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Greg Hawkes: Taking Hall of Fame music of The Cars for a drive home to Maryland


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Marylander Greg Hawkes of The Cars comes home with the hits performing with Eddie Japan at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Saturday night. The Atholton High grad tells tales of being an usher at Merriweather Post Pavilion, seeing the Beatles at the Baltimore Civic Center and his incredible band’s journey from Boston to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


band, cars, songs, greg, music, playing, baltimore, appleton, beatles, boston, talk, annapolis, rock, shows, night, hawkes, mccartney, years, rick, give


Nestor J. Aparicio, Greg Hawkes

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn St. am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. You know, that’s good pieces this year. I think this is going to be one of my favorites. We are getting out and doing the Maryland crab cake tour in addition to the oyster tour that I’m putting together into September all summer long. Go ahead and check it all out. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery. I’ll have scratch offs to give away. The schedule is up on the website. Also, our thanks to Liberty pure solutions for our clean water as well as Jiffy Lube multi care for getting us out on the road. Do a lot of sports around here, do a lot of politics, do a lot of business do a lot of things this summer. Nothing that gets my juices flowing more than when I can bring some rock and roll royalty onto the program. Over the course of my career in 40 years, I’ve interviewed over 100 Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, I erroneously wrote back in 2019, not erroneously I had never interviewed a member of this band. And this band is no longer fully compra comprised. But the one of the leaders and a guy that I just can’t wait to talk to Greg Hawkes from the cars is putting parts of the band’s in its music specs together. And we’re gonna go down to Annapolis on Saturday night and check out the music of the cars. And I tell you what, when I heard Greg hawks could come on, I’m like, Please get him on. And I thought I don’t hear Greg do a whole lot. I don’t know a lot about Greg, first off. Welcome. And thank you for your time you made time this week. And I know you’re not like on a big tour bus and rolling around. You’re like a regular guy going out into having a little bit of fun year. So thanks a lot for coming on and helping us promote this. This concert you’re doing well.


Greg Hawkes  01:41

Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure. And you’re right. Like the show that we’re gonna do in Annapolis is a fairly i i Don’t do that many of them. And this is that this one actually is the longest distance from my house to get there. So sort of expanding our territory, mainly, mainly I’ve done done these shows, with Eddie Japan, in more just kind of Boston, New England area. You know, I haven’t I haven’t expanded my, you know, our territory too much. But this is this is the longest foray so far.

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:28

Well, I can go hours with you because I do this professionally. And you know, I interviewed a lot of bands back in the 80s. And I wrote hundreds of pieces at the Baltimore Sun interviewing late 80s, your ERA door to door Arab, it was the beginning of my era at Ford and the 892. And I never ever knew you were associated with here in that you were interviewed here or ever did a story in the Howard County paper but you are an Atholton graduate, you consider this sort of home base. And when I did just this much research. I’m like, Oh, I know where I’m going to start the party. You are at the Baltimore Civic Center, seeing the Beatles in 1964, as we would say around here and you know, you have all that Boston refined Berkeley thing we would call you local around your Honda as a Baltimorean. You really, you’re a local guy that OKC gets it right. I mean, a lot of people I my radio stations in the aero area where he where he went to high school, but I don’t think people knew you were from here, Greg. Yeah,

Greg Hawkes  03:34

I grew up in Fulton, Maryland, which is like right near where Columbia is, in fact, Atholton High School was is now sort of become absorbed by Columbia. My first my first summer job was working as an usher at the Merriweather Post pavilion. And then finally, in I think it was in 1984. The cars played there. But but when I was in high school, that was my summer job. So I got to see, who did I see there. Wow. Now I’m blanking out.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:14


What years are we talking? Because I’m just trying to get the years right. Because I said to my wife, you were part of the great Columbia experiment. I mean, it was coming together when you were there, I think of it is like 72, but like Zeppelin knew who those bands were playing there, but it was built. And I wrote a huge story about this in the late 80s When I was the music critic at the sun. It was really built for the symphony. It was an alleged Symphony play, really for the Washington symphony to become the National Orchestra place. And that’s probably where you found it. Right?

