Let's Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars: Choosing the Cover Image

BELLOWS FALLS, VERMONT - Since making available the cover art for my upcoming book, several fans have asked why I chose that particular photo. A part of it has to do with photographer, Ebet Roberts, the famous New York City-based artist who is not only an incredible photographer, but an even better person. Throughout the process Ebet has been nothing but gracious, cooperative, humble, and she loved Benjamin.

Her reaction when I approached her about using the image for the book cover, and then showing her said cover? "Joe! I am so happy! That is truly one of my all-time favorite photos that I have taken and I can still remember when I took it, knowing it was going to be great!" Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled by her response and I feel very lucky and privileged to have her enthusiastic blessing.

The photo, again, is truly my favorite image of Benjamin. It is a stunning combination of classic and cool. I just love how he is dress to "the nines," yet still looks so "rock-and-roll." This is also my favorite "Ben era," the time period between the release of the debut album in 1978, right through the 1979 Candy-O tour. Orr is also playing his immaculate Vox bass, my favorite of all his instruments, which he unfortunately lost in a 1980 apartment building fire. I even love the interesting background: the photo was taken at the Paradiso in Amsterdam; the stained glass windows add depth and elegance to the overall image.

And finally, it really does come down to Benjamin's overall presence in this image that has always grabbed me. His handsome face and cleft chin framed by that shoulder length, platinum blonde hair. His face is half in shade and half in light, which creates this mysterious aura that so represents his personality and privacy... those eyes seemingly creating windows into the man's soul.

The image is moving and really captures, to me, the essence of not only his rare stage presence, but also his magnetic and enigmatic personality. A complex photo representing a simple and private, yet passionate man. #LetsGo

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