Remembering The Cars' Benjamin Orr
Long before he helped found The Cars in 1976, Orr was born Benjamin Orzechowski in Lakewood, Ohio in 1947. As a young musician growing up in the Cleveland suburbs, he took to all sorts of instruments, including guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. Becoming well-known as "Benny 11-Letters," Orr dropped out of high school to sing lead and play guitar in a local band named The Grasshoppers. The group became the house band on the syndicated, Cleveland-based series Upbeat, and even released a couple of singles, one written by Orr.
However, the group disbanded in 1967 when two of the members were drafted for the Vietnam War. Orr was drafted soon after, although he only spent about a year and a half in the army because of a deferment. Once out of the service, Orr moved to Columbus in 1970, where he met Ric Ocasek at a party. The two would become friends and musical partners for the next two decades. more on this story
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