About two months ago, I reblogged Read ~ Rock ~ Review's "Let's Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars" book review. That review gives a fuller, well-rounded insight into the book being published November 11, 2018, than a more recent review has. Like the reviewer I reblogged a couple of days ago, Read ~ Rock ~ … Continue reading Another Review: Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars
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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Publication is a mere 50 days away! I'm so excited to read this book. Joe Milliken has been chronicling the music scene for 20 years. He's a fan, yes, but his writing is not that of a gushing fan-boy. He is objective, thoughtful, insightful, and respectful of his subjects and his sources. This interview gives … Continue reading Re-blog: Author Interview: Joe Milliken of “Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars”
You can well imagine that I’m chomping at the bit to read this book. After reading this review, I can barely contain myself. I’ve read some of Joe Milliken’s pieces on the rock world and particular musicians. You will not be disappointed if you BUY THIS BOOK. You can pre-order it through the publisher, Rowman & Littlefield. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538118658
Written by Joe Milliken, 2018
Format: Book, 216 pages, 30+ photos
Published by Rowman & Littlefield
Notable Quote: “Believe me, Benny just had this incredible electricity about him. He would walk into a room and whether they knew him or not, people just felt there was something special about this guy…. I swear that in the mid-sixties, Benny was like the Elvis Presley of Cleveland.” — Wayne Weston, friend and former bandmate.
My quick 2 cents: Between the unique writing style, the candid memories of many important people, and the generous number of previously unpublished photos, Benjamin Orr’s inspiring story comes to life in these pages. Buy it!
The full scoop: Any retrospective on the late 1970s and 1980s HAS to include some focus on the new wave rock legends, The Cars. A debut album that stayed on the charts for 139 consecutive weeks, winners of the first…
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