Greg Hawkes  04:48

Well, well, yeah, that’s I remember that on the weekends or on Sundays. They would have the classical concerts. But then, you know, they had the rock concerts. Like on, you know, Friday and Saturday nights and then, you know, for other, you know, expanded other days in the week. But yeah, I saw Elton John, who on his I think it was his first US tour it was he just had the trio it was him. And Nigel somebody, the drummer and a bass player, I think. And I saw the WHO there. I saw Ravi Shankar. I saw the doors there. And then I saw, you know, they would have I saw Tom Jones was one of the shows that I was working on,

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:46

you know, they have all the posters of all of the subscription series that used to have to get on a Sunday, so they have any of that. Now, listen, you really need to come back to Merriweather and see it as it’s just the beautiful it’s one of the most it’s it’s the red rocks of the East Coast is what I’ve called, and it’s so beautiful. And I want to share something with you to give you the depth of my incredible Fandom of the cars and your gay uncle, one of my best friends in the world and I camped out for concert tickets on the tour that that you that you are that you’re speaking of. And the night that you said was your homecoming that I didn’t realize this is a front row pit seat. I was to your right in front of Elliot, and I’ll be honest with you, I caught Elliot’s pick that night. And it was hot as hell it was in July was 110 degrees that night. And we were in the front row and all I heard was Elliott’s monitor. guitar parts, but I did catch his pick, but it was not next well in the front row on the side of the pit. 1984. Bregman

Greg Hawkes  06:53

likes to play loud.


Nestor J. Aparicio  06:57

Tell me like just as a reset, we’ll get back into Baltimore in the Beatles. I want to do all of that. What are you doing right now? And what is your real life? Like? Because it’s not that I haven’t thought of you. You haven’t been out? You’re alive and well, your music is a part of my life. I would almost say on a daily basis. I mean, your band pops up whether it’s these crazy belt buckles that I collect the Pacifica belt buckles I collecting. But we love your music and you’re bringing it to life, right, like right here in Annapolis. And you don’t do this, like ever. And with Rick and Ben gone. This is this is special, what you’re doing, I think, like

Greg Hawkes  07:35

I said, it isn’t just an occasional occurrence. Like I think maybe we’re doing a total of 10 shows this year. Which to me sounds like a lot, you know, but these days, but but, I mean, you know, it’s not really you know, it’s it’s not very much I’ve got a you know, it’s a pretty easy schedule, you know? Well, why

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:00

wait, tell me Give me the whole history of stage.

Greg Hawkes  08:08


Boy, that’s an interesting question. Now I will part of it is just, I kind of lost my taste for travel when the pandemic came. So just, I don’t know if if, if, if you were or other other people, other listeners would know it. But before the pandemic for a period of about, I don’t know, 12 to 15 years, I was playing and Todd Rundgren spanned. And so I was doing a lot of traveling with him. I was

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:52

staying at his crib in Hawaii, at least the Julis get put up there. Yeah,

Greg Hawkes  08:57

I’ve I haven’t stayed there. I’ve been to it. They which is a very interesting house. Because first of all, he he in his like living room kitchen. One of the walls there is no wall. It’s just like open air.

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:13

It’s like a pond. I’ve seen it on Daryl Hall Show when he that that was one of the most beautifully shot. And when I tell people if you want to go watch that specific episode of Daryl Hall, and it’s one of the most beautiful episodes he ever did. And the music’s glorious, and it’s the sound that he gets there. It’s only wrong going to come up with that. Right?


