Is Niki Aukema the hottest New York City club diva that Ric has chosen to work with ? The answer is a definitive no since Niki has been dead almost 14 years. But I have recently discovered that Aukema, a folkie turned Rocker had both Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr ( listed as Ben Orzechowski) contribute to her 1973 R&B-oriented album “Nothing Free.” Aukema was major player in the Boston scene at the time and played the same venues that Ric and Benjamin played even before The Cars. As far as her album goes, which was released by Paramount , Ric ironically does vocal work while Benjamin adds only his bass playing. Chronologically, Aukema’s LP follows Ocasek’s and Orr’s Milkwood album “How’s The Weather” which was released in 1972. The Niki Aukema release would be the second time that Ric and Ben’s names would appear on a major label.
The Niki Aukema Story
AMG Credit Listing For Aukema's "Nothing Free"