It has truly been an honor to meet (and in some cases, become friends with) so many people who worked, played and performed with Benjamin throughout his life. I am thrilled to share their excitement about Ben and this book.
Let's Go! ~ Joe
Let's Go! ~ Joe
“I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Cars. I was wrong. Thanks to Joe, I know a whole lot more after reading his book. Thanks for a great read about a great band.”
~ Ralph Fatello, blogger and photographer for Ralph’s Pic of the Week, and singer, songwriter, and guitarist of The Vinny Band
(Photo by Ralph Fatello, used with permission)
"Wow! I find myself quoted several times in this book, and reading it is really helping to bring back the fading memories of people I knew, worked with and loved so long ago, many of them rock stars. Joe has done a VERY good job of capturing the temper of those remarkable times, from multiple angles and personal viewpoints. I highly recommend reading this book! Good job, Joe Milliken!"
~ Michael Blackmer, recording and studio engineer who worked with The Cars at their Syncro Sound Studio.
(Photo by Michael Blackmer, used with permission)
“Reading the book was a marvelous time for me, learning about Ben’s life and all these Massachusetts-connected stories after nearly 40 years. Great job, Joe...you certainly wrote a riveting book, full of inside stories, while still respecting Ben and his mates and friends. Can't wait for your next creative work.”
~ Doug Lyons, former studio intern, Northern Recording Studio
(Photo by Doug Lyons, used with permission)
"More than just a detailed biography of Ben Orr, 'Let's Go! Benjamin Orr and the Cars' is a thorough history of the Boston area band, capturing key elements of the group's history and rise to international celebrity."
~ Joe Viglione, longtime Boston music journalist and Cars' fan.
(Photo by Joe Viglione, used with permission)
"A really good read and the author did an outstanding job in his research. Get this book, it makes a great Chanukah-Kwanza-Christmas gift for all those musically inquiring minds. I really miss Ben..."
~ Allan Kaufman, manager of the pre-Cars' bands Richard and the Rabbits and Cap'n Swing
(Photo by Allan Kaufman (left), used with permission. Also pictured: Elliot Easton, Mickey Dolenz.)
“Ben was a nice, down-to-earth guy, who just so happened to be a rock star, loaded with talent! A great singer and all-around musician, he invented a vocal style all his own and *nobody* sounded like him. I miss Ben, it was an honor to make music with him, and he deserves to have his story told. I’m so glad that Joe Milliken wrote this book to honor Ben’s legacy.”
~Tom Hambridge, “The Hammer,” Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter and drummer.
(Photo taken backstage, Paramount Theatre, Oakland, Ca. used with permission)
"As I've come to know Joe over the past few years, I can tell you that every word in this book is spoken from the heart. Joe lives and breaths the life of our good friend, Ben Orr, and brings us along on the amazing story he tells."
~ Hirsh Gardner - solo artist, producer, drummer of New England
(Photo by Hirsh Gardner, used with permission)
"From his youth in Cleveland, to the back room at the Idler, to the biggest arenas in the world, LET’S GO covers the life and times, and tragic, early departure of one of music's brightest stars.
This book made me wish that I had known Ben a bit better. But, back in those days, we just assumed that we’d all live forever.
Now, surely, Benjamin Orr will do just that. Thanks for doing this, Joe."
~ Boby Bear, drummer for Boston rockers The Atlantics
(Photo courtesy of Boby Bear, used with permission.)
"This long overdue, rock-solid rock star bio, coming almost two decades after Ben's passing, is a great book. Full of facts, great photos and an almost Shakespearean denial of potentiality behind every page with Orr's early death; I couldn't put this fascinating and tragic tome down. Ben was the real deal and this wonderfully written biography tells why he was something special."
~ A.J. Wachtel, longtime Boston music journalist and friend of Ben.
(Photo courtesy of A.J. Wachtel, used with permission.)
"Reading from Milliken's book sounds like a 70s 'Boston music scene' reunion! The Cars were sweet and smart and it was always a kick to hear them on the radio. Ben and Ric were our local two-headed monster for a while, and they took it all the way. The music industry is a big, bad beast but we love it, especially those who conquer it... and The Cars really did it!"
~ Andy Pratt, singer-songwriter
“So excited to be diving into this great book... Joe sure did his homework! I loved hearing the stories from the people who are integral to Ben’s life, about his rise to fame, and how things were back then. A fun and interesting read. Highly recommend!"