Greg Hawkes  09:36

Yeah. And it’s and it’s funny. It’s like Todd design the place really himself. You know, it took a while to build it and I remember when it was, you know, being built and then when I finally went there and realize that like one whole wall is just completely open err. So for one thing animals can wander in. They’ve they’ve had trouble with, you know, like animals getting into their kitchen, which is just like access to

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:12

wild roosters and chickens everywhere. Right? Yeah,

Greg Hawkes  10:16

I know it’s crazy, but But it’s beautiful and there’s like a little creek you know, waterway that floats that goes through the living room. So you have to you know, like, you know, go over a little stepping stones on it, which, which empties out into that sort of like little infinity touch style pool that you can see on the on the daredevils, the Daryl is house episode that you’re talking about. I thought he could have

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:45


done COVID Every night from there and it would have made COVID A lot better for me if he didn’t want to talk just would have come out and sung some songs for us, you know, but touch so many people like you want to be drawn to the to the Japan anti Japan thing like I How did you get so you weren’t traveling? You didn’t want to travel? So if you’re traveling, you don’t have a tour. You don’t have a band? Yeah.

Greg Hawkes  11:06

So with any Japan that that came about, I met those guys. This is another sort of small world story back, I’ll go back to 1980, the cars the 1980 panorama tour. During the summer, a group the motels open for us, Martha Davis. And so there was some point. So now we’ll move up in time to I don’t know, a couple of years or so before the pandemic and I went to see the motels at a club in not in Boston. But in Somerville like it’s just one of the next towns over. It’s actually I consider it you know, sort of part of Boston, but it’s, it’s on the other side of the river. And so anyway, I went and saw the motels and Eddie Japan was opening was the the band that was opening for the motels. And so I just you know, we just started chatting backstage, you know, after the show, and I actually knew one of their guitar players from a previous band from Boston called tribe, and I don’t know how much national attention they really got. But they were legendary, sort of in the in the Boston area for a while. And and so I knew Eric Roche’s from from that band. And so then I ended up, they asked if I’d be interested in like, producing, you know, some songs of there’s some songs in the studio. So I did that. And they did a CD, it was called the Golden Age. And then when they had like, a record release party, they wanted to know if I would sit in, and like at the end of the set, you know, do a couple of cars songs. So, you know, I did that the cars

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:07

part of their repertoire today do car songs,

Greg Hawkes  13:09

no. Okay. All right, just to warn them, you know, for the fact that I had worked on the record and, you know, what, if you’re gonna so so, you know, we did a couple of cars, songs, it was, you know, it was fun to do, you know, and then a couple months later, they approached me with the idea of doing like, what do you think about doing a whole set of cars material? And then I was like, yikes, I don’t know about that. And real life


Nestor J. Aparicio  13:39

like for you at that point, you said the pandemic, I mean, kids grandkids home, you’re in the Boston area. I mean, um,

Greg Hawkes  13:46

you know, I at that point, I considered myself pretty semi retired. I I don’t know if I was still doing any shows with Todd but I really wasn’t performing and choice Riley really just occasional studio thing. And, you know, but but mainly kind of hanging around. sickly, you know, kind of goofing off. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:19

it gives you so this is an idea and you’re like, Well, I like car songs and tell me more and I mean, in Annapolis, and I’ve got friends in my world that are really excited about coming down to show you know,

Greg Hawkes  14:31


oh, yeah, but but they really kind of had to talk me into the idea. So I was like, Okay, I’ll do one song or one, one show and see how it goes. And then it went over so well. That it was like okay, let’s do a couple more. And and so now it’s gotten up to 10 shows. Greg, I’m excited. I’m excited to be down here. had to Annapolis. I played it the Rams had as a member of Todd’s band. But it’s the first time I’m doing it, you know, with with the cars with the cars material?

