- Jon Pareles
Rock group formed in Massachusetts in 1976. Its principal members were Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek; b Baltimore, MD, 1949; singer and guitarist), Ben Orr (Benjamin Orzechowski; b Lakeland, OH, 1947; d 2000; singer and bass guitarist), Elliot Easton (Shapiro; b Brooklyn, NY, 1953; guitarist), Greg(ory) Hawkes (b Arlington, VA, 1952; keyboard player); and David Robinson (b Woburn, MA, 1949; drummer). Ocasek, the group’s main writer, and Orr worked together in various groups from the late 1960s. Ocasek had been playing guitar since the age of ten; Orr had worked on a rock television program, “Upbeat,” in Cleveland as a teenager and was later a producer and studio musician. The two recorded an album in 1972 as part of a folk trio called Milkwood, and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they played in several other groups. They were joined by Hawkes, who had played keyboards in Milkwood’s backup group; Robinson, who had been the drummer for the Modern Lovers; and Easton. Their first album (...