~Deanna Adams, Cleveland author, music journalist and mentor to Joe.
(Photo courtesy of Deanna Adams, used with permission.)
"I just completed Joe's book - and I loved it! One of the best rock-and-roll themed books I've read. Growing up in Boston and moving to Cleveland, I know and knew so many of the people quoted and covered in this book. I am very impressed. Joe's accuracy is incredible. I don't know how he had all those sources and organized them so well. Joe probably knows Ben better than the people who knew him for years. He captured something unique. My wife, who is on the air, just started reading the book and she will be interviewing Joe on oWOW radio. By the way, after reading this book, I came to the conclusion that we weren't playing enough Cars music-and right now I'm trying to get a copy of the Grasshoppers' single which I used to play on WMJI when it was an oldies station. Anyone associated with Ben over the years should be proud of you, Joe!"
~ John Gorman, Cleveland radio personality and executive (formerly of WMMS, now with oWOW), author, and Ohio Radio-TV Hall of Fame inductee
(Photo courtesy of John Gorman, used with permission.)
“In the music business, it’s usually the ‘I, Me, Mine’ mentality but Ben Orr was a man who would literally give you the shirt off his back. He was a genuine rock star. A man who gave his all while playing and gave to others off stage. He was one-of-a-kind and is greatly missed."
~ Liberty DeVitto, drummer for Billy Joel, Big People
(Photo courtesy of the Ben Orr Collection, given to Joe Milliken. Used with permission.)
“If ‘rock star’ genetics truly exist, Ben Orr was certainly born with the gene. His persona and his talent came naturally, without trying to play the role. Ben was also blessed with a heart of gold. His generosity and the love he gave to his friends and family is a very big part of his legacy.”
~ Jeff Carlisi, guitarist for 38 Special, former Big People bandmate
(Photo courtesy of Jeff Carlisi, given to Joe Milliken. Used with permission.)
“My adventures with Ben, whether playing in Richard & the Rabbits, or when we’d see each other during or after The Cars and pop stardom, were always marked with mischief, easy laughs and an effortless connection. He was a delightful, unpretentious, generous, magnetic and down-to-earth guy, with one of the greatest voices I’ve ever heard and an irresistible grin that sent countless hearts a-twitter. I’m so glad Joe Milliken is telling Ben’s story.”
~ Fuzzbee Morse, multi-instrumentalist, former Richard and The Rabbits bandmate.
(Fuzzbee and Greg Hawkes at the Rock Hall induction ceremony. Photo courtesy of Fuzzbee Morse)
“Milliken lifts the veil on the ice-cool Ben Orr, the languid rocking voice at the center of The Cars’ classic pop-rock sound, uncovering details behind his musical journey. I’m very glad that such an informative and insightful book has finally been written about Ben, since his contribution to classic rock music is vast and cannot be ignored.”
~ Pat Travers, rock guitarist, former Big People bandmate
(Photo courtesy of Jeff Carlisi, given to Joe Milliken. Used with permission.)
“To know Ben was an honor and a pleasure. He could go from ‘rock god’ to ‘bro’ in seconds, ready to go hang with the boys, but usually be a magnet for the girls. There was no pretense, just talent and good nature. Hats off to Joe Milliken for making sure his story is remembered."
~Bill Gerber, film producer and formerly of Lookout Management
(Photo courtesy of Zimbio)
“Working as a label promotions man and doing production work, my first impression of a 16-year-old ‘Benny Eleven Letters’ was that of a polite, respectful young man. The Grasshoppers was one of my first production jobs and Benny’s first, and he was *already* very professional in the studio. After he became famous and I was promoting Cars’ records, he was always well-liked by media and radio personnel, and I will never forget how proud I was to have known and worked with him. I am thankful his story is finally being told. ”
~ Carl Maduri, record producer
(Photo courtesy of Roulette Records)
“I find it fitting that Joe Milliken, a friend and talented writer, would choose to create a book about another talented friend, Benjamin Orr. I always thought Ben was a fantastic singer and musician, but it wasn’t until I sang backup vocals on his solo project that I realized what a gifted writer he was as well. So, I suppose that’s another thing Ben had in common with Joe! I am so looking forward to reading Joe’s new book about Ben Orr!”
~ Charlie Farren, singer-songwriter
(Photo courtesy of Charlie Farren, used with permission.)