Tuesday, 16 July 2013

New Retrosonic Podcast: "Sparks - Part 1: The Halfnelson Years" with original Sparks drummer Harley Feinstein + his latest band Crash 74

In this very special Edition of Retrosonic Podcast we are very pleased to welcome Harley Feinstein, the original drummer with Sparks. Harley appeared on the band's first two Bearsville Records albums "Halfnelson/Sparks" and "A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing" back in the early Seventies, and this is his very own fascinating story about the formative years of one of Rock music's most innovative, independent and enduring bands. In Part 1, Harley talks about these early years, when Russell Mael first called in response to his "Musicians wanted" ad in a local record store. At the time of Harley's audition the band were originally known as Halfnelson, and he tells us of his first impressions of the Mael brothers and their music. Along the way we discover the importance of the mysterious Harold Zellman, and the equally exotically named Earle Mankey. We learn about the percussive tricks on the band's very first bootleg demo album, who were The Three Minute Earwash and which of the brothers was a rather macho sporty guy when Harley first met him, a clue...it wasn't Russell...!

Harley on stage with Crash 74 - Photo by Paul Slattery
Harley was over in the U.K. with his current side-project Crash 74, for a one-off gig at our favourite London venue, The 12 Bar Club, on Denmark Street. Crash 74 feature Harley on drums, Nicky Forbes from The Revillos on vocals and guitar, Stevie Savage from The Roadholders, Alien Sex Fiend and Danielle Dax's band on lead guitar, Dexy D'Angelo from The Stone Foundation on trumpet, Dr Who comic book illustrator Lee Sullivan on sax, Paul Jensen on bass and Harley's wife, Michelle, on vocals. Harley explains how this unlikely, eclectic (and Trans-Atlantic) bunch got together to form Crash 74 and put on one of the best gigs of the year so far. You can read a review of the gig along with some excellent and exclusive Paul Slattery Photos here...

Harley drumming with Crash 74 at The 12 Bar Club - Photo by Paul Slattery
You can download the first episode for free at our Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud site.

"Sparks - Part 2: The Bearsville Records Years" is coming soon on Retrosonic...and this takes in the recording of their first album with Todd Rundgren and the classic "A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing". We then follow Harley and the band on their very first visit to the U.K. a country that embraced Sparks and where they made their second home. Harley takes us right up to the time that Island Records stepped in and signed the band and things wouldn't be quite the same again...

Crash 74 (L/R) Harley, Paul, Dexy, Nicky, Michelle, Stevie and Lee - Photo courtesy Paul Jensen
With many thanks to Harley for his enthusiasm and cooperation, it's very much appreciated.

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