Follow a secluded gravel road through Thompson, Ohio, and you’ll find St. Patrick Cemetery, the final resting place of rocker Benjamin Orzechowski—better known as Benjamin Orr—of the band The Cars. The Ohio native died in 2000 at the age of 53.
Benjamin is buried next to his half-brother, Charles, and Charles’s wife, Mary.
Together with his friend and rhythm guitarist the late Ric Ocasek, bassist Orr started the band in 1976. Guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson rounded out the group. Orr is perhaps best remembered for singing one of the band’s most popular songs, “Drive.” He also released a solo album in 1986 called The Lace.
The quirky music of The Cars became one of the defining soundtracks of everyday life in the 1980s. The influence of their music lives on today, setting the mood on television series such as Stranger Things and Arrested Development, as well as the Transformer film franchise.
Trinkets and memorabilia surround Orr’s headstone. Items such as toy cars and guitars, keychains, and coins have been left by fans who have made the trek to pay their respects.
Know Before You Go
When visiting cemeteries and other sacred sites, please be respectful. There is a dragstrip just north of St. Patrick Cemetery, so you may hear revving car engines, as well as muffled music and voices over their PA system.