Maybe You're On A Rocket
Ric Okasek


In 1991, Ric Okasek, former lead singer of the big-hit band The Cars, released a now-unknown album, "Fireball Zone." Currently out of print, it has since vanished from stores. Ironically, it was a perfectly good album, with very good songs including "Come Back," "They Tried," "Over and Over," and "All We Need Is Love." Surprisingly, this album had two videos: "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Rockaway." The album cover is a touched up copy of one of the pictures of Ric from the "Door To Door" album cover with the artwork done by his wife, Paulina. When this album was released, it was meant to be a new beginning for Ric Ocasek musically with a media blitz on radio programs including "Rockline" (7/22/91) where Ric answered listener's question on the radio and had high hopes for the album's success. Unfortunately, things didn't work out the way he had expected.

There is one reference to Pynchon in the liner notes, where Ocasek thanks a long list of people, including Pynchon. Lots of the lyrics seem to reflect Pynchon themes. For example, see the cut "all we need is love." In it you find lyrics like "maybe you're on a rocket" and "maybe you'd like a rainbow."


All We Need Is Love

maybe you're on a rocket
shooting for the moon and the stars
sometimes it ends up right in your pocket
or you just forgot who you are
maybe you're on a mission
trying to get a leg across
but nobody wants to listen
'cause everybody's getting lost
all we need is love
all we need is love
when it comes to push and shove
all we need is love
maybe you'd like a rainbow
forever up in the sky
or some kind of mythical figure
on which you could rely
maybe you'd like a reason
for keeping it all alive
better be ready change like the seasons
instead of keeping it all inside
maybe you're on a rocket
shooting for the moon and the stars
sometimes it ends up right in your pocket
or tapping on your reservoir

Information about this Pynchon connection submitted by:
Bill Richardson
Loveland, Ohio


Fireball Zone, 1991


1 Rockaway 4:21
2 Touch Down Easy 4:11
3 Come Back 4:19
4 The Way You Look Tonight 4:38
5 All We Need Is Love 4:56
6 Over And Over 5:30
7 Flowers Of Evil 4:41
8 They Tried 3:52
9 Keep That Dream 4:25
10 Balance 4:40
11 Mister Meaner 4:49
12 Fireball Zone 4:24

The Group
Ric Ocasek Vocals, Keyboards, and Guitar
Larry Aberman Drums
Al Berry Bass
Richard Hilton Keyboards
Larry Mitchell Lead Guitar
Nile Rodgers Guitars
Dan Huff Guitars (#10, #11)
Mickey Currie Drums (#10, #11)
Steve Elson
Stan Harrison

Mat Collehon
Tawatha Agee
Funzi Thorton

Curtis King Jr.

Dennis Collins
Backing Vocals

Credits Copyright 1991 Repise Records
Produced By Nile Rodgers, and Ric Ocasek
Engineered By Jan Goldberger
Mastered By George Marino at Sterling Sound N.Y.C.
Written By Ric Ocasek except Touch Down Easy with Rick Nowles


For information on Ric Okasek's solo carrer, visit:


Anderson, Laurie.
Famous New York performance artist Laurie Anderson dedicated a song to Pynchon on her Mister Heartbreak album.

Benatar, Pat.
Believe it or not, she named a final album Gravity's Rainbow.

Benny Profane.
English hard rockers from Liverpool, they took their name from a character in V.

Blowtorch, Eric
Reggae influenced artist putting Pynchon's lyrics to music.

An avant garde German group used Gravity's Rainbow to tell a different tale.

Corey, Prof. Irwin.
The man who was the infamous stand-in for Thomas Ruggles Pynchon.

They recorded Maxwell's Demon Box on their album, Days Between Stations.

Einhorn, Richard.
Another rendition of music devoted to the Demon, and much more.

Fariña, Richard.
An long-time friend of Pynchon, this folkie named an instrumental work after a Pynchon novel.

Favorite Color, The.
A New Jersey band sets a selection from V. to music on their album Color Out of Space (1996).

Fool, The.
Surely not Slothrop's band, this was a short lived group which did, in fact, have a harmonica player.

Forked Yew.
Independent, highly experimental rockers and Pynchon fans from the American South.

Frith & Kaiser.
An instrumental pair with a piece called The Kirghiz Light.

Hall, Ed.
An early 90's band influenced by Pynchon, they named a song Roger Mexico.

Insect Trust.
This jazzy, psychedelic group mined V. for lyrics to The Eyes of a New York Woman.

Jazz Butcher.
AKA Pat Fish, who named a track Looking for Lot 49 on his Fishcoteque album.

Jones, Spike.
Pynchon himself wrote the liner notes for Spiked!

Knopfler, Mark.
The Sultan of Swing sails to Philadelphia!

Koron, Barry.
Weilding the Sjambok never felt so good!

Lot 49 (Ontario).
This now retired hardcore outfit hailed from the hometown of Spermatikos Logos' own Laurence Daw.

Lot 49 (NYC).
Indie NYC rockers named after Pynchon's second novel.

A New York group whose liner notes were penned by the Man himself.


A visit to San Narciso.

Was the famous tune Smells Like Teen Spirit acutally inspired by a song from Gravity's Rainbow?

Nova Mob.
A "Rock Opera" filled with references to Gravity's Rainbow.

Ocker, David.
Musical meditations on Eight Facts About
Thomas Pynchon

Okasek, Ric.
Ride The Rocket with the former frontman of The Cars.


Pere Ubu.
David Thomas' legendary, seminal band shows some Pynchon influences.

These literate Indies hail from Flordia, and have a song about Wanda Tinasky which is highly recomm-ended!

Poster Children.
This group from Champaign, Illinois, covers a lot of Pynchon ground!

English art-rockers who incorporate many Pynchon motifs into their work.

An offshoot of Zoviet France, Robin Storey's group named Rapoon released an album called The Kirghiz Light.

Sauter & Dietrich, Moore.
More liner notes written by Pynchon !!


Six Finger Satellite.
Indie electro-rock futurists Six Finger Satellite make a reference to Gravity's Rainbow.

Soft Machine.
Seminal "proggies," they recorded a full-scale work called Esther's Nose Job in 1969.

Spock's Beard.
In memory of "the evil Spock," they do homage to V.

Time in Malta.
A California metal group with a name taken from V.

Ware, Tim.
Pynchon scholar, Web master, and MIDI Musician.

Whole Sick Crew, The.
Purveyors of pirate folk-punk, truly a gang like their Pynchon namesakes.

XXX Atomic Toejam.
F. Thorendal, from praised thrash-heroes Meshuggah, gets one in for the Vikings.

Yo La Tengo.
Making music indebted to The Crying of Lot 49.

Related to New York's Lot 49, ths Florida group also takes their name from Pynchon's work.

Zevon, Warren.
He recently released an album containing work inspired by Pynchon.


--Bill Richardson
& Dr Larry Daw

6 September 2001