The North Door
"...’Tis the season, or maybe no reason, but reunion shows seem well-suited to the holidays. Starting tonight, Friday, the Continental Club rings the nostalgia chimes with Speedy Sparks’ “End of the World Party,” followed tomorrow Saturday with Paul Ray & the Cobras’ annual Christmas show, and the Wagoneers’ 2nd annual All Ages Holiday Show on Sunday...."
"...Heroes weren't hard to find when El Molino played its first gig down in McAllen in 1976. Carrasco, bassist Speedy Sparks, and guitarist Ike Ritter shared $15 between them and were still searching for a drummer..."
"...The other thing was swamp pop. I never met anybody here who knew about swamp pop, except maybe Speedy Sparks, but Doug knew everything and we could talk for hours..."
"...Speedy SparksOK, Let's Play (Dynamic) If you have any recordings on the Dynamic label (Roky Erickson singles and such), you already know more or less how this is gonna sound. As the insert states, supreme Austin sideman Speedy Sparks' solo effort was made "the Dynamic way -- no over production, no over arrangements." It's a back-to-basics sound, and though some modern music lovers may find the results a bit tinny, the pure Buddy Holly tribute sound should be appreciated by fans of this type of cheery pop-a-billy..."
"...Bassist Speedy Sparks started his musical career as doorman at Austin's legendary Soap Creek Saloon, then let it slip one day he had a Fender P-bass in his closet. Farfisa organist David Mercer was the mystery man of the band, and quickly got dubbed the "tokin' straight." Add on a few other musicians here and there, including Sir Doug's right-hand bro Augie Meyers, and you had a lineup capable of just about anything: polkas, rancheras, double shuffles, cumbias, R&B, rock, misdemeanors, felonies, whatever...."
"...It's for Ian Moore, Will Sexton, Doyle Bramhalls I & II, Mike Judge, Miss Lavelle White, Gary Clark Jr., and the Keller Brothers. George Raines, Sarah Brown, Kaz Kazanoff, Jon Blondell, Speedy Sparks, Hubert Sumlin, Mel Brown, James Cotton, and C.B..."
"...None of this is to say that just because a performer doesn't take himself seriously, he must be good. "I hate to sound like the guy who doesn't get it," sputters Speedy Sparks, attempting to remain calm, before exploding, "But I don't get it!!!" Sparks is reliving his time onstage with the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, who announced to SXSW personnel a mere two hours before his Saturday La Zona Rosa showcase that there had been a misunderstanding: He didn't need a pickup amp, he needed a pickup band! Sparks had been jamming at home with the also-legendary George Tomsco, guitarist for Tex-Mex instrumentalists the Fireballs and buddy of Buddy Holly..."
"...3. Speedy Sparks..."
"...The [El Molino] band that played Blondie's on East Sixth Street was Ike Ritter on guitar, Speedy Sparks on bass, David Mercer on Farfisa, and Richard Elizondo on drums. They opened a lot of shows, but because of Joe's pedigree with Salaman and Shorty y los Corvettes, they'd get these Eastside Chicano club gigs...."
"..."I first met Joe through bass player Speedy Sparks," Durawa recalls. "I was renting the house on South First which is now known as Jovita's..."
"...Don Walser is apparently back onstage, if not literally back on his feet, and can be found playing at his usual haunts... Finally, Speedy Sparks is alive and well..."
"...Next Monday, 14 years to the day after Sahm’s sudden death at the age of 58 on November 18, 1999, he’ll be the topic of a panel discussion at the Cactus Cafe. Moderated by Jody Denberg of KUTX, All About the Groove features Sahm peers/bandmates Marcia Ball, Speedy Sparks, and Ernie Durawa, as well as the best friend Texas music has these days, author Joe Nick Patoski...."
"... The CSPI argues that the drinks – "adulterated products" that the group has dubbed "alcospeed," which combine booze and stimulants, like caffeine, guarana, or ginseng – are marketed so as to appeal to underage drinkers. Indeed, the group notes that the alcospeed beverages – including A-B's "Tilt" and "Bud Extra" beverages along with Miller's "Sparks" drink – are similar in appearance and flavor (gag) to other nonalcoholic, quasi-energy drinks that are heavily marketed to kids..."
"...Texas Sessions: Chapter Two is a tribute to the venerable Doug Sahm. Along with Alcorn, it features local harp king Walter Daniels and Sahm rhythm section Ernie Durawa and Speedy Sparks..."
"...When its leader called an El Molino show, it was a roll of the loaded dice on who would show up; the band's only album, Tex-Mex Rock-Roll on Lisa Records (a label named after Carrasco's girlfriend at the time), was still sitting in huge piles at the singer's West 221/2 Street pad, and no one really knew who was actually in El Molino. But that night at Liberty Lunch, the stars were out in strength on the bandstand: sax player Rocky Morales and trumpeter Charlie McBurney had somehow made it up from San Antonio, along with their sidekick Richard "Eh Eh" Elizondo aka "The Penguin." Ernie "Murphy" Durawa was on drums, and Speedy Sparks had a night off from working the door at Soap Creek to play bass..."
"...Things eventually got a little better for the single mother and her two boys when Kay met another man, one who was not abusive. This one, in fact, was a musician, an Austin bass player named Speedy Sparks..."
"...Charlie Sexton and Speedy Sparks..."
"...Since then, the pair – irrevocably tied to Austin music – have celebrated their birthdays jointly at the South Congress speakeasy. This year, they embed in big bro’s Mystic Knights of the Sea, featuring bassist Speedy Sparks, who played with Charlie that first fateful night..."
"...Sahm stayed a few years, while the Elevators came home and paid the price. For his version of the Elevators' only hit, Sahm gathered sons Shawn and Shandon along with bassist Speedy Sparks and set the song on fire..."
"...1993: Roky Erickson is standing onstage, arms folded, singing a chilling version of "Don't Slander Me." An all-star band led by Will Sexton is sizzling with Mike Buck on drums, Speedy Sparks on bass, and John X Reed reminding everyone he's Austin's best-kept guitar-slinging secret. Will is having to shout at Roky, who seems half-reluctant to be there, when it is time to sing the chorus..."