Why were they called THE CARS?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by ColtFellow, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. ColtFellow

    ColtFellow Active Member

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    Ric O looks.jpg The biggest mystery to me to this day is why they, a popular late-1970's/1980's Boston-based American synth/pop/rock/post-punk band of five New Wave men, were even called THE CARS?

    Ric Ocasek, born 1944 ( a pre-Boomer or Silent), died last year at 75, founder, frontman, chief lead vocals, chief songwriter, disinherited two of his sons and one of his ex-wives, the mother of those two sons, estate worth about 5.5 million
    Benjamin Orr, born 1947, died in 2000 at 53, co-founder, co-frontman, co-lead vocals, co-songwriter, bass player
    Greg Hawkes, born 1952, still active, keyboards, special electronic effects
    Elliot Easton, born 1953, still active, lead guitar, the "baby" of The Cars
    David Robinson, born 1949, still active, drums


    It's such a plain and simple bland-sounding name but their unique music (blending traditional past rock styles with futuristic electronic styles and quirky awkward lyrics) wasn't so simple, plain and bland. Their short, bare-bones namesake somewhat contradicts their complex musical style. It's a catchy name still.

    Where is the musical or band image connection to automobiles besides some of the album art?

    Have you seen an early 1970's Milkwood poster of Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr posing together with some plump-face white afro dude in the background?

    Ric looks so much better with the jet-black hair down over his flaring monkey ears and the mustache. Much more mature even. He should have kept that look through The Cars years. He kinda looks like Queen's Freddie Mercury in 1973.

    Maybe the "Cars" connection is that earlier 1973 "Mercury" look? Bad pun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  2. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    David Robinson is credited with coming up with the name as association to fashion according to Wikipedia. I grew up around rock musicians and remember them trying to think of a name for the band. Between joints, beers, and various other stimulants to the grey matter one I can remember was The Pink Flamingos. Couldn't tell you how or why but they were called that, it just evolved. They were just another mid 70s band that played the Memphis area. Maybe that's how most bands are named including The Cars.
     

  3. ColtFellow

    ColtFellow Active Member

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    It's odd a gun rights aficionado like me would have been a fan of 1980's New Wave, but what the devil, I graduated from the HS class of 1982 in SF Bay Area, NorCal. I came of the drinking age in 1985. Wang Chung/Dance Hall Days. Rubik's Cubes, I want my MTV. Totally Tubular, Groaty to the Max, ET Phone Home. I'll take The Police, Madonna, Men at Work, Men Without Hats, David Bowie, Peter Cetera/Chicago, Wham!/George Michael, Prince, Peter Gabriel, Steve Winwood, Steve Perry/Journey, Foreigner, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd/Momentary Lapse of Reason, Bon Jovi, The Cars, Huey Lewis and the News, John Cougar Mellancamp, Air Supply, Frank Zappa/Valley Girls, Pet Shop Boys, Phil Collins/Genesis, Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears, Thompson Twins, The Human League, Billy Joel, Kenny Loggins, Hall & Oates, John Fogherty, The Eurythmics, U2, Van Halen, Boston, Starship, ABC, The Pointer Sisters, The Clash, Dolly Parton, Juice Newton, Eddy Murphy, A-ha, A Flock of Seagulls, Styx, Simple Minds, Motely Crue, Dokken, AC/DC/Big Balls, The Pretenders and Level 42, REO Speedwagon, The J. Geils Band, Sray Cats, Greg Kihn Band over Justin Beeber any day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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  4. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Well-Known Member

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    You can also add The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, anything Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, SkyHooks, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, Party Boys, Status Quo, Godley and Cream to name a few more.
     
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  5. ColtFellow

    ColtFellow Active Member

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    No Cream in the 1980's but Eric Clapton, with his rock n roll heart, was getting off in '57 Chevys and screamin' gee-tars with some girl in 1983. I first heard that on the Delco AM radio of my brand-new 1983 Camaro that year! My first new car came in the 1980s and that's why they are so near and dear to me to this day.
     
  6. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess I'm the old guy, but let's not forget this group which had some success in the 60s.

     
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  7. boatme98

    boatme98 Well-Known Member

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    Because Pink Floyd was already taken.
     
