The Cars' guitarist, Elliot Easton said that the band did "a lot of healing" before Ric Ocasek passed away.
The band had split in 1988 and they had only reunited twice - once in 2011 and when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame early 2018.
"Ric had been the dictator of a very small country, and I think it was wearing on everybody," Ocasek's wife, Paulina Porizkova, told Rolling Stone. "All the guys were really fond of each other, but it had run its course at that time. Creatively, he really wanted to stretch his wings and get a little weirder. People expected the Cars thing, the hooks. He was like, 'Fuck that – I want to do something else.'"
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Easton recalled the band broke up in a recording studio. "We were just sitting and listening and talking, and he just kind of said, 'You know, I think I'm going to leave the group.' All the blood went to my feet," he said.
He explained that the Rock Hall induction reunion created a pathway for healing. Ocasek and Easton had begun exchanging friendly texts as a result.
Easton explained that Ocasek was much happier being in the recording studio. "He was definitely not one of those 'Hello, Cleveland!' kind of guys."