Patti Smith Pays Tribute to Ric Ocasek

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Smith dedicated a performance of “Tarkovsy (The Second Stop Is Jupiter)” from her 2012 album Banga to Cohen during her Tuesday night concert at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in suburban Detroit.

As she did the previous night, Smith also paid tribute to Ocasek, who died on Sunday at the age of 75. But she took task with an appreciation of the Cars leader in Britain’s Guardian, which she noted “plopped me in it,” claiming that Smith “didn’t make any headway until I got Bruce Springsteen to write me a hit.”

Explaining that it was Springsteen who offered her “Because the Night,” Smith made clear that, “I didn’t get nobody to do nothing for me” before playing the song.

The New York Police Department received a call around 4 p.m. “for an unconscious male” at a townhouse on East 19th Street, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information told CNN.
Ocasek, whose identity was confirmed by police, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Musicians have begun paying tribute to Ocasek on Twitter, with the New Pornographers’ AC Newman saying: “I will never stop imitating the first Cars album. His influence will always stay with me.”

Ric Ocasek’s estranged supermodel wife discovered he had died while bringing him coffee on Sunday — revealing in a statement that The Cars frontman was recovering from recent surgery.

“Ric was at home recuperating well after surgery,” Paulina Porizkova wrote in a statement published on Instagram Monday — calling the rock legend’s death “untimely and unexpected.”

“Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together.

“I found him still asleep when bringing him his Sunday morning coffee. I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on.”

In addition to The Cars, Ocasek enjoyed a career as a solo artist and became an in demand producer in his post-Cars years. He worked with Bad Brains, Suicide, D Generation, No Doubt, Motion City Soundtrack and oversaw Weezer’s self-titled “blue” debut album as well as their 2001 self-titled “green” album and 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright in the End.

Ocasek wed supermodel Paulina Porizkova in 1989. Porizkova had appeared in the band’s acclaimed “Drive” video. The couple had separated in May 2018, but she was present with Ocasek at the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

 

Ocasek married three times. He met his third wife, the supermodel Paulina Porizkova, in 1984 on the set of the music video for Drive. They were married for 28 years, though Porizkova announced on Instagram last year that the couple had separated, saying that though they were no longer together, “the love we have for one another is so wide and deep it’s practically tangible. That sort of love can never disappear.”

The Cars, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, were one of the most significant and influential bands of the late ’70s-early ’80s era. With a sound that melded pop, new wave and classic rock, the Cars had 13 top-40 singles, including “Just What I Needed,” “Best Friend’s Girl,” “Let’s Go,” “Shake It Up,” “You Might Think” and the ballad “Drive.” Their 1978 self-titled first album is among the all-time best debuts of the rock era, and was the first experience of anything resembling “new wave” for a huge percentage of America’s youth at the time. The group split in 1988 but reunited decades later for an album in 2011 and an appearance at their Rock Hall induction last year.

 

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