Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Compare and Contrast: Portrait of the Artist as The Luckiest SOB on the Planet

From 1992, please enjoy Ric Ocasek (pictured here with his ridiculously gorgeous internationally famous model wife Paulina, who he clearly does not deserve)...

...and an absolutely wonderful unplugged solo acoustic version of his Cars hit "Just What I Needed."

But first his spoken introduction.

Okay -- and NOW the song.

And from 1972, here's Ocasek (with future Cars-mate Ben Orr and some other guy with really awful hair)...

...doing business as Milkwood (an acoustic guitars and harmony outfit so wimpy they make America sound like Rammstein) with With You With Me, the lead track from their absolutely awful album How's the Weather.

Boy, after hearing that last, I really wish I could do Dan Akroyd's Leonard Pinth-Garnell voice.


FD13NYC said...

I agree about the lame Milkwood. Just goes to show you have to start somewhere. Their evolving into The Cars 6-7 years later was quite a musical feat. One of my fave bands, who had 7-8 really good songs. Their comeback CD of late was kind of ok, but without the better singer Ben Orr, it didn't have the original Cars vocal sound, obviously. Ocasek had to sing all the songs.

As for the acoustic version of Just What I Needed, it just gets lost in the soup, also lame and not the same. His voice sounds like a clean Bob Dylan. Seeing as though Ben Orr sang the terrific original.

Ric Ocasek, to me, always seemed to be a pompous ass anyway. Wanting to write all the songs (which he did well) and take full control. Being a lucky bastard, marrying a model. Which probably had to do with the gobs of money he made from The Cars rewards. Who would marry an Ichabod Crane unattractive beanstalk like that anyway.

steve simels said...


I thought he sounded surprisingly like Dylan on "Just What I Needed" as well. Great minds, etc.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I listened to the intro and less than 30 seconds of "Just What I Needed". The Cars were a guilty pleasure, and I don't think Milkwood's so bad. Almost sounds like a Doug Yule outtake from The Velvet Undergound's "Loaded".
Anyway it's better than Fleet Foxes or Grizzly Bear.

steve simels said...

Spinal meningitis is better than Fleet Foxes.

Anonymous said...

A friend pointed out that few "rock stars" would portray themselves as a pesky insect as Ocasek did in an old Cars video.

So the man knew his limitations.

But still scored the super-model.

Milkwood looks like one of the scores of LP's posted on the redtelephone66 site. What a horrid time in music history: post-Beatles, Band clones, pre-punk.

steve simels said...

Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon was once asked why rock stars dated models.

He replied: "Because they can."

Peter said...

Hey, Steve: when you say "awful", do you mean that it fills you with awe?

steve simels said...



Noam Sane said...

That's a wig, you know.

swboy said...

This Milkwood/Cars um..."juxtaposition" might be a good Listomania theme.
Tom & Jerry/Simon & Garfunkel
David Jones/David Bowie
but I'm sure there are better,
more unbelievable combinations...