The New Cars

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  • 01-28-2006, 11:57 AM
    3-LockBox
    The New Cars
    Well, its official. Todd Rungren and two of the original Cars members are
    joining forces and hopefully, using their powers for Good.

    Here's from Todd's own website:

    Now that the cat is out of the bag, or rather 'car is out of the garage', I
    should address the issues I would have dealt with had someone given me a
    heads up before we went public.

    There is a new cadre of 'fan' who has taken to constant second guessing of
    my motives and decisions. Their responses are usually Cassandraesque, rife
    with predictions of career death and loss of core audience. If results are
    not to their satisfaction, they threaten... what? To actively campaign
    against playing my music on the radio?

    Here are the facts. I don't know what kind of job you have, but I imagine
    that if you want to keep it you have to adapt to changes in your job
    description and to changes in the job market itself. And I don't know if
    you've heard, but musicians have notoriously brief careers. You can't do the
    job well on a part time basis, so you had better make a living at it. And if
    you want to keep the job, you better take advantage of whatever
    opportunities you have to work.

    You would have thought that 2004 was a big year for me careerwise, and in
    many ways it was. But the effort to bring the tour to the widest audience
    was not a profitable venture and I am still paying it off today. You would
    have thought that 2005 has been a nearly disasterous followup, and in some
    ways it has. But I erased the debts of last year, got caught up on my taxes
    and even vacationed for a couple weeks. Oh yeah, and I supported my family.

    So now an opportunity has arisen for me to pay my bills, play to a larger
    audience, work with musicians I know and like, and ideally have some fun for
    a year. The catch is, a lot of people have been counting on something else.
    Let's make this clear: the possibility of a Utopia reunion of any kind has
    always been extremely remote. We disbanded for specific reasons that a
    previous reunion attempt only exacerbated. Despite whatever enjoyment we got
    from playing the music for our fans, the reformation left a sour taste. It
    would be ludicrous to Spinal Tap our way through a tour so fans could be
    satisfied that we simply showed up on the same stage. That's a redefinition
    of Utopia I can't personally handle. No 'magic date' is so magical that it
    can transform such an ingrained relationship. It's not happening and we'll
    all have to live with it.

    The rest of the equation is obvious. I can take out a band of my own and
    slide inexorably into debt, or I can go out solo and take my chances. Except
    that's no choice. Most of my recent material doesn't translate to the
    accoustic guitar (let alone piano), so the act has become stale to the point
    that I won't accept any more gig offers for solo shows.

    So you see, if someone gives you an opportunity to make a good living for a
    year without violating your musical ethics (or HAVING to play Beatle songs),
    and throws in the ability to retain your own identity and perform your own
    material and possibly create new fans, well, what choice do you have,
    really? The schedule even gives me plenty of time to record a new solo
    project, so what's the problem? If my working musician's decision offends
    you, start calling the DJs and beg them to stop playing all that TR music
    that's in such heavy rotation.

    Otherwise, me and Kas and Prairie and Elliot and Greg will be playing parts
    of the country we'd never get to otherwise, and hope to see you all there
    when we do.

    TR


    Well, at least Todd is honest about his motivations, but you have wonder how it will translate as far quality is concerned. I mean, why not see if there are any survivng members of Three Dog Night or Night Ranger or Simple Minds or (just pick someone). I assume there are fans of Rungren's out there who can make sense of it. Maybe they've know each other for years and I haven't a clue what I'm babbling about. At least Harrison, Lynn, Dylan, and Petty didn't call themselves the New Beatles.

    But honestly, I am curious as hell, and I hope they make a stellar album. Hopefully Rungren is re-energized by this and he can play nice and get along with others (:rolleyes:...right) Hey, its not like bands haven't gone this route before and became even more successful than their original incarnations (can you say, YES). And Rungren's own solo career seems to suffer from ADD, so maybe this can be a real focused project with the others involved. I get the impression Rungren knows that he's the main attraction in this.

    I wouldn't be shocked if it was a masterpiece. I won't hold my breath either.

    Let the good times roll, Todd, just don't let them make you a clown.
  • 01-28-2006, 01:26 PM
    Troy
    Pardon me for missing something Mr. 3 . . .

    Is this band going to record an album or are they just gonna tour the club/county fair circuit? Sounds like the latter to me. I think your WIlburies as "new Beatles" comparo remark is way wide here. Sounds like it's just a way to get out, get some songs heard and make a few bucks. I think Rundgren is right, he has become largely forgotten and time spent on the road in a rock format is SO what he needs to do.

    Are they gonna play just Cars songs or are they gonna play Rundgren/Utopia songs as well? With Kas Sultan and Prarie Prince along I would think so, anyways. Heck, maybe even a Tubes tune. I like the idea of a Utopia-style "Moving in Stereo".

    And what does Ric Ocasek have to say about all this?
  • 01-30-2006, 05:35 AM
    3-LockBox
    No idea what Ocasek thinks
    But yer right, I don't think (according to TR own statement) that this is a recording enitity. Its an excuse to tour with a somewhat intriguing concept so it will draw out a different fan base (and hopfully more of them). I'm sure it'll be one of those Rock-n-Roll review acts, albeit a review of slightly different r-n-r. But if TR performs Tube songs, does he have to hump a TV? ;) Of all the '80s retro touring acts (mostly old MTV metal acts), this style of music is more endearing to me and I'd like to think that it still had some life left in it.

    I guess going with a known commodity like the name The Cars seemed safer than creating their own name. That's why the Wilbury's popped into my head in the first place; at least they used a different name and even made up a psuedo-history for the band. Yeah, the Wilburys statement was an exaggeration and may not even apply because when the Wilburys were formed, all of those guys involved (except maybe for Orbison) were still very relevant.