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:14

Well, I would say this for all the years that I’ve been a cars fan. And again, Rick was very linked to Baltimore in a way that he really didn’t spend any time here but but had formative years here. Your formative years here, speak to me about that, because I, if I had ever talked to you, it would have been about seeing the Beatles at the Civic Center, and how you became a musician and nobody knew you were ticket taker at Merriweather until five minutes ago. So I want to go back more to you know, my wife is from the New Hampshire area, and I told her, hey, the cars played their first gig and I said, Peace Air Force. She’s like peace, peace, like peace. Poor John. It’s in Portsmouth, and I’m like, okay, but my wife’s in New Hampshire person. And you all are thought to be the Boston band of that era. And along with Aerosmith and other bands that came out of that era, but you escaped here. Give me the escape hatch for you because you’re a very you’re a saxophone player. You would accomplish me, Berkeley. I mean, guys with long hair couldn’t get into Berkeley in the 70s. From what I understand, Greg, yeah, well,

Greg Hawkes  16:18

there were there were a number of guys with long hair there went up so that’s good. Yeah, it’s funny because I I was coming out of high school, I was a little torn between pursuing music and pursuing art. Because I did like to draw and I had always had an interest in. In art, and I do a lot of like, little cartoons type.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:51

Did you design the logo or No, no,


Greg Hawkes  16:54

no. Okay. David, David Robinson, our drummer did the logo. In fact, he was really the art director for the band. He designed all the album covers

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:05

so the shake it up girls, all of that, with the exception of the first one.

Greg Hawkes  17:11

He designed the inner sleeve but he did not do the the girl with the driver’s wheel. On the first album,

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:20


I got thrown out of school the day after the shaken up tour. I’m not kidding you at the Capitol center. I had the shirt and it had the semi nude women on both sides of it. I wish I had the shirt wouldn’t fit right now. But but I literally my parents had to compromise another shirt. They would let me wear it. So you were banned? It was almost like Russia back in 8182. Yeah, we were banned in Ahlberg middle schools.

Greg Hawkes  17:40

Wow, was that happening?

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:42

So you’re gonna be an artist,

Greg Hawkes  17:43

but then you became a musician? Yeah. Yeah. And, and a really, I mean it. You’ve talked about going to see the Beatles, but my story that I like to tell about it, is that I had been taken piano lessons for two or three years and I was getting a little bored with it. And my dad came home from from work one day and said, Well, I’ve got tickets that so this would have been you know, 1964 I was 11 at the time and he’s I’ve got tickets to go see the Beatles. But if you want to go you’ve got to sign up for another year of piano lessons. Ah, so it ended up being like a win win situation.


Nestor J. Aparicio  18:34

Really so tell me about see did you go to the afternoon show or the evening showed Yeah, afternoon

Greg Hawkes  18:39

show. It was the afternoon show. They were they did like what like a 25 minute set, no encores 10 or 11 songs. I know there’s a there’s a website that has like the whole setlist, but I know they did like Roll Over Beethoven. Oh, my love and thanks. So he said today that I was slightly disappointed that they did not play. I want to hold your hand. But they did play she loves you. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:11

I want to hold your hand was controversial, right? Like, did you see the Sullivan Ed Sullivan Show or no?

Greg Hawkes  19:17


Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I had seen the Ed Sullivan Show.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:22

Everybody saw that next day in school. Everybody saw The Ed Sullivan Show, right? It was one of those crazy moments in life. Right.

Greg Hawkes  19:28

So I mean, it really was like, you know, one of those kinds of lightbulb experiences like you know, it was even before I saw them when I first heard them is like wow, I’ve never heard music like this. Wow, what is this? This is, you know, and I just got excited by it. And then it was like, wow, I you know, that’s what I want to do. You know, be in a band and it was, you know, definitely a drill direct result of you know, being a Beatles kid in 1964

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:05

Boy Greg Hawkes is here Rock and Roll Hall of Famer I love we got royalty on the Pro I liked so I put my hair out today because I wanted to let them brush my rock and roll hair. So I’ve used that a couple of times in my in my time. You know, I have to go back to this because you’ve already mentioned Ron grin and I have not spent enough time in my life with Ron grins music I it’s one of those things that like reading Hemingway, I’m gonna go back and do more with Ron grin. But the Beatles reference you make you spent time with Paul McCartney and later in life, played with him. And I did not know that until I did more research. You’re very humble man, Greg Hawkes, I will say this. You’ve touched lots and lots of people that I mean, a documentary about your life would be something because this kid from Appleton who was taken tickets at Merriweather and going to shows now you’re with McCartney in recent times as as grownups, right, yeah,


