Apparently it is self disclosure weekend at Balloon Juice, and I have another secret I feel the need to share. Yes, I love the dead and feat, yes I am a child of the Rolling Stones and Zeppelin, I adore the Talking heads, and the first albums I bought were Yes and the Who, but there is another band I have secretly loved my whole life. These guys:
Obvious references to Fast Times and Phoebe Cates will be ignored, but I have just always loved these guys. They do not make my list of most complete albums, but The Cars (1978) and Candy-O (1979) are rock and roll achievements in my opinion. And let’s not even talk about Heartbeat City, where we start to veer into the Van Halen era of Dave TV with David Lee Roth when VH was an actual rock and roll band singing about Mean Streets and not just a bunch of wimpy fucking Hagar sell outs. For some reason, I’ve always felt like I should keep my love of the Cars a secret, sharing it only with JSF.
It’s so easy…
Yes. YES. I have always been a cars fan. It was definitely not cool during the mid-80s in high school when all my friends were metal heads blaring White Snake and Great White and Poison and shit like that. I kept it a secret too.
Drive is their best song, IMHO.
Just Some Fuckhead
well who knew that you were the Dangerous Type? That 77-79 period had some incredible albums that didn’t sound like anything else at the time (imho) The Cars first and 2nd albums, Blondie’s Parallel Lines, EC’s My Aim is True and This Year’s Model were the gateway to self realization as these acts and the songs they sang made me feel like there were people out there who felt as detached and yet able to find the words to express it that gave me hope and something to dance to.
Might as well post the link to show my lameness in its full living color.
I like their music, also. Butt…
. Most of the songs sound the same, and the whatever seems to swing back and forth, hence yo-yo!
My dls ? Carpenters and Pink Floyd. Yeah, I know. No need to rub it in.
Villago Delenda Est
I guess you’re just what I needed.
David Robinson, the Cars’ drummer, was also the drummer for the Modern Lovers.
OT: but I just bought an HP dv7 Pavillion today. The thing is fast and I love the keyboard but, the two finger scrolling doesn’t work for shit. Anyone have any experience with trying to get that to work right?
Newt Gingrich held a press conference to tell the world he’s not quitting yet. And Gingrich wants a Lincoln-Douglas debate with Romney:
Which tells us that Fat Dog never looks in the mirror when he’s talking to himself.
@Politically Lost: Drive? Seriously? Drive? Good god.
Villago Delenda Est
Newt missed his calling down at the multiplex, working in the booth.
Hey, I gots me a very corny streak. What can I say.
I also meditate to Slayer’s Angle of Death occasionally.
I freaked my wife out to no end the other day when I sang all the words to this song.
45 Grave, Phantoms.
I have no idea what this means. The Cars’ first two albums were awesome. The rest, meh. Was I a hipster music snob in my time, yes, yes, I was. I am willing to own it.
Villago Delenda Est
My DLS: The Raspberries.
The trackpad on this laptop is supposed to have two finger scrolling like on a Mac. It works less than sporadically. I actually went to HP Tech support today to complain about it all they said was, “Did you drop it?” I shouted, “I just took it out of the fucking box, man.”
So, I took it back to Costco where I got it and they gave me another one. This one does the same thing.
Just Some Fuckhead
John, you forgot to include the link. :)
John, the night after your Dad’s heart attack, you post about the Cars. Kimmy, the blonde featured in a number of cars videos was my nieghbor in Boston. The night my Dad died of a heart attack, Kimmy and I had dinner and about the time he died I was sitting on her sofa rubbing her feet.
I don’t know why anyone who liked Talking Heads would be somehow embarrassed to like The Cars, but then I’m coming from a different universe where Yes didn’t start slowly losing the plot after Going For The One. (TRIVIA: Greg Hawkes once co-wrote a tune for the prog-rock band Happy The Man, called “Service With A Smile”.)
@Politically Lost: Try posting that problem here. You’ll get a good answer.
@Villago Delenda Est: My God! Those guys RULE! IMHO one of the top 3 power pop bands of the 70’s, crunchy guitars, beautiful lyrics, teenage angst, voices in harmony… thankfully they weren’t as mismanaged as Badfinger but Capitol didn’t do ’em any favors either.
Thanks. I’ll give it a try.
The Cars were awesome, one of my favorite bands of the late 70s – early 80s.
They never seemed to attract rabid fans like other bands of the time like Van Halen or The Police, but they were just all-around strong, catchy guitar-synth-pop.
