The Cars’ Ric Ocasek Dies: Rockers React
Rock musicians were among those paying tribute to the Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, who died at the age of 70 (though some sources claim 75) on Sept. 15.
The New York Police Department said it responded to a 911 call to his apartment in the city, where he was found unresponsive. No foul play is suspected. Ocasek is survived by his estranged third wife Paulina Porizkova and six sons from the marriages.
Paul Stanley of Kiss described Ocasek’s death as “a very sad loss.” Former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider shared his memory of meeting Ocasek “on the streets of NYC last year,” where they’d enjoyed a “nice chat” with “no fanfare.” Prog metal drummer Mike Portnoy told of his passion for the Cars, noting that “the first two albums are classics from start to finish.”
Red Hot Chill Peppers bassist Flea described Ocasek as “an interesting, smart, kind, funny man who made incredible records,” adding that he’d been “gracious, funny and engaging" when the pair met. Weezer – who recorded their Blue Album and Green Album releases with Ocasek as producer – said, “We will miss him forever and will forever cherish the precious times we got to work and hang out with him.”
Some artists referred to the recent death of Eddie Money while paying tribute to Ocasek. Journey guitarist Neal Schon shared a short piece of music that had “come out” while he was thinking of both late singers.
Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick revealed that, even though his musical interests lay in more complex compositions, he admired both Ocasek and Money. “It may have been ‘safe,’ sure, but the songs were undeniably good, the hooks incredibly strong," he said. "So strong, in fact, that I can’t even look at titles like ‘Just What I Needed’ and ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ or ‘Shakin’ and ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ without the songs getting stuck in my head!”
You can see these and other tributes below.