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The New Cars


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"Like an old familiar poem that still won't rhyme, I could get back to the place but not the time."

Anyone remember who wrote it and the song title?

old onion face..... PW

i remember it because what does getting back to a "PLACE" but not the time have in common with a poem that doesn't rhyme... the poem that never ryhmed was always the same whereas the place has changed... kind of a weak metaphor...

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Okay, now Todd himself has confirmed The New Cars in this post on


that, rather eloquently I think, explains his rationale for taking part in it (along with a little knock on the "Walk Down Abbey Road" tours):

"For the screamers:

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.


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  • 2 months later...

As reported on melodicrock.com:


The New Cars featuring Todd Rundgren have performed their first gig, rehearsing in California. The TR Connection website lists the set list as follows:

Just What I Needed . Let's Go . You're All I Got Tonight . You Might Think . Best Friends Girl . I Saw The Light . Candy-O . Not Tonight . Drive . Moving in Stereo . Shake It Up . Dangerous Type . Bye Bye Love . Encore: Open My Eyes . Good Times Roll.

The first new song from the guys is the rather good sounding Not Tonight. Check out a preview at: www.concerts.com/demofiles/Cars%20SP35730.mpg and www.concerts.com/demofiles/Cars%20SP35177%20DTT.mpg.


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  • 1 month later...

The official announcement is happening today (Tues, 3/14) but The New Cars (featuring Todd Rundgren) will be touring the US with Blondie. Here are the dates:

Fri, 05/12/06

Grand Casino Tunica - Tunica, MS

Sat, 05/13/06

Nokia Theatre At Grand Prairie - Grand Prairie, TX

Wed, 05/17/06

Dodge Theatre - Phoenix, AZ

Fri, 05/19/06

Aladdin Resort and Casino - Las Vegas, NV

Sat, 05/20/06

Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk - Universal City, CA

Tue, 05/23/06

Viejas Casino-Outlet Center Park - San Diego, CA

Thu, 05/25/06

Mountain Winery - Saratoga, CA

Fri, 05/26/06

Reno Events Center - Reno, NV

Tue, 05/30/06

Coors Amphitheatre - Englewood, CO

Thu, 06/01/06

Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater - Hinckley, MN

Sun, 06/04/06

Blossom Music Center - Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Wed, 06/07/06

Bank of America Pavilion - Boston, MA

Fri, 06/09/06

Tommy Hilfiger At Jones Beach Theater - Wantagh, NY

Sat, 06/10/06

PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ

Tue, 06/13/06

Hard Rock Live Orlando - Orlando, FL

Wed, 06/14/06

Ruth Eckerd Hall - Clearwater, FL

Thu, 06/15/06

Hard Rock Live - Hollywood, FL

Sun, 06/18/06

North Charleston Coliseum - Charleston, NC

Sat, 06/24/06

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City - Atlantic City, NJ

Sun, 06/25/06

Mohegan Sun Arena - Uncasville, CT

Fri, 06/30/06

DTE Energy Music Theatre - Clarkston, MI

Also, the band is scheduled to appear tonight on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC, and on Tuesday 3/21 on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS.

For ticket info:


Also, the official site:



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I may see you there at the PNC Center, Tommy. I was considering getting tix for the Borgata, but the 10th is actually better for me schedule-wise (and it turns out Holmdel is closer to home).

Bernie raises a good question: is The New Cars valid? About as valid as Foreigner (with one original member), Styx (ditto), Journey (two), Yes (two), The Moody Blues (one), Deep Purple (one) etc etc carrying on with few of the original folks.

Like you wrote about the current Foreigner lineup, it's a tribute band with, in this case, two original members--Greg Hawkes and Elliot Easton.

And I can't explain why exactly, but it's interesting to me. I'd like to hear Todd R sing these songs. The preview mp3 of their new original song "But Not Tonight", actually sounded pretty good to these ears.

The true test will be at the box office. Is the American public that hard up to hear "Let The Good Times Roll?" Time, and ticket sales, will tell. And if this turns out to be a good new band, what's the harm?

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Just posted on Billboard.com:

New Cars Ready To Roll With Album, Tour

March 14, 2006, 1:00 PM ET

Greg Prato, N.Y.

Confirming long-standing speculation, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes have drafted Todd Rundgren to front a new version of the band, appropriately dubbed the New Cars. The lineup is rounded out by singer/bassist Kasim Sulton and Tubes drummer Prairie Prince. Original Cars vocalist Ric Ocasek is not involved in the new endeavor; original bassist/vocalist Ben Orr passed away in 2000.