Cole, between the music posts, pet histories, and pot-smoking reminiscences, I’m trying to figure out how you ever became a right-winger in the first place. All the stuff you’ve told us, it’s like you’ve been a liberal Democrat all your life and the entity who went into those voting booths and pulled the lever for the GOP was a pod person.*
*FSM Almighty, and how long before “going into the booth and pulling the lever” is as incomprehensible to young people as “carriage return” and “dial phone”??
how far apart are you holding your fingers? Mine is set to be a little less sensitive, so I don’t accidentally tap it. Anyway, if my fingers are close together, it won’t necessarily pick it up as 2 finger scrolling. If I have a finger-width in between, I’ve never had a problem.
@Politically Lost: They all do it. Most other brands aren’t much better. I talked to an HP engineer about it a few months ago – about the gesture situation in general on the PCs and he said they’re working on it, but the trackpads are components bought from A or B or C, and those guys supply the drivers for everyone, which are all shit, and there’s compatibility issues with some of the low-level stuff that the OEMs do that sometimes prevents them from being able to work well, and so it’s all kind of a fuckup.
Apple’s work so well because they pretty much invented the trackpad and have been writing the drivers for them for over a decade now and put a lot of effort into it (trackpad is consider a key interface and gets priority, other things in the computer don’t get that kind of focus). He said there’s lots of pretty clever code in the drivers to detect when you are typing and accidentally hit the trackpad with your thumbs and to detect other mis-hits, that kind of stuff, that Apple has really, really dialed in because they’re also issues with the iPhone and iPad, stuff that HP and the other PC guys have no real experience with.
Anyway, from the sounds of it, what you’re experiencing is common. I know it’s also a problem with Asus and a number of other laptop manufacturers – presumably because they’re all sourcing their components and drivers from the same places.
The Cars??? You are embarrassed about the Cars? Now if it was Barry Manilow or Duran Duran I would be embarrassed but the Cars? Whatever.
Okay, well, I like Abba. Now, that is embarrassing.
@CaseyL: It’s a quaint anachronism up here for sure. I remember the conversion to all vote by mail. I was still in college and had to ask for an absentee ballot because I didn’t want to register at Wazzu (Whitman County had an income tax. Go figure.) and barely noticed the difference. Except I still had to register absentee. Never could figure that out.
Otter bebehs. Up here. Also. Too. :)
Growing up I was big time into serious late 80’s death metal but would fall asleep w/ George Michael…ahhh, got that off my chest….
Love the Cars. Blondie. Scared my college roomie with the first Talking Heads album.
Still listening to all of it.
@CaseyL: I’m kind of crazy and independent and stupid. All at the same time.
@Kristine: How does Talking Heads 77 scare someone? “We are vain and we are blind.
I hate people when they’re not polite.”
Love for the Cars should never be kept to oneself.
Mind you, I also feel the Hooters were greatly underrated.
My fave band of the 1980s was Alan Parsons Project, followed by Foreigner, Billy Joel, Spandau Ballet and Journey (whose records I picked up as half-speed masters (MoFi/CBS Mastersound) back in the late 70s early 80s before the rise of the CD). In a fit of pique, I also liked Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Renaissance (go figure.) I was also fortunate enough to have 3rd row seats at Pine Knob in 1989 to see the re-united Jefferson Airplane, who I also listened to in both the Airplane and Starship models. And before he went wacko, Jacko’s “She’s out of my life” deserves an honorable mention – Quincy didn’t dare edit out the last 15 seconds when His Gloveness actually had an emotional moment during the recording.
@Nicole: I feel the same way about The Spongetones, The Romantics and The Fleshtones.
@piratedan: @Cap’n Magic: Oh, dear.
@piratedan: The Romantics are okay.
@Omnes Omnibus: well hey, at least I didn’t bring up Rockpile or Shoes or The Knack… although I think I may still have an old ELO belt buckle around here somewhere
@piratedan: Rockpile is Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe. The Knack are a decent band; “Good Girls Don’t” is worth an an album contract.
@Omnes Omnibus: It was just that song title. The woman was rather literal, and found me too quiet. I think she wondered about me at times. She was a subtle-as-a-brick/extreme extrovert/ Jersey Girl/Springsteen fan given to busting out into Springsong at a moment’s notice. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
First of all, best wishes for your dad, John. Hope he has a speedy recovery.
Regarding the Cars, I always liked them, too.
Back in the day, I saw them during the Shake It Up tour at the Cow Palace (Nick Lowe opened). After the show, my friends and I spotted a limo leaving the venue and suspected it might have band members in it, so I chased it at high speeds on the freeway and through downtown SF to its destination: the Grand Hyatt at Union Square. Turned out Benjamin Orr was the passenger, and as he got out and approached the hotel entrance, my friend, that had a big crush on him, leapt from my car, dashed after him and almost spun him through the revolving door entrance.