Greg Hawkes  21:01

yeah, I got to play on one of his records on on one song as it turned out. But the song was called motor of love from the flowers in the dirt album. And I I got the call from a producer, the producer, this guy, Chris Hughes, who had produced Tears for Fears, he also produced one of Rick’s solo records, the this side of paradise record. So that’s how I knew Chris. So Chris was going to got the job to produce the swan song by McCartney. And so Chris calls me up and said that when McCartney played him the song, he says, I’d like this to sound a little like drive by the cars. And so Chris says, Oh, I know, Greg, and we, you know, we, you know, and so Paul was oh, shall we have them come over? And there you go. Your phone

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:07

rings and McCartney wants that? I mean, was there a point that you got on a plane and flew across the pond to do this? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you have to have thought about that moment at the Baltimore Civic Center. And I would think your, your father to with the piano lessons, like it all comes full circle that you got to meet McCartney, but he requested you?

Greg Hawkes  22:29

Yes. I know. Wife is a strange, strange thing. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve, I, you know, I do consider myself a lucky guy to have found myself in these situations that I’d never really would have, you know, imagined on

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:51


stage at Live Aid as an example, right? I was I was at that show in Philly, too. Yeah.

Greg Hawkes  22:57

Wow. Yeah. Yeah, there’s another one. Yeah, just like huge and, you know, being on TV and to be able to, you know, sort of just to be in that company. It was pretty amazing. And I’m still I’m still Yeah, you know, humbled and grateful for the experiences.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:24

So for you putting this together and coming out playing a couple songs that everybody knows and taps their feet to and are a little ubiquitous to our culture. If you’re anywhere you can hear him in the in the island wise markets are i here on pumping gas and rural farms all here drive, we’re all here one of your songs, to go out and play them now and to at your age, and you seem like you’d like being at home. And you know, to come out and be a part of this and maybe this kick around Annapolis and grab a meal or get a decent crab cake while you’re traveling around? For sure. Right? I mean, but to get up and do this for an hour, hour and a half on Saturday night at ramshead speak about that, and the music and the songs you pick and your role in it. And being a guy that I want to talk to the people want to go to YouTube or come to my website and say, Hey, he’s the he’s the guy in the cars I was at that show at heartbeat city or I love that or I love that song. And all of these years later, you get to go out and do this. It is a privilege but from your perspective to come and do it. There is a why for me that you’re coming out and doing it as cover bands everywhere doing car songs, right? Yeah,

Greg Hawkes  24:32

I know. I mean, that was that was part of my reluctance to even do the shows. I gotta admit at first with Eddie Japan because I was I was afraid of it being perceived as like, as like a tribute band, I guess. But it but first of all, I’ll say Eddie, Japan has done a really good job and they really did their homework and, and learn the arrangements you know? And they they play the stuff really well. I’ll teach the catalog


Nestor J. Aparicio  25:11

you do 1520 songs. I mean, you’re gonna do some deeper cuts than I have and I will

Greg Hawkes  25:16

20 over you know, maybe 24 songs I think cars music really? Yeah, it’s it will

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:23

include excited Greg don’t get me too excited come on down well include

Greg Hawkes  25:27


I would say first of all, the entire first album, not not necessarily like back to back but all the songs from the first album will be represented in and some of the let’s see, I’m trying with I trying to think of some of the more obscure songs so we do a couple from panorama. I mean, we do a couple from all other records except door to door to tell you the truth. Just because I couldn’t really I didn’t know if it was necessary to pick one from door to door in and it’s also my least favorite cars album.

