Barry Sparks started playing guitar at the age of 10…He says: ” I was the biggest Kiss fan in the world, I just had to get a guitar like Ace so I could be ACE! I started to play bass right after that to join in my brother’s band. Geddy Lee and Chris Squire were now my new heroes!
Barry moved to Los Angeles in 1989, when the whole “L.A. scene” was kind of dying out. Still, he managed to be spotted by Yngwie Malmsteen, the world-known virtuoso guitar player, in 1994 and to tour for his album: “The seventh sign”.The following year, Barry played bass on Yngwie new album ” Magnum Opus” and toured for that as well. Barry says: “Those were great times for me! I was finally doing what I always wanted to do! riding on a tour bus and playing Rock ‘n’ Roll! “.
In the beginning of 1996, Barry joined The Michael Schenker Group.
This is how he describes this great experience: “When I was a kid, Michael was my favorite guitarist. I can remember trying not to look “too excited” at those first few rehearsals! I didn’t succeed! I had a goofy grin on my face the whole time! We recorded a great underrated album titled “Written In The Sand”. I am really proud of that album! We also had great tours together, and it shows on the two live album we did!”
Around 1998, Barry started playing with pop singer Billie Myers and in her biggest hit called “Kiss the rain”. They did lot of TV and radio stations appearances and played shows all over the world, including some very memorable shows supporting Bob Dylan in Europe.
From 1999 to 2001, Barry went back with the Michael Schenker Group and also toured and recorded with Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth.
2001 was the year when Barry joined the Rock Band DOKKEN. Here is what Barry says: “It was an awesome band to play with! We had some great shows together, including touring with Whitesnake and The Scorpions”. During this time Barry was asked by SCORPIONS to record their studio album “Unbreakable”.
His recent tours and recordings include the Motor City Madman….Ted Nugent!! Barry joined his band for several years and apperars on his “Love Grenade” album.
In 2003, Barry played bass for Japanese Mega Superstars B’z! during their American and Japanese tour. Back on the road with Dokken, and the legendary band U.F.O., Barry toured all over the world many times.
In the meantime, he managed to record two solo albums. The first titled “Glimmer Of Hope” (a great acoustic album!) and the second one, “Can’t look back”, in which Ted Nugent and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons guest on it!
It has been since 2008 that Barry continues to perform and record with the biggest Japanese band, B’z (vocalist koshi Inaba and Grammy winning guitarist, Tak Matsumoto). B’z has sold over 80 million albums and performs concerts in huge stadiums all over Japan.
To date, Barry has played on many albums and live dvd’s with B’z, such as “Action” “Magic” C’mon, “Glory Days” and Epic Day” to only name a few. Barry has also appeared in a Pepsi commercial in Japan. Great news! in 2011 ESP Guitars released the first custom shop “Barry Sparks signature bass named after his daughter Serena.
Barry has now also formed his own band called “Riot on mars” with his longtime friend and (Yngwie Malmsteen, Loudness, Obsession, Animetal-USA) Metal vocalist Michael Vescera. This great melodic hard rockin’ debut album is out now! much to the delight of the many hard rock fans yearning for the return of “Real Rock!’ it also proudly features guest appearances from legendary Nazareth vocalist Dan McCafferty and B’z frontman Koshi Inaba.
Barry is happily married to his Italian sweetheart Alessandra and they have 4 children, Serena, Dennis, Eric and Leonardo who also happen to be huge fans of B’z and dad’s music!