Ron Mael

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Ron Mael
FFS (Franz Ferdinand & Sparks) @ Albert Hall, Manchester 25-8-2015 (20285490753).jpg
Mael onstage with FFS, 2015
Background information
Birth name Ronald David Mael[1]
Born (1945-08-12) August 12, 1945 (age 72)
Culver City, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • record producer
  • music programmer
  • film director
Instruments
  • Keyboards
  • synthesizer
Years active 1963–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website allsparks.com
Notable instruments

Ronald David "Ron" Mael (born August 12, 1945)[2][3] is an American musician, songwriter, composer and record producer.[4]

Mael's music career spans more than 50 years. With his younger brother Russell, he formed the pop band Sparks in 1971, which was renamed from Halfnelson.

Early life

Ronald David Mael was born on August 12, 1945, in Culver City, California. The Mael brothers grew up in Pacific Palisades – a relatively affluent suburb of Los Angeles – with their father, Meyer Mael (of Russian and Austrian Jewish descent),[5][6] who was a graphic designer and caricaturist for the Hollywood Citizen-News,[7][8] and their mother, Miriam (née Moskowitz), a librarian.[9] After being educated at Palisades High School, both brothers enrolled at the UCLA;[10] Ron began a course in Cinema and Graphic Arts in 1963 while Russell studied Theater Arts and Filmmaking between 1966–1968.[11]

Sparks

Ron Mael plays the keyboards and synthesizers and writes most of the songs for Sparks. When the band hit the peak of its popularity in the 1970s, he was well known for his strange appearance, often remaining motionless over his keyboard in sharp contrast to Russell's animated and hyperactive frontman antics. Ron's conservative clothes and unfashionable, Charlie Chaplin-esque toothbrush moustache attracted much attention, as does his current pencil moustache. Onstage, Ron alternates between playing the keyboard and engaging in comic mime routines, often in connection with projections on backdrop.

The pair appeared as themselves in the 1977 disaster film Rollercoaster, performing live. They also appeared in episode twenty-two of season six of the Gilmore Girls.

In 2015, Sparks collaborated with the Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand under the identity FFS. One of their first tracks was entitled "Collaborations Don't Work". The supergroup was interviewed on BBC Radio 6 Music on April 27, 2015 and announced they would be appearing on Later... with Jools Holland on April 30th 2015 and were to appear at Glastonbury Festival that summer.

Discography

With Sparks

Year Album
1971 Halfnelson
1973 A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing
1974 Kimono My House
1974 Propaganda
1975 Indiscreet
1976 Big Beat
1977 Introducing Sparks
1979 No. 1 in Heaven
1980 Terminal Jive
1981 Whomp That Sucker
1982 Angst in My Pants
1983 In Outer Space
1984 Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat
1986 Music That You Can Dance To
1988 Interior Design
1994 Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
1997 Plagiarism
2000 Balls
2002 Lil' Beethoven
2006 Hello Young Lovers
2009 Exotic Creatures of the Deep

With FFS

Year Album
2015 FFS

References

  1. ^ California Birth Index, 1905 – 1995, [1] (Birth Date: December 8, 1945, County of Birth: Los Angeles, Mother's Maiden Name: Moskowski)
  2. ^ Family Tree Legends
  3. ^ Ron Mael on IMDb
  4. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (November 1, 2002). The Great Rock Discography. The National Academies. pp. 214–?. ISBN 9781841953120. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ "1940 United States Federal Census". Ancestry.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ Axelrod, Merry Anne. "Re: (It's A Samuel) Mael World". Genealogy.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012.  [The author is a cousin of Russell and Ron; her father, Alvin, is listed as being Meyer's brother on the 1940 census]
  7. ^ "Myer Mael: "Roy Rogers" Object Record". Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Harrietta Hughes on the cover of Republic Insider Magazine 1947". Flickr.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ Lorente-Darracq, Xavier. "Ron Mael and Russell Mael – Biography". Graphik Designs. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ Welch, Chris. "Bright Sparks". Melody Maker. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ Lorente-Darracq, Xavier. "op. cit.". Graphik Designs. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Ron Mael at AllMusic
  • Ron Mael at AllMovie
  • Ron Mael on IMDb
  • Ron Mael discography at Discogs
  • Ron Mael and Russell Mael Biography
  • The "Kimono My House" album files
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