Ric Ocasek isn’t sure that the third time will be the charm for the Cars.
The “Hello Again” hit makers are nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame again this year and their frontman suspects the induction process is more about what a band can do now than what they’ve done in the past.
Rik Ocasek with his model wife Paulina Porizkova.
“It has a lot to do with the TV aspect now,” he told us by phone from his Hudson Valley home. “With the old rock and roll of famers, we went in and there was a little dinner, and it was on video. Now, it’s an HBO thing or whatever it is… they’re thinking which bands can we program here to do the live thing and it’s a little different than it used to be.”
The Cars sold more 23 million albums in the U.S. alone in their heyday, which lasted from 1976 to 1988. In 1978, “Rolling Stone” magazine readers voted them “Best New Artist.” Ocasek expected that sentiment to be shared by Rock and Roll of Fame voters by now.
“I guess I am a bit surprised because there have been some other bands from our era that have gotten in,” he told us. “It’s one of those things where you can’t just hang-out and wait to see if it’s going to happen.”
Ocasek’s band was as well known for their music videos as they were for their singles, winning MTV’s Video of The Year for their 1984 hit “You Might Think.” It was also in 1984 that while recording a video for “Drive,” the Cars’ biggest single, that Ocasek met his supermodel wife Paulina Porizkova.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 nominees
“It used to be a thing in the 80s where if you could have a model, it might be a good idea,” he said. “It was cool back when you had the videos and you were all dressed up and everybody was f—–g everybody else. In 2017, everyone is so uptight and weird.”
Among the things Ocasek and Porizkova have in common is drawing. On Oct, 21, he’ll be at the Wentworth Gallery in Short Hills, N.J., to host an abstract art exhibition he calls “Color the Lines.” But he confesses that his wife is the stronger artist.
“She’s a much better drawer than I am, she just chooses not to pursue it,” he said. “She’s excellent.”