Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years 1965-1968 and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.
Track 32/118: No Friend of Mine by The Sparkles
Release Year: 1967
From: Levelland, Texas
Aphoristic Rating: 6/10
NO FRIEND OF MINE – The Sparkles [2:26]
(Jay Turnbow/Lawrence Parks)
Personnel/LUCKY FLOYD: vocals, drums * LOUIE HOLT & GARY P. NUNN: guitar * BOBBY SMITH: bass * JIMMY MARRIOT: drums
Produced by JAY TURNBOW, LARRY PARKS & DON ROSE
Recorded in Big Springs, TX
Hickory single #45-P-1443 (3/67)
Many Nuggets bands were short-lived – school friends who saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and decided to form a band. Many released a couple of great singles, but never reached their potential. In comparison, The Sparkles lasted for 15 years.
The Sparkles’ lineup was fluid, and it was actually the fourth version of the band that became moderately successful – the late 1960s singles ‘Hipsville 29 B. C.’ and ‘No Friend of Mine’ are the band’s best-known songs.
There’s a visceral appeal to ‘No Friend of Mine’, with the intense vocal and the fuzz bass. But I don’t think the song itself is particularly memorable.
A large number of musicians passed through the ranks of The Sparkles between 1957-1972 – the best-known is Gary P. Nunn, heavily involved in Austin’s progressive country scene.