I spent part of the morning watching a full 1976 Sparks concert on YouTube… which obviously compelled me to sketch up Russell Mael’s truly magnificent and abundant hourglass fro from 40 years ago… (Bonus: RON MAEL)
Exactly five years ago, on New Years Day 2010, I fell wholly and madly in love with the band Sparks. At the suggestion of a book I was reading on The Smiths on a decidedly undebaucherous New Years Eve, I decided to finally look them up on Youtube the following morning. This video was first in the queue.
I watched it and my mind simply froze from stimulation overload. I couldn’t even take it in the first time. Repeat viewings gave it some semblance of pattern and form. Until then it was pure acute unadulterated pleasure.
And there were so many questions. How did that jumping-around-a lot dude NOT break a sweat under all that hair all bundled up in wool? And… um… WHO WAS that KEYBOARD PLAYER?!
But, anyway, I had discovered something rare. I watched the Youtube video over and over again that morning as it dawned on me that I had never liked any other rock band as much as I already knew I liked this one. And that the music I did like sucked, and it made me sad and, at best, it didn’t cause feelings of love or admiration but a kind of delusional notion of commiseration with the artist and that that was pathetic and just wasn’t good enough anymore.
Sparks made me instantly joyously happy. And that’s what music should do. Is that so much to ask? :)
Sparks, a band I never knew I loved so much, had been out there existing for so long and so fiercely and had produced over 20 albums that I would slowly integrate into my regular listening over a number of months. It was a long unraveling of great music, endlessly witty and infinitely creative music, and I will be forever grateful for how Sparks has enhanced and infused my life with happiness and optimism. In the past five years, I have seen Sparks live twice, met Russell and Ron Mael after one of the shows, and…um… met my fiancee, who is my favorite person I have ever known, because we both love Sparks (we met in person on Equator Day, which as you know is March 10th, in 2012). So yeah, I owe a lot to this band.
Also, I realized today, that I have done quite a bit of Sparks fan art in the past five years. Particularly RON MAEL art, as I continue to harbor a somewhat unbalanced fascination with him…