BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Local music journalist, Joe Milliken, will co-host an author event and reception to celebrate the release of his first book, “Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars,” Saturday, Nov. 17, at Village Square Booksellers on the Square. To be published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Nov. 11, the book tells the story of the late co-founder, co-lead singer, and bassist for the platinum-selling, Boston-based rock band The Cars.
Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Benjamin Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent, and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. Born Benjamin Orzechowski and raised in the Cleveland, Orr was a “teen star” as a house band musician for the nationally syndicated television show “Upbeat.” Nearly a decade later, he would meet his musical partner and future Cars’ bandleader, Ric Ocasek, and together they would go on to sell over 30 million albums worldwide resulting in 15 “Top 40” hits.
This first-ever biography about Orr spans 11 years in the making, as Milliken draws together interviews with over 120 family members, friends, bandmates, and music associates from Orr’s life, as well as many unpublished and never before seen photos from private collections, to reveal an intimate portrait of one of classic rock’s great talents.
Joe Milliken is a music journalist, editor, and website publisher of 20 years. A die-hard music fan with a degree in visual arts, Milliken turned to writing as a creative outlet, first as a local reporter, then a sports and arts & entertainment editor and freelancer. In 2014, he launched Standing Room Only, a website dedicated to promoting music and the arts on a local and national level. Milliken has resided in Bellows Falls for nearly 40 years with his wife, Kelly, and his children, Nate and Erin.
The book event will begin at 5 p.m. and will feature a Q&A session and book signing, along with Cars’ music and a slideshow of select photos from the author’s personal collection. There will be a reception at Popolo restaurant directly following the author event. Books will also be available for purchase. Guests bringing in their own copy of “Let’s Go!” for signing can expect to contribute to the Children’s Literacy Foundation, collected at the bookstore.