10-11-12        Sparks

Jazz drummer Art Blakey born 1919, Soundtrack master Ennio Morricone born 1928; 10-11-80 Adam & The Ants “Dog Eat Dog” 45 charts at No. 4 in England.

More than 10 years into my blog and I have never approached this subject previously (except possibly to dismiss them?).

In high school I had a yummy girlfriend that…liked Queen and Sparks.  I was busy burying my head in Henry Cow and Faust.  Alas, our relationship didn’t last, but it was an interesting one.  No, I didn’t try to like Sparks, back then.  “Somebody else’s problem”, I always thought.

At the height of music video frenzy, I got a decent dub of Sparks “Beat The Clock”, from a Virgin Records ‘reel’; not bad, but…not strictly to my taste.  I knew it was odd, so I kept it.

2006, I got the UK glam rock bug, after seeing it celebrated in Japan.  What is all of this?  Why is Sparks listed with all these British groups?  Time & place:  “Kimono My House” was recorded for Island Records in ’73 / ’74.  “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” usually figures in any assessment of UK glam rock entertainment.  I guess that’s OK, as Suzi Quatro is also an American, and she’s queen of the scene!

$2 Bob sold me the Jet album at the swap meet.  It blew my mind.  Martin Gordon!  Hey, wasn’t that guy in Sparks at some point?  (  Tink!  ) ( = sound of coin dropping).

An inexpensive copy of “Profile: The Ultimate Sparks Collection” (Rhino Records 2CD set, 1991) revealed itself to me recently.  40 tracks of Mr. Falsetto and that moustache guy.  At least it has both “This Town…” and “Beat The Clock” on it!

Sparks recently played all of their 21 albums live on stage – probably in London.  That must’ve been a lot of work, boys.  It makes sense that British fans would pay to get in all nights!

So, I have supplemented my UK glam rock 70’s collection; my Martin Gordon collection; my Uptown Whittier collection; I wonder if I can look up my high school girlfriend?  I ran into her a few years ago, while I was on vacation.  I didn’t recognize her, but she recognized me.

I’ll chew on this stuff for a while, and see if the bitter flavor comes through too strongly.  The loss of a (sweet, soft) high school girlfriend over pop music?  Well, I’d be the guy to wear that hat.

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2 Responses to Sparks

  1. davidz29 says:

    Sparks is a band that has been near and dear to my heart for many years. They were the first new band I got into when I came out to LA for college in ’74. I saw them several times at the Santa Monica Civic around then. I have followed them off and on (mostly on) ever since. Did you know that Ron & Russell make an appearance in The TAMI Show movie (in the audience)?

  2. ronkanefiles says:

    Ever hear the Jet album on CBS? That’s Martin Gordon!

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