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:17

Well I like strap me and I like you know you’re the guy I like those songs. So you know

Greg Hawkes  26:21

you can add those later. I haven’t even listened to it in years and years. So I probably should give it a you know a second listen well, but but but nevertheless you know from the other you know, we do bits from from all the other cars and and it’s an it’s a predominantly all car songs. There’s a few that are non car songs, but they have like a connection to my career. I guess like for instance, we do with Todd Rundgren song. We do. We I did a solo album called Niagara Falls and we do a song from there called jetlag.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:13

You work with the turtles, didn’t you? Yeah,


Greg Hawkes  27:15

we do what we just learned a song from the turtles that we’ll be playing. So so it’s an end. So like it’s at least 90% car songs, but just a couple of like little off off ramps to, you know, just to other material that that I still you know, had a hand in. Well, you’re making a

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:43

great night for anybody who’s a cars fan that wants to invest in come out and see your band Eddie Japan, Greg Hawkes, the great rock and roll keyboard player one time saxophonist and the occasional absolutely no play once once it always around the holidays of the turtles. Todd Rundgren, Paul McCartney, we haven’t talked about Mutt Lange. And I know that that may be but when I think about the people you touched, let alone what Rick went on to touch. Even Ben before he passed the people he was working with with like Jeff Carter LISI from 38 special and just what a what a group of months all of you were as musicians. And as people and I listened five guys getting in a band when you’re not even young. You guys were a little older, trying to make it work. You made it work for 1015 years, whatever. But just,

Greg Hawkes  28:37

I was 25 when the first album came out.

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:40


And were you the baby?

Greg Hawkes  28:42

Already six years ago.

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:44

Were you the youngest guy in the band?

Greg Hawkes  28:45

I Elliot, I think is a year younger than me. Yeah, but


Nestor J. Aparicio  28:49

you were not when the band broke. You guys were adults, you weren’t. You know, you had been in a lot of other bands and a lot of situations and lived in different places. Like you’re thought of as a Boston band, but you were a band of professional musicians who found each other right. Yeah,

Greg Hawkes  29:06

yeah. Yeah, I mean, I had I had known Rick and Ben for a few years before the cars before the cars and then played in a couple of bands with them previous to the cars, but, you know, just like, you know, a lot of bands nothing ever happened. And it was just something about the combination of people and and, and, and timing and the whole I don’t know, the cars but when they when we started it just felt different. Like it felt a little more focused. And and even David was saying, you know, we should we should all just like wear black and white. So, you know, we’ll at least look like a band and and have more, you know,

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:03

you had an image ties you, you were a real plumbing that video era. I mean, the only night I was I ever met Ben, I was backstage at the Palladium. And Rick was there with Paulina kind of early on was 9086 MTV Video Awards, Tina Turner performed that night. You guys were up on the second level. And I’m like, and I’m 18 years old, and I wasn’t super starstruck, but I was like, holy shit that’s been or, you know, like, I call I was like, it’s a couple of years after the Merriweather show. You guys were the biggest band in our culture for your time, and certainly, for what video didn’t just do for you, but the image and the all of the logos, all of the 80s I mean, you were, yeah, 40 years later, I still can’t wait to come and hear your music. You know,

Greg Hawkes  30:54


cool. Yeah, yeah, I know that that video for you might think one, that first ever MTV Video of the Year.

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:05

And that was a hell of a night at the Palladium. I might say that Craig last for you just let me go fanboy for a minute or two. And we are looking for the bands playing ramshead on Saturday night. They don’t get out much. Eddie Eddie, Japan is going to keep going to say Eddie from Ohio because that was the from an Eddie Japan doing cars, music and other things. And anything on what length before I get to my fanboy stuff?

