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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (4) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 8 September 1947Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 3 October 2000Atlanta, Georgia, USA  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NameBenjamin Orzechowski

Mini Bio (1)

Bassist and singer Ben Orr was born Benjamin Orzechowski on September 8, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His Russian and Czechoslovakian parents actively encouraged his musical endeavors. Ben grew up in Lakewood and Parma Heights, Ohio. He played bass, keyboards, and percussion instruments in his teen years. Known locally as "Benny 11-Letters", Orr dropped out of Valley Forge High School to join the group, "The Grasshoppers", as both the lead singer and guitarist. "The Grasshoppers" were the house band on the local Cleveland TV music variety show, "Upbeat"; the group also released two singles on the Sunburst label and dissolved in 1967 after two members were drafted. Ben got drafted as well, but received a deferment after serving one and a half years in the Army. In 1970, Orr moved to Columbus, Ohio and met mellow musician, Ric Ocasek; the two formed a folk band called "Milkwood". "Milkwood" released an album, titled "How's the Weather?", in 1972. In the mid 70s, Ben became a member of the Boston, Massachusetts nightclub group, "Cap'n Swing"; two other members of this particular band were Ocasek and guitarist Elliot Easton. "Cap'n Swing" broke up in 1975. In 1976, Orr, Ocasek, Easton, drummer David Robinson, and keyboardist Greg Hawkes formed the hugely popular, successful and innovative New Wave synth-pop band, The Cars. Ben sang lead vocals on such hit "Cars" songs as "Bye, Bye Love", "Just What I Needed", "Let's Go", "Drive" and "Moving in Stereo". In 1986, he recorded the solo album, "The Lace", which beget the Top 40 hit song, "Stay the Night". Moreover, Orr was featured on Ocasek's solo album, "This Side of Paradise", and the Joni Mitchell albums, "Misses" and "Chalk Mark, in a Rain Storm". Ben left The Cars in 1987. From 1998 up until his death, Ben performed with his own band, "Orr", and the side bands, "Big People" and "the Voices of Classic Rock". He reunited with The Cars for the documentary The Cars: Live (2000) in the summer of 2000. Orr died at age 53 from pancreatic cancer on October 3, 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Trivia (4)

Bassist for the rock band, The Cars. Also swapped lead vocals with member Ric Ocasek.
Sang lead vocals on many of The Cars' biggest hits, including "Just What I Needed", "Let's Go", "Moving in Stereo", and their biggest hit, "Drive".
Both Cars DVDs were dedicated to his memory.
One of The Cars' two DVDs feature his final interview, done just months before his death. In the interview, his weakened condition is very apparent. He hardly even speaks in the interview.

Personal Quotes (1)

[asked if his illness--pancreatic cancer--would keep him from performing) If I fall down one day and can't get up, you'll know it's over.

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