Ocasek passed in September, 18 months after the band reunited for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Prior to that, they hadn’t worked together since 2011, but issues still remained around their 1988 split.
“Ric had been the dictator of a very small country and I think it was wearing on everybody,” Ocasek’s estranged wife Paulina Porizkova told Rolling Stone of the situation three decades ago. “All the guys were really fond of each other, but it had run its course at that time. Creatively he really wanted to stretch his wings and get a little weirder. People expected the Cars thing, the hooks. He was like, ‘Fuck that – I want to do something else.’”