Vocalist Russell Mael (5 October 1953, Santa Monica, California, USA) and his elder brother Ron (b. Ronald David Mael, 12 August 1947, Culver City, California, USA; keyboards) formed Halfnelson in 1968, with renowned rock critic John Mendelsohn on drums. By 1971, the Maels had been joined by Earle Mankey (b. 8 March 1947, Washington, USA; guitar), Jim Mankey (b. James Mankey, 23 May 1952, Pennsylvania, USA; bass) and Harley Feinstein (drums). At the urging of Todd Rundgren - their eventual producer - Albert Grossman signed them to Bearsville Records. Halfnelsons debut album sold poorly, and at their managers behest the band changed their name to Sparks and re-released their debut. The regional US hit Wonder Girl attracted some notice, as did the subsequent A Woofer In Tweeters Clothing (1972).
A stressful club tour of Europe - during which they were often heckled - amassed, nonetheless, a cult following in...
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