.

The Cars Reform, With Rundgren

Seminal Eighties pop outfit to tour minus Ocasek, plus Blondie

March 14, 2006 5:20 PM ET

The Cars have returned -- well, the New Cars, now fronted by Todd Rundgren. Gathered with founding members Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes to make the announcement at Los Angeles' House of Blues on Tuesday, Rundgren may have sounded deeper than enigmatic Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, but he had the look down, in glued-on dark shades and a sharply cut sports jacket.

The band -- with a lineup rounded out by Tubes drummer Prairie Prince and bassist Kasim Fulton -- revealed that it will release a compilation of covers of the Cars' greatest hits in May. The newly configured band will also hit the road with recently inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Blondie, for the Road Rage Tour, set to kick off May 12th in Mississippi.

Formed in Boston in 1976 the Cars' original lineup had Ocasek on vocals, Elliot on lead guitar, Hawkes on synthesizer, Benjamin Orr on bass (he died in 2000) and David Robinson on drums. The New Wave act released seven albums before calling it quits in 1988.

The New Cars then launched into a mini-set of Cars pop classics, including "Just What I Needed" and "Candy-O," as well as the first single from The New Cars: It's Alive (due May 9th), called "Not Tonight." The number waxed even more nostalgic, with Rundgren's vocals recalling a darker version of Ocasek's sound.

"The first person I spoke to was Elliot," Rundgren explained. "It's evolved more or less naturally at least in terms of the internal dynamics of the band. We are familiar with each other's work from years of listening to each other and playing on stage with each other."

Easton and Hawkes insisted that Ocasek harbors no ill will towards the band. "Elliot and I did talk openly to Ric initially and [he and David] both felt that they did not care to participate," Hawkes says. "Ric has a career as a producer and does his solo records and I think he's quite happy doing that. And probably touring is one of his least favorite things."

Adds Easton, "They've been actually pretty supportive."

Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry, beamed in via satellite, announced that this would be the last Blondie tour. But that's not cause for worry, as Harry slipped that the band may record again.

"As far as being a bigger band than the original group, I don't think that's really utmost in our minds. The whole point of it is this is a new band with a new lineup with new influences brought into the music," said Easton. Then, bringing to mind the Doors' recent outing, added, "I'd like to think this is our version of it in the 21st century."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com