Ric Ocasek, the founder and frontman for new wave pioneers the Cars, is being remembered by his peers and fans on social media as an incredible singer and songwriter and an all-around nice guy.
The 75-year-old, who delivered songs including “Just What I Needed,” “Moving in Stereo” and “Good Times Roll,” was found dead in his apartment on Sunday afternoon. No foul play was suspected and no cause of death has been revealed.
“The whole weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek, who passed away Sunday. Ric meant so much to us,” the band Weezer said Sunday on Instagram.
“He produced 3 key weezer albums, Blue, Green and 2014’s ‘Everything...’, and taught all of us so much about music, recording and songcraft. But more importantly he taught us that one can be in a respected position of great power and yet be absolutely humble and have the biggest sweetest heart in the industry.”
Martha Quinn, former MTV veejay, said Monday on Twitter that Ocasek and the Cars set the tone of the ’80s before the ’80s even started. Their self-titled debut album came out in 1978.
Alice Cooper, Billy Idol, Peter Frampton, Terri Nunn of Berlin, Paul Stanley of KISS and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers were among the music heavyweights weighing in with heavy hearts.
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The whole weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek, who passed away Sunday. Ric meant so much to us. He produced 3 key weezer albums, Blue, Green and 2014's "Everything...", and taught all of us so much about music, recording and songcraft. But more importantly he taught us that one can be in a respected position of great power and yet be absolutely humble and have the biggest sweetest heart in the industry. Ric was so kind to us, and never faltered or changed a thing either professionally or personally in the 3 different decades we worked with him. When you were his friend, it was for life, and he was always as generous as could be with his time and care. He is the only producer to have worked with all 7 current and past weezer members, and all 7 love and loved working with him and hanging out with him. There is a massive hole in weezer's heart now. We will miss him forever, and will forever cherish the precious times we got to work and hang out with him. Rest in Peace and rock on Ric, we love you. #RIPRicOcasek #weezerfam #karlscorner
R.I.P. Ric Ocasek, lead singer with The Cars, at 75. A very cool cat. He was the first person to hear my album The Flat Earth from start to finish, in Mutt Lange's house in Chelsea.— Thomas Dolby (@ThomasDolby) September 16, 2019
Ric Ocasek, The Cars set tone of #80s before 80s even started - Just What I Needed, BestFriend's Girl, Good Times Roll. The Shake It Up & Heartbeat City lps brought motorcade of hits to our decade. Dad to 6 sons. Rock Hall of Famer. Thank u for it all Richttps://t.co/n6oOyJYEs0— Martha Quinn (@MarthaQuinn) September 16, 2019
So sorry to hear about Ric Ocasek’s passing. I met him and Paulina on SNL many times. Such nice people and great kids. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.— Jon Lovitz (@realjonlovitz) September 16, 2019
Sad to hear of the passing of Ric Ocasek. Takes me back to hearing the Cars constantly on WBCN (the Rrrrock of Boston!) Sat behind him at a play once and got to fan out at him in person and he couldn’t have been nicer.— Rachel Dratch (@TheRealDratch) September 16, 2019
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Back to back “one-two punch” for rock music in one weekend, damn. Eddie Money & just now, Ric Ocasek of The Cars . Full disclosure: In high school, my friends & I always gravitated more towards music that offended & defied convention: The screaming guitars of Van Halen & Ozzy, the screaming (literally) of Halford & Dio, the shock of Kiss & Alice, the complexity of Yes & Rush, the sexual boundary-pushing of Prince (& for that matter, Plant) the weirdness & cultural critiques of Zappa etc etc...But what’s interesting about both these guys’ work is that despite its relative “safeness” (it fit none of the above descriptions, was generally accepted by mainstream gatekeepers, was never threatened with censorship, didn’t cause concern by parent/teacher groups or DC Congressional Committees), it somehow occupied that safer space while being liked by those of us into the more unconventional (even dangerous, if you will) side of music. No, my friends & I didn’t wear Eddie Money or The Cars T-Shirts; we didn’t hang up their posters; we didn’t run out to buy their albums or attend their concerts..But you know what else we didn’t do? We didn’t turn the dial when they came on the radio (and these guys were ALL over the radio)! It may have been “safe” sure, but the songs were undeniably good, the hooks incredibly strong - so strong, in fact, that I can’t even look at titles like “Just What I Needed” & “Let The Good Times Roll” or “Shaken” & “Two Tickets to Paradise” without the songs getting stuck in my head! And I can only imagine their pressure to do some stupid gimmick or rely too much on image in their area of radio friendly rock, but they did not. Even after MTV, they kept it real, just a couple dudes who happened to make super-catchy, fun to listen to music. I met Eddie once - a former guitar tech of mine worked with him for many years - he struck me as down to Earth funny and a great guy. I have heard the same about Ric, though we never met. These two may be more associated with early mid 80s , an era long past, but they were great guys and true artists who will be missed & remembered for many years to come. RIP #eddiemoney & #ricocasek #Thecars
RIP Ric Ocasek. 😢— Jimmy Eat World (@jimmyeatworld) September 16, 2019