by Orr

Barbara - Layla said...

rahm,

Thanks for the comment. That's one of my favorites too. Did you know he did his final on stage performance only SIX DAYS before he died? Pretty amazing.

bob_vinyl said...

At least you don't think of the New Cars. They should have called Todd Rundgren Wrecks the Cars.

I remember reading that about Orr. His bad was figuring they would cancel their tour when things got bad and he was like, "No way, I wanna play." And he did. It's always good to see people just keep on living in the face of death.

David Amulet said...

Certainly he's an underappreciated vocalist. It's funny--people who only heard the Cars on the radio focused on Ocasek. He didn't do lead vocals THAT much more than Orr, but he did sing lead on most of the biggest hits, like "You Might Think," "Shake It Up," and "Magic."

But those who saw the Cars live, where Orr usually played the frontman role, remember Orr more.

Elliot Easton's guitar work also never seems to get the attention it deserves.

bob_vinyl said...

David, I agree about Elliot Easton. He's a deceptively good guitarist who doesn't get credit simply because he was never a show-off and played for the song rather than himself. Still, he loses a lot of point for participating in the New Cars.

Malcolm said...

I'm at work now and I wish I had my Cars Complete Greatest Hits CD with me. After reading your post/watching the clip you embedded, I went to You Tube and found the last interview the orig. Cars gave in 2000. You can tell that Ben is very ill. I remember when he died, one of the musicians he was playing with said that they knew the end was near when Ben was too sick to sing "Drive".

Barbara - Layla said...

Bob, exactly....he kept on doing what he loved till the end. I admire that.

David, excellent point. Plus, I think its much harder to sing and play bass than rather than sing and play guitar.

Bob - in my mind the New Cars are as non-existent as the "new" INXS.

Malcolm, maybe I will request some cars on your show next week. I missed it again today :(

Jo Jo said...

I didn't know that the Cars played during Live Aid. This is a wonderful little clip. I never had the chance to see the original Cars in concert. My impression from this clip is that Ben had an even better presence during live performances than he did in "staged" videos.

Malcolm said...

I hope you are able to tune in to my show this week. Since the university is on spring break, I didn't do a show this past Saturday. Given that I was sick, I probably wouldn't have done a show even if the university wasn't on break.

Barbara - Layla said...

Hey Jo Jo, thanks for stopping by!

Malcolm! I hope you feel better soon.

MothandRust said...

Barb, you are definitely a girl with music taste I can relate to. I had all the vinly LPs of The Cars when I was a teen. Couldn't get enough, and I loved Ben's voice.

Ric's son made an album once in the late 80s. I've never been able to track it down.

The Legacy said...

Inviting all of Benjamin Orr's fans where we have over 700 some rare and never before seen photos from people who knew Ben. I Must for any fan of the great artist: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BenjaminOrrTheLegacy/

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...