Despite the chase and rough greeting, he was very nice to her and gave his autograph.
Then we headed towards the Clown Alley (burger joint on Lombard Street) and saw another impressive limosine. Well, it might have been Ric Ocasek, after all, so off we went. This chase led us across the GG into the wilderness somewhere in Marin. At some point they realized they were being followed, stopped, and a nasty looking MF’er got out and came towards my car. Shook us up, so we made a quick turnaround back to the City and late night burgers and shakes.
Concert, btw, was great.
@Omnes Omnibus: well don’t forget Terry Williams and Billy Bremner and yes, I do believe that Lowe’s Labour of Lust and Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary are must have albums for any music fan of the era
@piratedan: I loved The Shoes. “Tomorrow Night” is a great song. Then they produced a Christmas album that contained “Merry Christmas Will Do” by Material Issue, which should also earn them points.
@Kristine: Aha. Makes sense. In a way. FWIW I was the probably the first person to play Nena’s “99 Luftballons” in the upper Midwest.
@Kristine: if you hunt about on Amazon, they have their 2nd and 3rd album combined on a CD, great stuff as the songs on the 3rd album are just as good as Tomorrow Night, especially Your Imagination is worth a listen.
The Cars made some great music. It’s disappointing, though, that their live shows are basically note-for-note recreations of the studio versions.
The band they always get associated with in my mind is the Pretenders, for some reason (and THEY do great live shows).
Not embarrassed to say that I love those guys, as well as many of the other bands named in this thread, and me a child of early 1970s radio :-)
@piratedan: I used to pass their recording studio, Short Order Recorder, every day on the way to work. It’s a heating-A/C place now.
Found the albums on iTunes. Thanks for the tip.
@Kristine: i may have the first pressing of Black Vinyl Shoes still on black somewhere in my record collection. Good stuff indeed, but then again I’m a sucker for harmony intertwined with rock and roll.
@Nicole: By request. Y’all can hate me later.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
that isn’t lameness, this, is lameness
I–literally–bumped into Ric Ocasek downstairs at the Rat one night in the late ’80s. He is a) really tall, and b) let’s say, not a prettyboy type. Very polite about bumping into me, though.
That’s my Cars story, lame though it be.
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
It’s ok Cole, I still love the old Seattle shit from the ’90s. It’s more for nostalgia now than aesthetics, but the emotional catharsis I got from Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, etc while I was dealing with all my adolescent shit was exactly what I needed to stay sane. Between that stuff and Bill Hicks I was pretty much fuelled on angst and outrage for the better part of a decade. It led to some moments I’m embarrassed about in retrospect, but the tunes and the comic still have a hallowed place in my own media library.
@Yutsano: Argh; won’t load on the iPad (must be in Flash). Which one was it? “And We Danced”? “Day by Day”? “All You Zombies”? “Johnny B”? “Satellite”?
Heh. I really liked them.
Useless trivia- the two main guys from The Hooters wrote Joan Osborne’s big hit, “One of Us” and one of the is the co-writer of “Time After Time.”
I’ll admit it: I’m a big fan of Dan Zanes and Friends.
And Del Fuegos was underrated
@Nicole: “And We Danced”. Only cause it’s my fave. Being a teen in the 80s gives you rather indelible memories of songs.
dance around in your bones
JC, I cannot believe you are 40. MY kid is 40 (see?! I could be your mom!) and I doubt she knows who The Cars are….plus, the images in that video are…..disturbing. Keanu? The Matrix? KEANU???!!
The 80’s weren’t so bad. Still prefer the 60’s/70’s, but then I think all the music from our ‘yout’ has a special place in our…..heart/psyche.
Gee, it’s finally nice to see a post from JC where the comments are not advice on what he should do or what he should eat. Best wishes for you dad, John.
Yutsano, don’t they have TV at WAZZU? I had to look at updates on ESPN to see how the game was going today.
Loved the Cars in college. My roommate(3 out of 4 years) was a Kinks and later a Talking Heads fan, so I became a fan by osmosis. Loved the Raspberries, Go All The Way is the ringtone for my wife :).
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
@BillinGlendaleCA: WSU fans are used to their games not being televised, because we aren’t exactly the LA market. Hopefully that will change with the new tv deal starting next year.
@Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:
Actually to be fair, I beleive that it was televised; but only in TV in the Pac-NW. Being that I’m a UCLA & UW alum, I just like to give the Cougs a little grief.
The Cars rock. They are simply one of the great bands of the era.
Reading this thread is bringing back some great memories.
