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Cars drummer on Hall snub: No big deal

David Robinson (left) with fellow Cars members Elliot Easton, Ric Ocasek, Greg Hawkes, and Ben Orr.
David Robinson (left) with fellow Cars members Elliot Easton, Ric Ocasek, Greg Hawkes, and Ben Orr. (Nick Rosza/File 1982)

There are doubtless a lot of people who were surprised and unhappy that the Cars were not voted into the Rock and Roll Hall Fame. The band isn’t among them, at least not drummer David Robinson, who didn’t even know — until someone told him — that Boston’s most popular purveyor of the genre known as New Wave had been passed over by voters last week. “They ruined my Christmas,” Robinson said in mock self pity when we reached him Friday. Don’t misunderstand: Robinson appreciated the nomination and would welcome induction someday, but it doesn’t keep him up at night. “I haven’t talked to the other guys about it, and now, of course, I don’t need to,” he said, referring to bandmates Ric Ocasek, guitarist Elliot Easton, and keyboardist Greg Hawkes. (Bassist Ben Orr died in 2000.) The Cars sold millions of records thanks to a string of hits that included “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Good Times Roll,” “Let’s Go,” and “It’s All I Can Do,” but that apparently wasn’t enough for the arbiters at the Hall of Fame. Those who did get in include NWA, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, and Steve Miller. Robinson might quibble with Compton rappers NWA — “I don’t think by anyone’s definition they’re rock and roll. They might not even like to be called rock and roll.” — but he’s happy for the others. “Cheap Trick is one of the hardest-working bands in America and I love Steve Miller,” he said. “But I guess we’re just sort of nonchalant about it.”

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