Thursday, July 14, 2011

Song of the Week: "No Friend of Mine", The Sparkles

Lubbock is, of course, home to one of the all time greats, Buddy Holly. But the west-Texas town produced another great band that actually started playing the same time as Holly and his Crickets, The Sparkles.

The Sparkles changed line-ups a bazillion times. It was the 1967 line-up that drove to the same Clovis, New Mexico studio that Buddy Holly recorded his stuff at to record their original song (written by their manager), No Friend of Mine. The song was released on the eclectic Hickory Records label. No Friend of Mine is one crazy, snarly song with classic "don't dare me" styled lyrics. Many of which are, shall we say, hard to decipher. But whatever they are, they are telling the listener that they are not going to stand around and pull their hair out, because, woman, you ain't no friend of theirs.

Side note, Pittsburgh's king of snarl, The Swamp Rats, actually covered this song and released it as a single the same year. It's also a great version.


  1. Drums are killer on this, from the stutter snares on the intro to the snare-on-every-beat in the chorus. The chorus really stands out and I think it is due to the smart drumming and to the fact that the lead vocal is absent or at least distinctly less snarled and more beat-centered in this part of the song. Awesome tone on the lead too. One question, is the guy in the background saying Yeah! or is his lunch coming up? Can't tell.

  2. Such attitude! One of the evergreens of garage classics, been covered so many times and with good reason. It's hard to believe the dapper young lads in the picture could emit such a raunchy diatribe. Did they really have two drummers?

  3. Yep. two drummers. Maybe that is why, as Jack says, they be so darn good. And, yes, Jack, I do think his lunch is coming up. If you had to smell Lubbock on a hot Summer night, your lunch would come up too. The smell of cows and their excrement is pretty dang powerful in Lubbock.