Greg Hawkes  31:29

He’s just Yeah. Boy. There was like no detail. So you know, you would think so small, that are insignificant, you might think that he wouldn’t happily spend two days trying to, you know, study it and fix it. And we spent like, we would spend so much time like doing the backing vocals, like the backing vocals on Drive, like took two or three or four days of going out, you know, with headphones and and Mutt would be there, you know, I’m not quite in tune. And it was mainly Ben and Elliot and myself doing the background vocals on Drive. And you know, going ooh, to an MK would be ah, not breathy enough. Ah, no. Not breathy enough. And you know, and then after that, and then, you know, finally he goes on coming out there to sing with you guys. And so okay, then it was the four of us. And we’re all you know, going, Whoo. And then he, he left Nigel, the engineer in charge. And then Nigel was just as bad as mud. He was like, I’m not quite in tune. I better do it again. And again.

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:56

Is that why it’s not the night? I love that so much. Just because it took five months to make it. Yeah.


Greg Hawkes  33:06

Auto overdubbing on those background vocals.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:09

What’s your favorite car song?

Greg Hawkes  33:11

Whew. It may be just what I needed. Because it was it was sort of the first one that when we first started learning it, I thought, wow, this is this song could be a hit single. And somehow in my head, it was like it had a little unique, the chords were a little unique. Strangely enough, or coincidently enough the chord pattern in the verses of just what I needed are eerily similar to the chords and the verse of I want to hold your hand if I had I can’t do it give you you also

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:03


had the pie by love thing right through with the Everly Brothers by by right yeah,

Greg Hawkes  34:08

yeah, yeah, and even best friend’s girl. I mean, Elliot’s good old guitar part Darren did earn Air and Air did air is like, you know, it’s like practically, you know, comes off a Beatles record and borrowed? Yes, yes.

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:23

Just borrowed all these years later, and I’ll wrap with this and you’ve been so generous with your time Greg Hawks. I Rock and Roll Hall of Famer from the cars is our guest. The cars, music is still very much alive and I could quote songs and do Fast Times at Ridgemont High moving in stereo. Like all that stuff

Greg Hawkes  34:42

was stereos is another personal favorite of mine. I gotta admit, I


Nestor J. Aparicio  34:47

love it all. And I’m such an iPod guy. And I had Thomas Dolby who lives here in Baltimore now and he’s out on the road doing his thing. This summer with a whole bunch of bands of the era totally tubular also Playing the anthem and a couple weeks please go see Thomas and he lives here in Baltimore. He came out. And on the way sort of out of the show, we were talking about all these crazy belt buckles and sort of the classic rock Zeplin, who, you know, we talked about, and he’s like, I grew up on Kraftwerk. And I’m thinking you Kraftwerk was your thing to write.

Greg Hawkes  35:18

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Well, that music you hear

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:22

that and moving it. You hear that in your that’s what your contribution to the band was? I would think,

Greg Hawkes  35:28


Oh, yeah, a lot of a lot of if I can do that. Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka. The keyboard part is definitely a craft work influence.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:41

How did you find the music of craft work? Was that something Boston offered you at that point in your life? Your music was hard to do.

Greg Hawkes  35:49

I think it was David Robinson, our joy. Our drummer first played it for me. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:55

there you go. You’re in an art band, you get you find cool music that 50 years later, inspires all of you, right? Yeah.


Greg Hawkes  36:03

Trans Europe Express, I think was the first one that I heard. And then I went and, you know, went, you know, had to go back and get all their previous work and but yeah, I love Kraftwerk. Well, there were record

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:20

stores in Boston in the 70s. That would, that could expedite European imports, amongst other things. Last thing for you all these years later, man, I first off, I’m embarrassed I’ve never had you on. I really appreciate it. I’m glad that you’re playing some music. My wife’s on crutches. So RAM said she broke her ankle. So ramps, it’s manageable, and she loves the cars. We’re trying to figure out what to fight over who gets to wear what belt buckle because we have all of these sort of alternate weird belt buckles to wear your band and your contribution. And all these years later mean, the cars were small ish part of your 70 years on the planet. And it’s what you’re the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. What was the best part of the cars for you when you look back on on your life and another Rock and Roll Hall of Fame speech years later, when we’re all gathered to see the cars music? What did the cars mean to you and your life?

