Music & Me: Russel Mael of Sparks

The first record I bought was...

“Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” by The Yardbirds in Los Angeles, in the late Sixties.

The first gig I went to was...

The Rolling Stones in Los Angeles when I was 18 years old. I was dressed to emulate them, trying to look like I was in an English band.

My favourite album is...

Never Mind The Bollocks by the Sex Pistols.

But my parents always liked…

Elvis Presley. It seeped into the genes.

I couldn’t marry someone who liked…

American Idol. I couldn’t accept it.

Onstage I like to wear…

Suits that look cool, from a tiny shop on Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles. I’m not hung up on designer labels. When you’ve had as lengthy a career as I have, you have different looks. I suppose I’m less fond of the big shoulder pads I wore in the Eighties. My brother Ron’s style is more timeless.

I’d love to perform with…

Paul McCartney. Someone else who can also sing well.

One thing that must change in the music industry is…

The entire industry. It is beyond redemption. It is soulless.

A great album cover is…

Blind Faith’s controversial cover Blind Faith featuring a topless young girl holding a silver space ship, set against green fields and a blue sky.

On my iPod I listen most to…

The soundtrack from The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg movie.

If I could have written any song it would have been…

Edith Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”.

The worst song I have heard is…

The national anthem of the United States Of America.

Sparks’ new album ‘Exotic Creatures Of The Deep' is out now. Sparks play at Islington Academy until 11 June and at Shepherds Bush Empire on 13 June. www.allsparks.com

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