The Cars on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction: 'It's Slightly Surreal'

Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson on Brandon Flowers' speech, how it felt to reunite and whether they'll play again

After their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the members of the Cars reflect on their big night. Credit: David Richard/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Following a heartfelt induction speech from Brandon Flowers, the Cars reunited for the first time in seven years at Saturday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in Cleveland. Rolling Stone caught up with members Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson backstage to get their thoughts on the big night, and whether they might head out on the road again.

How does it feel now that you’re in the Hall of Fame?
Ocasek:
It's pretty cool. I don’t know how I feel – it just feels like it's done.

Is it important?
Ocasek: Trophies aren’t too important for me. But I’ll tell you what – it's better to be in than out.

What's been the most meaningful part of the night so far?
Ocasek: That's a good question. Well, I had a great time playing with them. I liked hearing everybody's speeches because we didn’t know what each other were going to say – that was pretty nice, you know. That's all I have to say about that.

Easton: For me, the biggest thrill was right after Brandon Flowers was finished giving a speech and he said "the Cars" and everybody was cheering and we got up there – for me that was the coolest moment.

Robinson: Same, really. In 2011 we did a bunch of shows, small shows, so we haven’t heard heard a really loud audience like that in a really long time.

Hawkes: Oh, it's great. and slightly surreal and it's very sort of gratifying that someone like Brandon did introduce the band, because it's gratifying that that generation of bands are influenced by the Cars.

Ocasek: Yeah.

Hawkes: It's a thrill.

What was it like playing at rehearsal for the first time in years?
Ocasek: It was pretty great. The first day was a little shaky, but it got smoothed out pretty quickly. It’s like riding a bike, I guess.

Easton: You know when you have an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time and you take up when you see them like no time has passed and you get right into the old rhythm? It's like that. [Band nods]

Did it make you think about maybe about going out on the road?
[Entire band laughs]

Ocasek: Everyone is looking at me because I’m kind of the one that never wants to go. I’m positive that Elliot and Greg would probably want to. I really don’t know. I’m just ...

What have you been up to musically?
Ocasek: Actually I wasn’t up to much. I was doing a bunch of other art stuff. I wasn’t doing any music for a while. But I tell you, once I started to rehearse for this, I thought that maybe I should write some more songs.