The Cars were always one of my favs, too. Their video for You Might Think received MTV’s video of the year award and, IIRC it was the first- 1980? Loved that thing. Makes me think that we haven’t, ya know, come all that far.
Cole, you are on a roll. I like ya that way.
@Nicole: I loved the Hooters. I actually saw them in concert when I was in college. That show was a blast.
No idea what the old man means by “complete” albums based on the stuff after the link.
If rock n roll is your thing, JGeils Band – Full House is one of the most “complete” live albums I have.
Also, Allman Bros at the Fillmore East.
Also, also, Little Feat – Waiting for Columbus. Gotta love the fat sound w/ TOP horn section.
I’ve always liked the Cars, even in my Jazz Nazi days in the ’80’s. My dirty little secrets were ZZ Top and Iggy. The wonderful thing about being old is that (at least musically) everything I listen to is cool — I’m beginning to love merengue!
yeah, cars. i remember them as a freakin’ breath of fresh air after disco. it was like the fm world rediscovered rock ‘n’ roll after a long interregnum. [ooo, i used the word “interregnum” in a sentence. must be one of those librul coastal elites.]
Say it ain’t so, Joe! The Cats were a terrible, terrible band, the precursor to the boy band. Ugh.
There’s a lot more great music from that era, from The Clash to Bob Marley. Why bring in The Cars? Ugh..
Pine Knob? You must be a Michigander; you say it like everyone would know what you’re talking about.
Loved, loved, loved Pine Knob. Pine Knob in the 70s and 80s was the greatest music venue ever. It was the highlight of high school. I saw the Rockets, Santana (three times), and–for the girl I was sweet on–James Taylor.
And a 16 year old could bring in a case of beer (if he was with guys) or some wine (if he was with his girl), no questions asked, as long as there were no glass bottles. Man, just the mention of Pine Knob brings back so many memories.
Of course, the place is ruined now, with some new corporatized name, no freedom, and no soul.
And this is why Balloon Juice is my natural home. Love the Cars — their first was one of the first albums I ever owned.
My crush on you only gets bigger, Cole.
despite the fact that i pretty much stopped doing concerts in the early 70s (what can i say? after the beatles and early stones and hendrix and led zeppelin’s first US show, nothing seemed to measure up), and that i was not much of a fan of punk in general, i appreciated the cars then, but have recognized their staying power over time. truly solid.
meanwhile, tho, have become great friends with david robinson, their drummer, who’s a sweetheart. also met ben on one occasion, also a sweetheart; such a sad loss too young.
john, what did you think of their recent reunion album? the tour did fairly well, and they did a colbert show last spring. still crankin’ ’em out.
Liked The Cars at the time..can’t really listen to them so much now..but Talking Heads, anytime. Always liked The Pretenders and was able to see them once in Chgo. My hubby was able to see Jefferson Airplane way back when there as well. He was a guitar playin man back in the day and I was exposed to hours, literally of Steely Dan. Got to learn their guitar riffs pretty well lol.
Our boys were subjected to all our “musical” tastes and now one is a drummer, the other now plays hubby’s old Ibanez.
So with that here is a link to one of the bands they both play in..recorded in the storage space they rent.
The Cars are one of the bands I never even tried to introduce my kids to — I alway loved their stuff, figured they would get it. For you folks who weren’t teenagers in the late 70’s it’s hard to describe how amazing those years were for music — hell, there we were stuck between disco and head-banger (though I did like some of the harder rock and always Bowie) and then, seemingly out of nowhere came, Talking Heads, Pretenders, The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, X and The Cars. Going to college in the Bay Area meant I got to see virtually all of them in concert.
It was a wild time for music. And I still listen to all of them — with the Smiths and REM tacked on later….
@EconWatcher: Yep-grew up there. At least when I was in Chicago we had Ravinia, where lawn tickets was very much like the Pine Know experience you mentioned-helped that they also did Classical too. At Ravinia I attended Mahler’s 3rd Symphony, and at a separate performance, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and George Thorogood and The Destroyers. Good times.
WTF? why keep this a secret? terrific traveling music. one of the great singles bands. and if ocasek can marry a super hottie, there’s hope for us all. just wayched ‘stop making sense’ again for the umpteenth time.
The Cars — also one of my faves, and I loved the Heartbeat City stuff too — are a strange candidate for the “guilty” part of “guilty pleasure,” because they were much loved by critics and scenesters. From the same era and lots of fun too, let’s not forget Cheap Trick.
Back in the late 70’s/very early 80’s my brother was a rocker and I was a New Waver/protopunk and we both loved the Cars.
And I have to tell my one and only Rick Ocasek story.
