Let’s Go!: Benjamin Orr and the Cars (Reblog)

My copy is on the way. Can’t wait to read this!

Reblogging this without much comment may have been a knee-jerk fan-girl move on my part, but, after reflection, I have a little more to say.  First, I’m impressed that this reviewer, who doesn’t seem to be a rabid rock’n’roll / Cars / Benjamin Orr fan, has given it a respectable 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Second, the review focuses on Ben’s early life as a musician, covering roughly five to six years up to 1969 when he would have been 22 and met Ric Ocasek. Granted, you don’t want a book review to tell the whole story, but this review doesn’t do justice to either Benjamin Orr or to the writer, Joe Milliken. Ending with ” They would later become The Cars and famous, The rest is in the book and history” leaves the impression that this is just another behind-the-band story. It isn’t.

Benjamin Orr passed away at 53 years old on October 3, 2000, thirty-one years after meeting Ric Ocasek. This reviewer tossed away more than half of Orr’s life, including twelve years post-Cars. During that time he evolved as a complex man and musician. Blithely ending the review with the vague “rest is history” tells me that this reviewer likely didn’t read the entire book.


Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars

This was a well-researched book about The Cars and Benjamin Orr, born Orzechowski aka “Benny 11-Letters” because so many of his friends and acquaintances had trouble pronouncing his name. He was almost universally liked as he was making his way in the music business, seemingly a genuinely nice and caring man. Ben was also quite talented when it came to singing and drumming, and learning other musical instruments from what many of his friends had to say in the book. You certainly could use a scorecard for this one to keep up with all of the band incarnations and band member rotations. I was amazed at the number of times the name of the band changed, and it didn’t always depend on whether any members were moved in or out. There were some interesting anecdotes in the book of things…

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Song Lyric Sunday — take/taking

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Song Lyric Sunday — Give/Giving

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  Helen's Song Lyric Sunday theme this week -- lost-- gives me the opportunity to introduce you to one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Charlie Farren. Counting bands such as Aerosmith and Boston among his contemporaries, Charlie is one of the talented musicians whose skills matured in the incubator of Boston's fabled 70s music scene. He's … Continue reading Song Lyric Sunday — Lost in Loveland