I've always loved Sparks. There's never been a band like them. The strange fashion, the bizarre videos, the brilliant, often hilarious lyrics, their gift for melodies, the always ahead of their time fusing of music styles and arrangements. Everyone seems to love Sparks and yet they were always underground, until now it seems! I couldn't be more thrilled that they're finally getting their due respect as the groundbreaking geniuses that they are with the forthcoming documentary about them, The Sparks Brothers, directed by Edgar Wright of Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver fame. They have also written the screenplay and all of the music for an upcoming musical film, Annette, starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.
I have my own little tidbit of Sparks history that obviously made me a bit biased, but I've thought about it and I believe I would've gravitated towards Sparks either way. My dad taught both Sparks brothers, Ron and Russell Mael in his 5th grade class in LA the late 1950's! They loved my dad, and he them, he said they were great kids! They stayed in touch over the years, and when Sparks were at the peak of their popularity in their Whomp That Sucker era, 1981, they invited our whole family to the Whiskey A Go Go to see a show. They took as backstage and chatted with us, they couldn't have been sweeter! It was quite an experience. They were such a compelling live band!
I also have a soft spot for Cool Places, the single they did in 1983 with Jane Wiedlin, of the Go Go's. Whatever they did was cool and strange and interesting, and they're still going strong into their 70's! Long live Sparks!