My bro and I were walking along a street on vacation in London. At a crosswalk, a big car – Jag probably – had a seriously ugly dude driving, and a hot hot babe in the passenger seat (yeah I’m gay but I know hot none the less).
We both went “Huh? How’s he score her?” As we we went over the Zebra crossing, in front of the car, staring (rudely, I’m sure) it dawned on us: Rick Ocasek. That’s how he ranked.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Dude, there is no need to keep that a secret. “Go All the Way,” “Let’s Pretend,” and I Wanna Be with You” are stupendous.
Really, Cole? The Cars?
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner would like a word with you.
My great record that nobody else knows about from the 77-78 timeframe is Terence Boylan’s first album. Great songwriting and great arrangements.
The mid to late 70’s were a wonder. Besides the punk stuff, there was Elvis Costello, joe Jackson, Graham Parker, talking heads, pretenders, cars, Clash and so many more. It’s still my favorite period. New wave, brits pub scene, new York based club scene,etc.
The Moar You Know
1981, San Diego, The Cars. By far and away to this day the most violent concert I’ve ever been to. I’m a veteran of hardcore and metal shows, more than I can count, but nothing I’ve ever been to will equal that concert and I hope it stays that way.
favorite group growing up. love the cars.
What are you talking about? I love The Cars. Their first two albums, especially, but I’ve enjoyed almost everything they’ve done.
Saw the Cars at the 9:30 Club last May. Great show.
Boston had a great late 70s/early 80s scene (I assume, I was in South Dakota back in those days), but The Real Kids, Mission of Burma, The Lyres, The Neighborhoods, The Del Fuegos, The Outlets in addition to the Cars made some incredible music.
I would also like to second The Spongetones and Material Issue as great bands that were brought up but not in great detail.
The Outlets, “Someday” — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFu0CRJLqqo&feature=related
The Neighborhoods, “Prettiest Girl” and “No Place Like Home” — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5Mia0yvVmw
@Bill Murray: and how I forgot Scruffy the Cat, I just don’t know.
My Baby She’s All Right http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fib8ULp3i2k&feature=related
The Spongetons (in their very Beatle-y time) She Goes Out With Everybody — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhF8yi5J3kQ
‘The Cars’ with ‘Styx’ at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood was my very first concert, at 16, in 1979. I got to drive. It was awesome.
In college I was in a band and we played several Cars tunes. Loved all the bands you mentioned, especially the Dead and Yes.
But then in the 90’s, after Jerry died, I moved away from allot of that music and got really into electronica – particularly the more downtempo/trancy/cerebral couch dancing stuff.
One of the things I could never understand was/is the resistance to electronica by Deadheads of my generation. My buddy who introduced me to the Dead still goes to Phish shows (I won’t go) and absolutely has no time for non-jambandy rock and roll.
Groups like ‘Banco de Gaia’ ‘Hybrid’ ‘Autechre’ and DJ’s like Sasha, Digweed and Timo Maas are every bit as psychedelic in their time as those bands were, so if you’re at all adventurous, give them a listen.
(Shitty video, epic song)
Hell, The Cars is a great album, not a guilty pleasure at all.
amen, don’t forget about Television, the first two Pretenders albums, the Clash.
Sonically, albums from this period 77 – 81 hold up really well, there is something about the mixing and taste in effects, reverb, guitar tones, drum sounds, etc, that doesn’t date and still sounds fresh.
The last time that happened was in the 50s/early sixties.
@Villago Delenda Est:
ain’t no shame. no shame in that
The Neigborhoods guitarist was awesome when he was touring with Paul Westerberg post Replacements. And having kids, Dan Zanes is very much a presence on my stereo today. In fact, he is touring the old Del Fuegos this year for the first time since their heyday.
Go to their website and make sure you have the ‘correct for the OS/newest driver’ installed for the trackpad. I would check all of the drivers are ‘correct for the operating system/are the latest’ anyway because that seems to be a common issue nowadays on laptops.
The late 70’s was a great time for music.
Never apologize for liking a song or band. If it moves you, so be it.
@Omnes Omnibus: Care to elaborate on that content-free rejoinder?
Good bands I like: Gang of 4, Wire, Massive Attack, Velvets, Pink Floyd, Einstuerzende Neubauten, etc.
But guilty pleasures? So help me,I get chuckles out of Enigma. And this song is so bad it’s hypnotizing. Totally overproduced nonsense.
What Yes album was the first you bought? I used to be really into them back in High School and College.
Paul in KY
Great band. Should be in Rock Hall. Hope they play this year’s Bonnaroo.
The Cars are my favorite band and I’m not shy to admit it.