Barry Sparks

Last updated
Barry Sparks
Born (1968-06-20) June 20, 1968 (age 52)
Lucasville, Ohio
Genres Glam metal, hard rock, heavy metal
Instruments Bass guitar
Years active1991-present
Associated acts Guy Mann-Dude
Yngwie Malmsteen
Michael Schenker Group
Uli Jon Roth
Ted Nugent
Riot On Mars

Barry Sparks (born June 20, 1968 in Lucasville, Ohio) is the former bass player of Yngwie Malmsteen, the Michael Schenker Group, UFO, Dokken, and Ted Nugent, amongst others. [1] Currently Sparks is part of the touring band for the Japanese rock group B'z, and has also contributed to several of their albums and singles.



Barry Sparks first began to make a name for himself as the bass player for former MCA recording artist Guy Mann-Dude with whom he toured and recorded the 1991 "Mannic Distortion" release. This led to Sparks landing the bass gig with Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen in time for The Seventh Sign tour in 1994, followed by a 4-year on-and-off stint with German guitar legend Michael Schenker, starting with the 1996 Written in the Sand album.

In 1997, Sparks and Michael Schenker Group drummer Shane Gaalaas teamed up with guitarist Jeff Kollman to form the all-instrumental fusion trio Cosmosquad with whom Sparks recorded 3 albums before exiting. The trio also backed vocalist John West on his 1998 sophomore release, Permanent Mark. In 1998, Sparks became a touring musician with pop singer Billie Myers of "Kiss the Rain" fame, doing TV and radio station appearances and playing worldwide, including shows supporting Bob Dylan in Europe.

In the late 1990s Sparks also guested on albums by former Loudness vocalist Michael Vescera and then Helloween guitarist Roland Grapow, toured with future UFO bandmate Vinnie Moore, and recorded and toured with ex-Scorpions guitar legend Uli Jon Roth.

In 2001, Sparks released his acoustic guitar based solo debut album, Glimmer of Hope, on his own Moonbeam Music label. A second album, Can't Look Back, with special guest appearances by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons (on "Breathe") and Ted Nugent (on "Liberty"), followed in 2004. Sparks began working with Nugent on the "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers" U.S. summer tour of 2003.

In 2001, Sparks became the bass player for Dokken, an affiliation that lasted until 2009 and produced 3 studio albums. During this time, Sparks and Dokken drummer Mick Brown also played with Ted Nugent, documented on the 2008 live release Sweden Rocks .

In 2004, Sparks was called to record bass tracks for the Scorpions' Unbreakable album. That same year, Sparks filled in for one of his all-time bass heroes, Pete Way of UFO, on the You Are Here U.S. tour. He last toured with the group in 2011.

After previously touring with the band in 2003 for their Big Machine album, Sparks was again recruited by Japanese superstars B'z for their 2008 "Glory Days" tour, re-teaming with his former Yngwie Malmsteen, MSG and Cosmosquad rhythm partner, drummer Shane Gaalaas. He remained a touring member through 2018 during which time he also recorded with the band.

In 2013, Sparks re-connected with his former Yngwie Malmsteen band mate, vocalist Mike Vescera, in Riot On Mars. The project released their debut album, First Wave, on Zain Records in Japan in 2015. Guest musicians on the album include drummers BJ Zampa and Shane Gaalaas as well as vocalist Dan McCafferty of Nazareth fame who contributes vocals on a cover of the Nazareth classic, "Beggars Day". [2]

Select Discography

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