Ric Ocasek

From Weezerpedia
Ric Ocasek
Ocasek in 2005.
Background information
Birth name Richard Theodore Otcasek
Born March 23, 1944
Died September 15, 2019 (age 75)
New York City
Origin Baltimore, Maryland
Occupation(s) Musician, producer
Years active 1973-2019
Instrument(s) Guitar, Synthesizer, vocals
Website Official website
Associated acts
The Cars

Richard Theodore Otcasek (March 23, 1944 — September 15, 2019), known as Ric Ocasek, was a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. He is perhaps best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and rhythm guitarist for new wave rock band the Cars. He was also a producer for several bands including Weezer, Bad Brains, No Doubt, Guided by Voices, and Suicide.


The first time I met him I was super blown away, and it turns out me and him really got along and hit it off and had these things in common I didn’t know we did. He turned out to be a great friend. When he called me [to ask about playing in his Hall of Fame induction] and was like, ‘I would just like to have my good friend Scott up there with me while I’m doing this show,’ and dude, I mean, forget about Matt Damon. Matt Damon doesn’t [care] about me, you know what I mean? Ric Ocasek, that is massive for me.”

Scott Shriner, Toledo Blade interview, March 3, 2019[1]

Ocasek first worked with Weezer on the band's self-titled debut album (the Blue Album) in 1994. When Weezer was pressured by their label, Geffen, into using a producer on the album, the band requested Ocasek, with the logic that it should be someone who knew how to write good songs.[2] To the band's surprise, Geffen allowed it. In preparation of Ocasek's arrival to their rehearsal, the band prepared a cover of the Cars song "Just What I Needed." Ocasek's wife, model Paulina Porizkova, would inspire Weezer bassist Matt Sharp to write the song "Friends of P." for his own band, the Rentals.[3]

Ocasek would return to produce Weezer's next self-titled album (the Green Album) in 2001, as well as Everything Will Be Alright in the End in 2014. In 2011, Weezer covered the Cars' Ocasek-penned track "You Might Think" for the film Cars 2.

In 2018, Ocasek was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ocasek passed away in his New York City townhouse on September 15, 2019.[4]

Ocasek recorded vocals for the Weezer song "I Need Some of That", originally demoed in contention for Everything Will Be Alright in the End, and released posthumously for the 2021 album Van Weezer.

Discography with Weezer



See also


  1. [1] Toledo Blade interview, March 3, 2019
  2. Runtagh, Jordan. "Weezer’s Blue Album: 10 Things You Didn’t Know" Rolling Stone. 10 May 2019. https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/weezer-blue-album-rivers-cuomo-things-you-didnt-know-822881/
  3. Hargreaves, Trevor. "Matt Sharp Talks About Rivers Cuomo's Etiquette Fetish And Tegan And Sara" Chart Attack. 8 November 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20061206190551/http://www.chartattack.com/DAMN/2006/11/0801.cfm Archived from the original: https://www.chartattack.com/DAMN/2006/11/0801.cfm
  4. Buffa, Ken. "Ric Ocasek, Lead Singer of The Cars, Dead in New York at 75 " NBC New York. 15 September 2019. https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Ric-Ocasek-Cars-Singer-Dead-in-NY-at-75-560430391.html