Song Lyric Sunday — “Down Boys”

Even when she’s not feeling great, Helen Vahdati still manages to come up with a theme for Song Lyric Sunday. I hope she’s soon feeling 100%. Thanks for giving us “boys.

In my world, there’s a Cars song for every occasion. Here’s “Down Boys” written by Ric Ocasek; sung by Benjamin Orr for The Cars 1980 Panorama:


Down Boys

you were trying to be cute
and it didn’t work out
you were trying to be charming
and it didn’t come off
you were trying to be clever
a big waste of time
you were trying to get rough
but you’re waiting in line

you can’t make it with the down boys
they don’t hear a word you say
you can’t make it with the down boys
just stay out of their way

you were trying to be sharp
but they couldn’t wait
you were trying to be eternal
but that didn’t rate
you were trying to be smooth
you’re rough on the edges
you were trying to be hysterical
well i still ain’t laughing


you were trying to be in
but they left you out
you were trying to be in
two different worlds
you were trying to be in
oscillation in shame
you were trying to be in
but you’re lost in the game



Another Review: Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars

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 ~ Review’s reviewer was lucky enough to read an advance copy — one of the earliest, in fact. RRR’s detailed review makes clear that reviewer actually read the entire book. Go to the link highlighted above; it’s worth a re-read. (I would reblog it for your convenience, but apparently WP will only let me reblog the original article once and won’t allow me to reblog my own posting even once.)



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 What You Want”

Can you believe it? I almost forgot it’s Song Lyric Sunday! This week’s theme is the flip side of last weeks’s give/giving theme: take/taking.  I’ve got a perfect song for it, too.  The Cars’ “Take What You Want” video from their 1979 Musikladen performance has my favorite rock ‘n’ roll visual: Benjamin Orr’s “rock god” kick. ❤  This performance also has one of Elliot Easton’s best lead guitar solos. And, Ric Ocasek’s always cryptic lyrics include another one of my favorites:  “I live on emotion / And comic relief.”  I could wax rhapsodic about this song but could never match my friend sweetpurplejune (also a fan of the kick).  All I can say is, I hope you enjoy it at least half as much as I do!


“Take What You Want”
Take what you want
And leave what you don’t
Take what you want
And leave what you don’t
I’m painting a face
The color is dripping
Magnesium moments
In black fairy tales
I live on emotion
And comic relief
I put this one on you
Run, run, run like a thief
Am I all alone?
Am I all alone?
Salamander sunrise
Comes at 4:44
Lingerie madness
Don’t you kick down the door
Sweet Sarah’s so wild
Don’t you know why I’m losing your head
Down the dark alley
Where rumours are spread
The room is so dark
I’m catching on fire
I’m in love with your face
It’s so confused by desire
Am I all alone? Am I all alone?
I’m winding it up
It’s running back down
I’m winding it up
t’s running back down
So take what you want
And leave what you don’t
Take it
Take it
Take it
Songwriters: Ric Ocasek
Take What You Want lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group







Re-blog: Author Interview: Joe Milliken of “Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars”

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 you a peek at Mr. Milliken and his enigmatic subject, Benjamin Orr. (“Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars” is available for pre-order at

via Author Interview: Joe Milliken of “Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars”