Sparks on "Top Pop"/"Hits A GoGo" TV show - SwitzerlandEurope 1972

The 29 th of July 1972, Sparks appeared on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" TV show. - Read more.... Four months later Sparks attempted their first assault to Europe shortly after their New York debut at Max's Kansas City club.
During this 1972 European Tour, Sparks played almost 30 gigs : The band played in Great Britain, Holland and Switzerland. The Marquee Club in London was packed, and when Sparks performed on Britain's "Old Grey Whistle Test" TV show, host Bob Harris and english audience were marvelled at Ron Mael's appearance and Russell Mael's look.

"In England in the winter of 1972 Russell met a girl whose father owned a club in Zermatt, Switzerland called the Post. Russell convinced her to persuade her father to let us play in his club. I believe he also agreed to pay for our lodging and meals. We arrived in Zermatt, went to the club, and attempted a sound check. The club owner couldn't believe what he was hearing and refused to let us play. We got to spend the next week in snowy Zermatt, in a little chalet, skiing at the foot of the Materhorn. That was really cool." - Harley A. Feinstein

In Switzerland, at Zurich, Sparks performed "Wonder Girl" on "Hits A GoGo" TV show, a very famous german musical show co-produced by the Swiss TV.

"English glam-rocker Gary Glitter was on that show with us. There was a bunch of friendly kids that regularly danced on the show. The parents of one of them owned an ice cream parlor and all the band went there afterwards. How wholesome !" - Harley A. Feinstein

Sparks Russell Mael - Television show Switzerland Europe
Russell Mael on "Hits A Gogo"
Sparks on German/Swiss TV show - 1972
Sparks Halfnelson - Television show Switzerland Europe
Russell Mael and guitarist Earle Mankey
Sparks on German/Swiss TV show - 1972
Sparks - TV show Switzerland
The Maels, The Mankeys & Harley Feinstein
Sparks on German/Swiss TV show - 1972
Earle Mankey, Russell Mael and Ron Mael - TV showSwitzerland
Sparks performing "Wonder Girl" in Switzerland
Sparks on German/Swiss TV show - 1972

Sparks TV shows - American Bandstand Dick Clark

When the single "Wonder Girl" was released from the first Bearsville album, it reached number 92 in Cash Box earning Sparks an opportunity to reveal themselves in all their gorgeous-grotesque glory on ABC's "American Bandstand" TV show. This television show was where America's teens went to learn the new styles and the new artists. Sparks appeared on episode number 2041 of "American Bandstand" aired the 29 th of July 1972. Dick Clark host made reference to Sparks being good despite their appearance... During the show, Ron Mael, Russell Mael, Earle Mankey, Jim Mankey & Harley Feinstein played "Wonder Girl" and "(No More) Mr. Nice Guys" - read more...

Sparks Mael live gigs and TV shows

After the release of their first album on Bearsville Records, Halfnelson/Sparks played some live gigs but the boys had some trouble in attempting live versions of some of their songs. Furthermore, the band had also very strange scenic behaviours : Sparks had a miniature ocean liner made out of papier-mache, Russell Mael showered the audience with confetti and the Sparks' singer got a huge wooden sledgehammer ! At New York City Sparks was confronted by a line of hustlers who thought the band to be part of the "decadent new wave"... Audiences really didn't know what to make of the band in those days... - read more...

Nota : These pics from the very first Sparks appearence on European "Hits A GoGo" TV show were obtained from Christophe "Dr OuterSpace" Horlin from Belgium, Europe. If you can read french or not check out his fantastic website : Other infos from Sparks' drummer Harley A. Feinstein.

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