Batteries, Beatles, boxing and Ron Mael from Sparks – take the Thursday quiz | Sparks – Michmutters

Batteries, Beatles, boxing and Ron Mael from Sparks – take the Thursday quiz | Sparks

Tomorrow is the birthday of Ron Mael from Sparks, so how could the Thursday quiz, where he has been a regular feature, be anything other than Ron-themed? You face 15 general knowledge and vaguely topical questions, all of them tenuously linked to the wonderful world of Sparks and some of the brilliant songs that Ron has written over the years. There is a playlist of all the songs mentioned to listen to as you do the quiz, and a very special bonus guest contribution too. To answer them you don’t have to be a Sparks fan – although of course you should be – and there are no prizes, it is just for fun. Let us know how you get on in the comments, and happy birthday, Ron!

The Thursday quiz, No 68 – Rum from Sparks special edition

1.THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF US: Sparks’ 1974 hit is one of the greatest singles of all time. But which town – well, city – has been hosting the Commonwealth Games, which ended on Monday?

two.BEAT THE CLOCK: A 1979 hit in which Sparks boasted they ‘PhD’d that afternoon’. But since 1967 the official International System of Units definition of the second is based around some overcomplicated measurement of an isotope of which element?

3.ÉDITH PIAF (SAID IT BETTER THAN ME): A heartwarming song for the easily moved that Sparks released in 2017. Édith Piaf got her stage name from a nickname – La Môme Piaf – which was Parisian slang for what?

Four.NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON MOTHER EARTH: A beautiful Sparks ballad from 1974, but which rare type of animal, last seen in 2010, has been rediscovered in Colombia?

5.PULLING RABBITS OUT OF A HAT: That is a Sparks song from 1984 where all they get is polite applause. But who used to voice the character of Bugs Bunny?

6.AMATEUR HOUR: That is a Sparks song where when you turn pro, she’ll let you know. But when did Cassius Clay, later and better known as Muhammad Ali, have his first professional fight with him?

7.LAWNMOWER: A 2020 Sparks song where, to be honest, someone is a little bit too obsessed with their lawnmower. But who is generally credited with inventing the lawnmower (not pictured) and got a patent for it in England in 1830?

8.MISS THE START, MISS THE END: A 1975 song about an annoying couple at a show with better things to do. But which dates do historians generally give to the period of dynastic struggle over the thrones of England and France known as the Hundred Years’ War?

9.WHEN DO I GET TO SING MY WAY: A 1994 single where Sparks inquire about when they will get to feel like Frank Sinatra. Now, Ol’ Blue Eyes may have made the song My Way legendary, but which member of the Sex Pistols (not pictured) also famously sang it?

10.MY BABY’S TAKING ME HOME: One of the greatest songs in the Sparks catalogue, where the title is repeated over 100 times. But in literature, which city does Rodion Raskolnikov call home during the events of the 1866 novel Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (pictured)?

eleven.BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED: A 1973 Sparks song about nothing happening when you turn it on. But if you’ve got a battery containing potassium hydroxide, what is that component called?

12.ACADEMY AWARD PERFORMANCE: A 1979 song about ‘a girl with a thousand faces to choose from’. The Academy Awards are better known these days as the Oscars. But which year was the first Academy Awards presentation held?

13.COMPLAINTS: A 1974 Sparks song where the lyrics suggest ‘grin and bear it silently or yell into my ear’. But in 2005 the BBC generated a previously unprecedented 16,000 complaints to broadcasting regulator Ofcom after it showed what on television?

14.I PREDICT: A 1982 Sparks song where it turns out that Lassie and Elvis had an affair. Probably. But how high did the Bank of England predict last week that inflation would be by the end of the year?

fifteen.WHAT ARE ALL THESE BANDS SO ANGRY ABOUT: A 2002 Sparks song that mentions Wagner, Coltrane, Beethoven and Howlin’ Wolf. But which member of the Beatles (not pictured) famously did an impression of Ron from Sparks in the video to his 1980 hit single Coming Up?

16.HYPER BOWL SPECIAL AMAZING BONUS QUESTION EVENT: Incredibly, the lovely Russell Mael has agreed to set a guest question in his brother’s special birthday quiz. Thank you Russell! He asks: ‘The setting of the pivotal song from Sparks-penned musical Annette is modeled after the Super Bowl. Ron played football at Uni high on the B team as tight end. (I was a quarterback on the varsity team of Palisades high, thank you for asking.) The Super Bowl is the second largest event for American food consumption, but what is first?’

  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email [email protected], but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, so only do it if you really think this town is big enough for both of us.

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