Many musicians paid tribute to Ric Ocasek, who died at age 75 on September 15, by sharing their memories and tales via social media of how The Cars frontman and celebrated producer had influenced them. Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus remembered Ocasek as well, but he did so by sharing a previously unheard cover of The Cars’ classic tune “Just What I Needed.”
“A couple years ago, I was asked to record a creepy cover of Just What I Needed for a tv show. They wanted moody and strange, dark, and drony, with space for dialogue to go over it,” Hoppus shared on Soundcloud September 16. “I went into the studio with my friend James Ingram and this is what we came up with.”
“The show was cancelled so quickly the episode never aired, but if you can imagine a grim and grizzled detective determinedly working a murder case that shook them to the very core of their being, this is the music the show requested,” he continued. “It’s been sitting on a hard drive ever since, and with the sad news of Ric Ocasek’s passing, I thought I’d put it up here. Enjoy it. And go listen to The Cars.”
The legendary musician was found in his Manhattan home by estranged wife Paulina Porizkova. The model explained in a family statement shared on The Cars’ Instagram account that Ocasek had been “at home recuperating very well after surgery.” She went on to share that when she “touched his cheek” to wake him on Sunday morning, she “realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on.”
The New York City medical examiner said September 16 that the new wave musician died of heart disease, specifically hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Pulmonary emphysema also contributed to his death.