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Weezer, Billy Idol, Nada Surf, The Hold Steady & more artists pay tribute Ric Ocasek


Ric Ocasek‘s music and production had a wide reach, touching most of us and influencing a wide variety of pop music over the last 40 years. The sad news of his passing has seen fellow musicians and more pay tribute to him on social media. Read tributes from Weezer (who had Ric Ocasek produce their classic debut Blue Album, and a couple of their later albums), Nada Surf and The Cribs (who also had albums produced by Ric), Billy Corgan, Courtney Love, Billy Idol, Jason Isbell, blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, Eddie Van Halen, Flea, The Hold Steady, Alice Cooper, AC Newman, Tom Morello, Bette Midler, actors Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Donal Logue, directors Edgar Wright, Judd Apatow, and more, below.

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just woke to hear about ric ocasek. i'm so sad and thinking of him very fondly, as i have almost every day for 24 years. he was a father figure to me, always kind and true. making our first album with him was a transformative experience. i will miss him and be forever grateful. i had loved his songs and sound since my older sister started buying cars records in the early 80s. years later, as i saw him walking into the knitting factory, i approached him and gave him a demo tape. i'd been carrying one ever since seeing mitch easter on a subway train. ric was very gracious, and asked me if my phone number was on it. he called me two weeks later and invited me to his house in gramercy park. i was in such a dreamstate i locked my bike to nothing, missing the pole (it was still there later). i sat with paulina at the kitchen table while he made us coffee. she said "he likes your phrasing." it felt like like the first someone outside the band and our friends had seen something in me. he asked about our demo tape and said we could release it as an album but that if we ever wanted to record it again, he would want to produce it and would charge very little money. i said we had a new drummer and we wanted to make it again. he asked if we had a record deal. i said we didn't. he said to keep in touch and call anytime. a few months later we were at electric lady, recording our debut. he lent me books of poetry and let me use his guitars and amps. we always chose the second or third take, he always chose the first and had me sing a couple of scratch vocals on it. when we were done with guitars, i asked him if it was time to sing. he said "you're done, you did it already." i think he sensed the "real thing" might make me nervous and he wasn't going to let me blow it. the record company wanted to visit during the recording and he wouldn't let them. he was so kind and generous to everyone he worked with. one of the best songwriters who ever lived. plane taking off, will write more later…

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Devastated to hear of the passing on this man, Ric Ocasek. It has brightened my spirit to see how many have posted about Ric, praising his originality, flair, and brilliance. I was blessed to have known him, through friendship and work (his solo album Troubilizing was one I produced). It's hard to share the measure of a man in so few words, because, despite his greatness, Ric was open and down to earth in a way that surprised me. And in that allowed our private conversations to flow and float over 100's of topics (I was mostly interested in what he loved): the Cars, of course, his children and marriage to an eastern siren whom the world (he was aware) didn't think he deserved (he did, and she him), his guitars, Andy Warhol the person and not the myth, Boston (the city), new wave, deco art, NYC living, producing Weezer, being an A + R man, why he got out of the rat race of making hit records, Mutt Lange, grunge, and on and on and on. He's opine easy and I'd listen (for a change). Such pleasurable times I didn't fully appreciate until decades later. Lastly, two things: Ric did me a great honor when he recorded a song I'd written just for him, questioning none of it except it's quirky title (I'd gone quirky as a wry tribute). And a small memory I'll share: we were in Ric's basement, where he had a small, ad hoc studio for writing. And I was asking him a 1000th question on The Cars; in this case, the sound of the keyboard solos. He pointed at a relic. 'Well, that's it' he said. 'THE keyboard', said I? It was, and ironically at that moment Greg Hawkes stopped by and he demonstrated all those great sounds! But then I went for broke. I wanted Ric to show me how to play 'Best Friend's Girlfriend'. He picked up a guitar, played it perfectly (he was an ace guitarist) and handed it over. The sound, I noted, was exact. It was the pink Fender pictured above, and I dutifully played the opening riff as he'd showed. So what was the guitar, I asked? Ric pointed at the flamingo in my hands. My jaw dropped. It was THE guitar! Love you Ric! Gonna miss you forever

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