    But it will be intersting to see if they can pull it off. I don't know how popular The Cars were as a touring entity all those years ago. They stopped being an relevant by the mid '80s and their last album, Door To Door, sucked. The New Cars could be a major hit as far as I know, and if it is, more power to them. I'd like to think an album was in the works, but that may be a pipe dream. I'd buy it.

    Do you think fans of the 'band names' involved would buy The New Cars?
  • 01-30-2006, 07:41 AM
    Troy
    Traveling Willbury's= new music recorded in a style that all the members were familiar with, but not really well known for (except maybe orbison).

    New Cars= no new music, all covers from the history of each member.

    That is the difference.

    If they played the county fair this summer, I'd go.
  • 01-30-2006, 09:45 AM
    3-LockBox
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Troy
    New Cars= no new music, all covers from the history of each member.

    Gosh, I hope that first part isn't true. Considering the members involved, you'd think there was an album's worth of music in them; it could go in almost any direction though. But yes, I do understand its about touring and revenue. Members of The Dead still make albums and tour. Phil Lesh's last album wasn't too bad actually.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Troy
    If they played the county fair this summer, I'd go.

    I'd go to a small, indoor venue (our county fair venue sucks).
  • 01-30-2006, 12:57 PM
    Dave_G
    I guess Todd is Ric's "replacement", why not?

    They are both tall and skinny and are pretty hi-tech and know producing and editing and electronics and all that...

    Could work!

    I saw the Cars years ago at a "festival" and I cannot recall if they were any good or not.

    Dave
  • 02-03-2006, 02:27 PM
    Slosh
    I'm saving my pennies for one of these:

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=3104

    Hope I can afford the insurance!
  • 02-03-2006, 02:45 PM
    Troy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slosh
    I'm saving my pennies for one of these:

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=3104

    Hope I can afford the insurance!

    Seeing's how my uncle owns a 72 and Vanishing Point is one of my all time favorite movies, I really am partial to the Challenger. They NAILED that one. I love the tail-lights.

    I want this: http://www.barrett-jackson.com/events/scottsdale/vehicles/cardetail_list.asp?id=182937 to haul it around in. talk about saving pennies, it just auctioned off for $4.5 mil.
  • 02-03-2006, 03:37 PM
    Slosh
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Troy
    Seeing's how my uncle owns a 72 and Vanishing Point is one of my all time favorite movies, I really am partial to the Challenger. They NAILED that one. I love the tail-lights.

    My friend has a 2006 Mustang GT 5 speed and after driving it I'm really tempted to get one, especially since they don't cost all that much by today's standards. My old man had a '97 Mustang Cobra with the DOHC V8 and trust me, the new GT is worlds better (he now has a 6 speed 350Z). But I've always been a Mopar guy and owned nothing but until I got my commuter car a couple of years back (Ackk! A Mazda).

    If they can keep the price close to Mustang GT territory I'm treating myself to one if/when it comes out in two or three years. I'd settle :rolleyes: for the 345 cu. in./345 horse hemi with a 6 speed. They might have to ditch the independent rear suspension to hit the under $30k price point, though.

    Too bad Plymouth is history. Would love to see a 'Cuda version. But yeah, they definitely nailed the Challenger. Hope they don't have to make many changes to the styling.
  • 02-03-2006, 04:15 PM
    Troy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slosh
    My friend has a 2006 Mustang GT 5 speed and after driving it I'm really tempted to get one, especially since they don't cost all that much by today's standards. My old man had a '97 Mustang Cobra with the DOHC V8 and trust me, the new GT is worlds better (he now has a 6 speed 350Z). But I've always been a Mopar guy and owned nothing but until I got my commuter car a couple of years back (Ackk! A Mazda).

    If they can keep the price close to Mustang GT territory I'm treating myself to one if/when it comes out in two or three years. I'd settle :rolleyes: for the 345 cu. in./345 horse hemi with a 6 speed. They might have to ditch the independent rear suspension to hit the under $30k price point, though.

    Too bad Plymouth is history. Would love to see a 'Cuda version. But yeah, they definitely nailed the Challenger. Hope they don't have to make many changes to the styling.

    Yeah, the new Mustang is a big improvement styling-wise. Knowing a lot of ford owners from the last 15 years or so, I'd be leery of the build quality.

    I also remember the Mustang show car (that sold them making the actual car) looked so much better. Better proportions and lots of subtle differences that make me cringe if I look at side by side pix.

    I'm more in the mindset for cars that get 75mpg over ball-busting HP-war, tire-smokin', Hemi-lust stuff. I'm too old and pragmatic to really care about stoplight drag-racing. It's time to compromise. Where are the $20k, 200HP cars that get 50MPG that look cool (like that Challenger) and don't fall apart in 30k miles? Sign me up for some of that.

    Would MERC-PAR get it right in production? I dunno, but I sure dig the showpiece.
  • 02-03-2006, 04:18 PM
    Slosh
    The Challenger would be my toy that I take out on nice days on the weekend. I got my Mazda for work (31 mpg at 80 mph) and my truck for, umm, when I need a truck.

    The Mazda handles well and has a decent ride but is a slug. The truck is pretty quick . . . . in a straight line and rides like a truck (duh!) Be nice to finally have a car that does everything well, and look cool doing so.

    BTW, that link you posted didn't work but I watched the Barret-Jackson auction so I know what you're talking about.
  • 02-03-2006, 04:46 PM
    Troy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slosh
    BTW, that link you posted didn't work but I watched the Barret-Jackson auction so I know what you're talking about.

    Fixed that link. Nice big pix at the B&J site.