• Dr. Timothy Smith

Throwback Thursday: "My Best Friend's Girl" by The Cars

Rick Otcasek

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

(Pictured Above: The Cars' Rick Ocasek)

Some music works like a real time machine. A certain song or even an entire album can transport one instantly to another time, place, and even another state of mind. The Cars self-titled first album The Cars, and especially songs such as “My Best Friend’s Girl,” immediately takes me back to racing around the streets of Seattle in my friend Chaz’s white Mustang with a red interior and a blisteringly loud stereo. With the Cars blaring at full volume from his cassette deck, we covered the city from freezing cold, illicit keg parties in the drizzly parks around town to the beach on hot summer afternoons. His car was freedom and The Cars were freedom.

Recently rock and roll and more specifically the New Wave movement lost one of its great founders and leaders—Rick Ocasek. Rick Ocasek born Richard Theodore Otcasek in Baltimore, Maryland in 1944, unexpectedly passed away on September 15, 2019.(imdb.com) He was seventy-five. Unlike many examples in rock music, success came later for Ocasek. After dropping out of college in the 1960s and playing in various bands in the Midwest, Ocasek moved in the early 1970s to Boston where he continuing to form bands and write music. Eventually, the Cars came together in 1976, and the release of their first album followed in 1978. Ocasek was thirty-four. The album, The Cars, had three charting singles including “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and it led the way to a number of hit albums and singles through the 1980s.