A look back at The Strokes and Jarvis Cocker covering The Cars’ ‘Just What I Needed’
With the sad passing of The Cars legend Ric Ocasek last month, the outpouring of emotional tributes was only overshadowed by the far reaching musical influence the Baltimore singer. Two artists who were undoubtedly stimulated by the band’s proto-new wave were The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas and Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker. In 2011, before the singer passed, the pair paid tribute with an impressive cover of ‘Just What I Need’ for a very lucky Reading Festival crowd.
With The Strokes headlining the Reading Festival of 2011 there was always going to be a scene of indie bliss when the lights pointed at the site’s Main Stage for the anarchic Saturday night slot. But with Pulp on a reunion tour and finding room for another stellar performance at the festival, the band went on just before the indie behemoths took the stage.
The Strokes naturally delivered an almost note-perfect performance, covering their range of hits and generally providing the kind of beer-throwing good time which the Saturday night slot asks for. This isn’t the time to sit back and create conceptual masterpieces of swirling sonic sculpture, this is the night to deliver a performance to make Kev from Swindon forget about his shitty accounting job for a few hours. And The Strokes are one of the best bands in the world to do that.
Another class act in the pub jukebox is Pulp. The band who obviously honed their talents in the heart of Britpop, always felt like the thinking man’s choice when posed with the question of who was the best British band in the nineties. Jarvis Cocker or “The Jarv” as Jules calls him in the video, carved out his own niche of intelligent indie-pop to please the masses. And neither of these two gigantic acts could have been conceivable without Ocasek’s wonderful work with The Cars.
The Cars, like no other band, could straddle the line between hard rock and perfect pop so easily. Ocasek was at the heart of those triumphant moments and because of it found himself as the subject of the affections of two great frontmen of the rock and roll tapestry he begun the needlework on. His influence will live on forever.
So, without further ado, take a look back at Jarvis Cocker walking on to support The Strokes performing The Cars’ ‘Just What I Needed’.