"When Ric made it clear to us that he really no longer wished to tour, and Greg and I wanted to do this thing, we sort of cast about for who we could get to be in the band. Who would be a great frontman and a great writer?" Easton tells Billboard.com. "I sort of came up with a very short list, and Todd was at the top of it. To my very pleasant surprise, he was receptive to the idea. It's just a great fit. It sounds terrific. He's a lot of fun to play with."

The newly formed quintet debuted in front of an invite-only audience in January in Burbank, Calif. Several tracks from that show will be released May 9 on the album "It's Alive" via Eleven Seven Music. The set also features three new tracks penned by Easton, Hawkes and Rundgren, "Not Tonight," "Warm," and "More." A European release will follow shortly thereafter.

"We have played, but they're not shows in the sense that it was a venue where somebody could buy a ticket," explains Rundgren. "We had to come up with some sort of recorded product, and it was always the intent to come up with a live album. It just was also the intent to have played live before we did that [laughs]. So we had an invited audience on a soundstage, and we played three nights. We tried to make it as much of a gig as possible, but reality-wise, it was the first three shows we ever played."

As for the new tracks, Rundgren says "they were the final product of a process of various combinations of us getting together and trying to write songs -- including alone, in twos and sometimes all of us together. Just trying to figure out what we wanted to play, and how we could update the sound and not lose original Cars fans."

The New Cars will hit the road with Blondie beginning May 12 in Robinsonville, Miss. "The hopes are after that to do Europe and beyond that, Australia, Asia and New Zealand, and then come back, and do another swing of the States," Easton says. Fans who purchase tickets via VH1Classic.com or Ticketmaster.com will receive free five-song download bundles from eMusic.com of tracks from "It's Alive" plus unreleased live Blondie recordings and the band's new cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This."

Easton insists there is no ill will between Ocasek and the New Cars. "I have been in contact with [Ocasek]," he says. "I read in some press thing that Ric did where he said he just wanted to see Greg and I be happy. I thought that was a very nice thing to say, and I wish him the same."

Here is the track list for "It's Alive":

"Just What I Needed"

"Let's Go"


"You Might Think"

"Best Friend's Girl"

"I Saw The Light"

"You're All I've Got Tonight"

"Not Tonight"


"Moving In Stereo"

"Shake It Up"

"Dangerous Type"

"Bye Bye Love"

"Open My Eyes"

"Good Times Roll"

"Not Tonight" (new studio recording)

"Warm" (new studio recording)

"More" (new studio recording)

Here are the New Cars/Blondie tour dates:

May 12: Robinsonville, Miss. (Grand Casino)

May 13: Grand Prairie, Texas (Nokia Theatre)

May 17: Phoenix (Dodge Theatre)

May 19: Las Vegas (Aladdin Theatre)

May 20: Universal City, Calif. (Gibson Amphitheatre)

May 23: Alpine, Calif. (Viejas Casino)

May 25: Saratoga, Calif. (Mountain Winery)

May 26: Reno, Nev. (Events Center)

May 27: Kelseyville, Calif. (Konocti Field)

May 30: Englewood, Colo. (Coors Amphitheatre)

June 3: Highland Park, Ill. (Ravinia Pavilion)

June 4: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (Blossom Music Center)

June 6: Vienna, Va. (Wolf Trap)

June 7: Boston (Bank of America Pavilion)

June 9: Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)

June 10: Holmdel, N.J. (PNC Bank Arts Center)

June 13: Orlando, Fla. (Hard Rock Live)

June 14: Clearwater, Fla. (Ruth Eckerd Hall)

June 15: Hollywood, Fla. (Seminole Hard Rock Hotel)

June 17: Atlanta (Chastain Park Amphitheatre)

June 18: Charleston, S.C. (Oyster Shell)

June 21: Toronto (Molson Amphitheatre)

June 23: Montreal (Bell Centre)

June 24: Atlantic City, N.J. (Borgata)

June 25: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun)

June 30: Clarkston, Mich. (DTE Energy Music Theatre)


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I'm not sure why, but I've never been a Todd Rundgren fan. At all. I've just never heard anything he did that made an impact on me. I know he's got a great fan base, but... I don't get it....

I do remember a very Beatlesque Utopia album I rated highly when I was writing record reviews in the early 1980s, but not even that album inspired me to dig into TR's catalog.

The Cars? Well, I sort of liked 'em when they were active, but their music hasn't aged well, at least for me. I liked "Drive," and I thought "Touch and Go" was awesome, but everything else just sounds like average pop music to me---fun, maybe, but disposable. (Actually, you know what was pretty good? The solo album by the late Ben Orr, the bass player--The Lace, from the late 1980s.)

So... The New Cars doesn't do it for me.... It sure ain't Raspberries!

--LC (the curmudgeon!)

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