Billy Corgan Shares Tribute to the Cars’ Ric Ocasek – Rolling Stone
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Billy Corgan Pays Tribute to Ric Ocasek: ‘Gonna Miss You Forever’

Smashing Pumpkins frontman helped produce late Cars frontman’s 1997 solo LP Troublizing

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan pays tribute to the Cars' Ric Ocasek, who died Sunday at the age of 75.

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Billy Corgan paid tribute to Ric Ocasek, the former leader of the Cars and esteemed producer-for-hire who died Sunday in his New York City apartment at the age of 75. Corgan helped produce the New Wave icon’s 1997 solo effort Troublizing, and wrote the album’s final track, “Asia Minor.”

“Devastated to hear of the passing on this man, Ric Ocasek,” Corgan wrote on Instagram. “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).”

Ocasek first met the Smashing Pumpkins frontman at New York’s Roseland Ballroom in 1996. “I went backstage to say hi, and he comes to New York frequently, so he called me, and we’d go out,” Ocasek told Rolling Stone. “Then it was just: ‘Do some songs with me, if you would.’ I love his music. I think he’s just such a musical genius, and I love his perspective on arrangements.”

In his tribute, Corgan described his lengthy conversations with Ocasek and said of the musician, “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.”

Corgan also recalled a special moment that took place in Ocasek’s basement studio. “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!”

Corgan continued: “But then I went for broke. I wanted Ric to show me how to play [‘My Best Friend’s Girl’]. 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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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

A post shared by WilliamPatrickCorgan (@williampcorgan) on

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