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  8. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    I'm 78 and I've come to appreciate a lot of the rock groups being closer to blues than anything else. My early music experience came from TV programs, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers, then came the early R&R, some were good and some I hated, yeah Elvis stole all the girl's hearts and made it hard to get a girlfriend. I started liking bands like the Ventures and others like them that were mostly no vocals. While I was in the Air Force at McCord AFB I had an Army guy that came into the body shop where I hung out after Air Force duty, he wanted to install a 1959 Mercury Marauder (430 Lincoln engine) into a 1949 Ford coup, I did that for him and later he and his girlfriend bought the Red Carpet teenage nightclub in south Tacoma where I did small work for them, thing is he had a lot of really good bands play there, including Paul Revere and the Raiders, Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts, Merrilee sang Angel in the Morning better than Juice Newton, they both can be heard on YouTube. There were many other bands that played there that were very good, just too long ago to remember them all, I did run across info on the internet that gave a pretty good story of The Red Carpet and some of the bands that came there. With my conservative background, it even seems strange to me that I even like some of the AC-DC songs, Dire Straights and a number of others like Robert Palmer and Peter Gabriel. Heart and Quarterflash have some good songs as well, the gal that sings and plays Saxophone for Quarterflash on Harden My Heart is great, I love all that older R&R/Blues stuff.
     
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  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Lifetime Supporter

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    I like just about anything from bagpipes to bluegrass to rock and roll. Wait- couple of exceptions- bubble gum where the "performers" are not performing, MOST K-pop, and the ones where the lead singer is hoarse from screaming in German. Hanging out with Grandkids, get to hear a fair bit of music I would not have chosen, but rather like. Kimya Dawson, Drop Kick Murphys, Maddie & Tae, Corey Taylor.

    But it works both ways. They have exposure to Bob Wills, Steppenwulf, Jr. Walker and the Allstars, and the Boxtops.

     
  10. ColtFellow

    ColtFellow Active Member

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    The Monkees? No, wait, Sgt. Pepper?

    My mother played Beatles records when I was five. Simon & Garfunkel was also heavily played as was Bob Dylan, Gerry Rafferty, Cream, Otis Redding, Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell, Fats Domino and The Carpenters. Mom and dad graduated from HS the year rock n roll was born, 1953, Bill Haley and His Comets, Rock Around The Clock.

    Besides '80's New Wave, I have a huge digital song collection from the '70's and the '60's but not a whole lot from the '50's and the 90's on up.

    Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Linda Ronstadt, Donna Summer, Elton John, Olivia Newton John, The Carpenters, Jim Croce, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller Band, The Eagles, Wings, Carly Simon, Helen Reddy, Queen, The Bee Gees, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steely Dan, Van Halen, Electric Light Orchestra, Eric Clapton, America, John Denver, Derek and the Dominoes, Boz Scaggs, Frankie Valli/Four Seasons, KC and the Sunshine Band, Hall & Oates, Chicago (Terry Kath era) and Peter Frampton are all in my '70's collection. I cut my baby teeth on that kind of stuff.

    I was born in the 1960's. My '60's music includes The Beatles, The Love N Spoonful, Peter Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Little Rascals, The Monkees, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Steppenwolf, Blood Sweat and Tears, Roy Orbison, The Ventures, Cream, Spencer Davis Group, The Association and Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John. I have no Yardbirds stuff in spite of being an Eric Clapton fan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  11. microadventure

    microadventure Well-Known Member

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    many years back I read about a guy who overheard a teen aged girl telling her companions "did you know Paul McCartney was in another band before Wings?"
     
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  12. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Read up the song Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner from 1951.
     
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  13. Nod

    Nod Well-Known Member

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    I was going to say because "THE DOORS" was already taken.
     
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  14. ColtFellow

    ColtFellow Active Member

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    Paul did a duet with Michael Jackson in 1982 about arguing over a girl. I suppose the girl argued over was white. Jackson surely was pale enough, or was his skin bleached later on?, can't remember. I was 18 then. Heard it on FM radio when it came out. Sir Macca also did Ebony and Ivory with Stevie Wonder that same year. My HS graduation year, 'class of '82.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  15. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Lifetime Supporter

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  16. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Often credited as the first rock and roll record. Recorded March 3, 1951 at Sun Studios, Memphis.

     
  17. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    I remember Ike and Tina Turner being on TV, I don't think color had come to TV yet.
















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