Greg Hawkes  37:11

Just being able to contribute to that body of music that has resonated and, and it still seems somewhat irrelevant these days? You know, for instance, I don’t know if you had told me 46 years ago, that I’d be playing the songs from that first record. Still, you know, I’d have thought you were crazy. But uh, but nevertheless, I am.

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:46


And you love the songs, don’t ya children, aren’t they? Yeah,

Greg Hawkes  37:50

I’m, I’m proud of the cars. I’m proud to have been a part of the whole experience. Yeah, you know, one of the more gratifying things about doing shows, like this is is, you know, meeting people after the show. And you know, and I’ll get stories. Oh, yeah. My first concert was going to see the cars or, or somebody will say, you know, I started playing keyboards because of you. And I’m like, wow, you know, that’s, that’s such a it’s an emotional. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:30

I’ll leave you with this on behalf of my keyboard player, Ron West, who was my, my middle school chum, who became the keyboard player in my band. Ridgemont High and we did drive. We did Let’s go. And and when I texted him last week and said, I got a shot to have Greg Hawkes on my show. He said, My idol. And I’m like, so there you have it. All right. So from Dundalk, Maryland, to Appleton off to Berkeley and all over the world. Maryland zone soaked in the soil here of the Chesapeake Bay, Greg hawks, a little homecoming here and homecoming to marry with we you really need to see a show at Merriweather Post. You need to go back to that sacred ground where you took you took tickets there you are not sure. Yeah, I

Greg Hawkes  39:21

was an usher. I took tickets. At some of the shows. I even sat at the backstage door with the guests list. You know, like, oh, you know, um, what’s that?


Nestor J. Aparicio  39:35

Did you meet Daltrey?

Greg Hawkes  39:36

I did not meet them. No. Okay. All right. I thought I was probably assuring.

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:46

Show you to get the VIP that was on Symphony night. They gave you the backstage access, right? Yeah, yeah. Right. Thanks so much for your time. Eddie, Japan and Greg Hawkes Hall of Famer, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer from the cars. I let my Rock and Roll hair out and a really really appreciative of all the music you should be proud of that band you were you were in a hell of a band one of the all time great bands and my first ever CD I purchased at eastpoint mall when CDs became CDs, the cars Greatest Hits because I had to have it all. I couldn’t afford off all five you know, I’d said the greatest it’s

Greg Hawkes  40:19


a good one to start with the starter kit. It’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:23

a starter kit. Thank you so much Greg Haas School go see him and RAM said in Annapolis homecoming show, Appleton zone, Columbia zone and Maryland’s own really, really happy with all the music we’ve done here this summer. I’ve had a mark Brian from hooting the blowfish, another Maryland Iran Thomas Dolby. We had Rick Hammond from triumph on a couple months ago and then of course the usual you know homeboys of John Allen and Gina shock and my other my other would he got Greg No,

Greg Hawkes  40:52

I was just gonna say I should give a shout out to Gina shock who i i just got together with I saw her like a month ago and and I just liked Gino a lot so she’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  41:05

from my hometown yeah like it was Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and she recently read the documentary part for my 40 year documentary of my life and rock and roll and in sports and and radio so we we keep good company you and I Greg if we’re getting a good company with Gina shock, so I gotta round her up on the Maryland crab cake. You mean her having an oyster would be something I’ll tell you.


Greg Hawkes  41:28

So there you go count.

Nestor J. Aparicio  41:29

Count me in. I love that. Greg hawks Rock and Roll Hall of Famer for the cars go check them out at ramshead and big thanks to a Laura as well as Kathy for making this happen and go support those folks down in Annapolis and get out while the weather is good. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore. We never stopped talking rock and roll and the cars put the band back the a Tommy calm will always says the 80s are coming back. The 80s are coming back

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