American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and painter, Ric Ocasek, is no stranger to the spotlight. As the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for the rock band the Cars, the Baltimore-born singer stood as one of the best Rock and Roll till this day, so much so that he was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Cars. Join us today as we tell you everything and anything you must know about the Rock and Roll legend, himself.
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A star is born
Born on March 23, 1944, in Baltimore, Maryland, Richard Theodore Otcasek more famously known as Ric Ocasek was the son of the father who worked as a systems analyst with NASA at the Lewis Research Center and a mother who worked at home. He graduated from Maple Heights High School in 1963. Ocasek briefly attended Antioch College and Bowling Green State University but dropped out to pursue a career in music. Though it was looked down upon by his highly accomplished academic parents, little did anyone know how big of a mark he would leave in the music industry.
The beginning of something unbelievable
Ocasek met future Cars bassist Benjamin Orr in Cleveland in 1965 after Ocasek saw Orr performing with his band the Grasshoppers on the Big 5 Show, a local musical variety program. He reconnected with Orr a few years later in Columbus, Ohio, and the two began booking bands together. They formed a band called ID Nirvana in 1968 and performed in and around Ohio State University.
Big break with Cars
A founding member of the Cars, Ocasek recorded numerous hit songs from 1978 to 1988. He played rhythm guitar and sang lead vocals for a majority of songs while bassist Benjamin Orr was lead vocalist on the remaining tracks. After became the principal songwriter of the band, he wrote nearly all of the Cars’ material, sharing credit on only a few songs with bandmate Greg Hawkes as co-writer. This is when he truly hit his peaks of fame.