Pop,  Rock

The New Cars


Here’s news. The Cars are reuniting! Well, sort of. The New Cars, as they’re called, is without Ric Ocasek, drummer David Robinson, and bassist Benjamin Orr, who, sadly, died of cancer in 2000. Only two original members return: keyboardist Greg Hawkes and fellow lefty guitarist Elliot Easton. But an interesting (and surprising) replacement for Ocasek… Todd Rundgren. Former Tubes drummer Prairie Prince on drums and bassist Kasim Sulton round out the group.

The New Cars debuted on Jay Leno tonight, performing “Let the Good Times Roll”. Pretty spirited performance, Rundgren fits in well. And Greg Hawke, the uber geek keyboard player, has white hair!! I’m getting old.

So here it is, along with one of my favorite Cars album segueways…

The New Cars: Let the Good Times Roll (mp3) – from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 3/14/06

The Cars: Shoo be Doo / Candy-O (mp3) – from ‘Candy-O‘, buy it on Amazon.

P.S. I tried finding the official site of the New Cars, but didn’t feel like sifting through 50 Google pages of auto sites. See the comments for links to their web sites.


  • dave from chicago

    Y’know, one of the (many) tough things about getting older is seeing your favorite bands lurch back to life in these twisted, mutated forms. I gotta admit, The New Cars sound pretty damn good live. Then again, there’s probably about 100 cover bands out there made up of professional (or semiprofessional) musicians that could do the same thing.

    As you can see, my thoughts on this are quite conflicted. On the one hand, the profit motive is too blatant to ignore. And the absence of Ric Ocasek is glaring to say the least.

    On the other hand, if I was Elliot Easton (or, uh, the other guy), and I’d spent a significant part of my life in a band writing and playing these songs, maybe I’d want to get back out there and do it again. And if tall, corpse-like guy who’s married to that model chick doesn’t want to jump on board, fuck him.

    Then yet again, the Doors of the 21st Century (who The New Cars will inevitably be compared to) are/were a — wait for it — hideous car crash. And The New Cars could find themselves hydroplaning into the same sad fate.

    Does anyone know whether any lawsuits have been filed yet?

  • Pete

    dave from chicago – regarding a lawsuit, I read that this project has Ocasek’s blessing, and that he was apparently the one who recommended Rundgren. I wouldn’t think there would be litigation, especially given the new (albeit similar) band name…

  • Pete

    Mark – I thought this might be of interest to you. 🙂

    And more on Rundgren / Ocasek….
    “Ocasek and Robinson declined to participate in the reunion, but “they’ve been actually pretty supportive,” Easton said at a news conference where the band played some of its big hits.

    A source close to the band said Ocasek, not the most charismatic frontman, recommended the more-gregarious Rundgren as his stand-in. 

    Rundgren, 57, a maverick pop songwriter famed for such tunes as “I Saw the Light” and “Can We Still Be Friends,” said he was “intrigued” by the reunion idea, and played with the band. “And nothing went horribly during the course of that, so here we are,” said Rundgren.”

    From this article in Yahoo News.  

  • daver from chicago

    Thanks for the info, Pete. Maybe I’m being too harsh. It sounds like everybody involved (including those, uh, not involved) have no problem with some former Cars just going out there and playing the songs live again and, one hopes, having some fun with it. They certainly sound exuberant in that Leno clip.

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