Ric Ocasek, Leader Singer of The Cars, Dead at 75. NYPD confirmed he was found unresponsive at his Manhattan residence and pronounced dead at the scene. . The cause of death has not been determined. . Ocasek co-founded The Cars in 1976. The new wave group shaped the sound of the 80s with songs like "My Best Friend’s Girl," "Good Times Roll," and "Just What I Needed.". The Cars' song, "You Might Think," won the first-ever MTV Video Music Award for video of the year in 1984. . The band's first five

Ric Ocasek - remembering his 2018 visit to Atlanta to showcase his art

Late last year, Ric Ocasek was readying a trip to Atlanta to showcase his art at Wentworth Gallery in Phipps Plaza.

The reticent rock star, who achieved massive fame with The Cars and was finally inducted into to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band in 2018, agreed to talk to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The River’s Kaedy Kiely because he genuinely wanted to discuss his art.

Our conversation with him was lengthier than expected, and more importantly, effortless, as Ocasek talked about the evolution of his art, the influence of Andy Warhol (who famously directed The Cars’ “Hello Again” video) and why he considered himself an “anti-social extrovert” (which he said jokingly).

A few days later, when Ocasek visited the gallery, which had his vibrant art displayed, the tall, lean musician/producer graciously met with fans who filled the place to both observe his artwork and shake his hand. Ocasek also met with us in a private room for several minutes, a soft-spoken, sweet soul who, again, happily explained the inspiration behind some of his paintings.

His sudden death on Sept. 15 is a shock to fans (although he was widely reported to be 69 at the time of our interview with a birthday in March, his birthdate is in question and many outlets have reported him to be 75).

Here is an official obituary about the accomplishments of Ocasek and some social media tributes from fans. But if you’d like to read some of the excerpts from our interview, click here, or listen below to our 2 Girls Talking podcast, which included our chat with Ocasek on Nov. 30.


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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.