Billy Idol, Weezer, The Killers, The Hold Steady & More React to Ric Ocasek's Death

The news of Ric Ocasek's death left fans and fellow artists mourning the Cars frontman Sunday night (Sept. 15). Ocasek died in New York City, the NYPD confirmed. He was found unresponsive at his Manhattan residence at East 19th Street, according to police.  

Upon learning of Ocasek's death, many artists shared their thoughts and memories of Ocasek and his music on social media.

"So sad. Such a great writer, singer, player, producer. My thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace," Peter Frampton wrote.

"Sorry 2 hear about #ricocasek RIP loved his work with the band #Suicide," Billy Idol tweeted, referring to the band Suicide, whom Ocasek worked with as a solo artist and producer.  Canadian rocker Bryan Adams tweeted, "RIP Ric Ocasek. Great songwriter and singer for the Cars," while a post from Weezer reads, "The Weezer family is devastated by the loss of our friend and mentor Ric Ocasek " Ocasek produced Weezer's  beloved 1994 debut album as well as two other records by the group, who said they were forever indebted to him in a touching tribute. "We will miss him forever," they wrote.

The Hold Steady shared a concert clip along with the caption "Our walkout: 'Since You’re Gone.' RIP Ric Ocasek." One of Ocasek's former neighbors, shock rocker Alice Cooper, recalled the musical impact of the band. "We have lost another great in Rock N Roll Hall Of Famer Ric Ocasek of The Cars.  Ric and I actually used to be neighbors for a time when we lived in the Hollywood Hills," said Cooper. "Ric had a very unique voice for rock n roll, there was just nothing complicated about it and that really gave The Cars an edge on the radio. They spearheaded a simplistic new wave of minimalist rock alongside producer Roy Thomas Baker, much to the delight of car stereos and fans everywhere. Condolences to his family and many fans. We’ll miss ya man."

Actor Rainn Wilson shared his thoughts with a heartfelt message: "I’m stunned and saddened by the loss of Ric Ocasek - he was a visionary who affected the lives and hearts of everyone who listened to music in the 80s. God Speed, Ric! Keep Moving in Stereo!" The Killers' Brandon Flowers shared an email he wrote to Ocasek several years ago, calling the singer his "first king."

Romantics bassist Rich Cole hung out with Ocasek and the Cars a number of times, both in Boston and the Romantics' homebase of Detroit, where the band once opened for the Cars. Cole recalls the lanky musician as "very tall" but also "a very cool guy, very approachable, mild-mannered, easygoing. He was just sitting, laid back in a chair smoking a cigarette and we just started yapping about how cool the (music) scene was. He was really happy to be a part of it, as were all of us, and he was saying how he felt there was something new on the horizon, that new music was really starting to take off and that people needed something new." Cole says Ocasek also spoke about the days he and Benjamin Orr spent in Ann Arbor during the late '60 and early '70s. "They were into the folk scene there and really liked it," Cole remembers. "There was just a bedful of artists and musicians that lent itself to that. He definitely remembered it fondly."

See their reactions, and messages from others, below.


RIP #RicOcasek

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