John B. Sparks (Dr. Feelgood)

 

Opined The Independent’s Nick Hasted “Dr. Feelgood are remembered in rock history, if at all, as John the Baptists to punk’s messiahs!” Noted Motorhead’s Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister … “three alcoholics and a speed freak … what could possibly go wrong?”

 

Four Canvey Island Essex lads -singer Lee Brilleaux, guitarist Wilko Johnson, drummer John “The Big Figure” Martin, and bassist John B. Sparks looked (and behaved) as if they were coming off a bank heist.

 

Among the founders and finest practitioners of Britain’s hallowed pub rock genre, nowadays a band working under the Dr. Feelgood moniker fervently /respectfully plays on and records with none of its original members.  However it is the first two incarnations of this fiery ensemble with guitarists Wilko Johnson (1971 – 1977) and the late Gypie Mayo (1977-1981) whom we most revere and whose influence was profoundly felt by such artists as Paul Weller, Bob Geldof, Blondie, and Richard Hell among others.

 

Dr. Feelgood’s bassist during their glory years was John B. Sparks – who rendered supportive pocket passages which held together they band’s frantic fusion of blues and punk.

 

Dr. Feelgood’s Wilko canon; Down By the Jetty (1975), Malpractice (1975), the #1 in the UK live set Stupidity (1977), and their select Gypie sides; Be Seeing You (1977) and Private Practice (1978) are essential, as is Julien Temple’s 2009 biographical film Oil City Confidential.

 

John B. Sparks Sound & Vision…

 

“She Does It Right” https://youtu.be/iHm7uIC84YM

 

“Back in the Night” https://youtu.be/nW1dF8YJ0CM

 

“Down at the Doctors” https://youtu.be/uvRNRiA_h34

 

“Going Back Home” https://youtu.be/vV0yYcN9QnE