I have a memory of waking up one morning in 1978 or 1979 and the clock radio was playing this song. Or maybe it was another Cars song. What I remember is that it marked the beginning of a format on WPLJ called “The Next 25 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and at the time I didn’t know that the drummer in this band had been the drummer in the Modern Lovers. I remember thinking that this was weird music for the radio, though now the Cars don’t sound weird at all. But the next 25 years, according to WPLJ, which had had a progressive rock format until that morning, was going to be jangly new wave and punk, when the weird became normal.
I was in Boston last week and heard the Cars on the radio, and it all sounded homespun.