To Brandon Flowers, Ric Ocasek was more than a rock star. He was a personal hero.
The Killers’ front man paid tribute to the Cars’ singer and co-founder Ocasek on Sunday with a moving note posted @TheKillers Twitter page. Ocasek was found dead in his home in New York City on Sunday at age 75.
Flowers recalled buying a cassette with $10 given to him by his mother, Jeannie, when the family was visiting Flowers’ sister Amy in Layton, Utah.
Flowers, who said he was about 13 at the time, would listen to that cassette, “The Cars Greatest Hits,” on the family’s drive home.
“It was a rite of passage!” wrote Flowers, who gave the induction speech for the Cars when they were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in August 2018. “All my buddies at that time were listening to grunge or gangster rap. I didn’t feel like much of a gangster and I was too tender for the heavy stuff. I knew exactly what I wanted.”
Flowers’ brother Shane was 12 years older and had turned the young music fan on to the 1985 release, which featured “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “Candy-O,” and “Moving in Stereo,” songs that help shape the Killers’ sound.
As Flowers wrote, “It set me on the path toward the adult I would become, toward the job I have (which is the best job in the world), even toward the woman I would be blessed to marry.”
Flowers closed with a series of THANK YOU messages dedicated to a man who did change his life.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.