Bassist Barry Sparks (TED NUGENT, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, DOKKEN, MSG) has posted the following message on his official web site:
"Hello and Happy New Year! I am on United Airlines flight 890, flying from Tokyo to Los Angeles. With nothing at all to do, so I guess this is a good time for me to reflect on the year 2003, the best of times or the worst of times?
"This year has been one helluva busy year! It began with the DOKKEN, SCORPIONS, WHITESNAKE tour, which was a dream come true! So much fun! I have so much respect for all three of these bands! Finally!! This was my kinda tour!!!! I loved it! After a few months of that I had a couple weeks off then I was right back on the road with TED NUGENT! Ted always one of my faves! To be in his band was an such an honor! Thank you Ted! You are truly one of the good guys!
"After 5 or 6 months of touring the USA on the ZZ TOP, TED NUGENT tour, one might think it's time to go home and take a break? Well, I had no time for that!! Oh no, I wasn't finished just yet!....... B'Z, which is the biggest Japanese rock band of all time! Selling 87 million albums in Japan!!!!!!!!! Asked me to play some bass for them! I said yes! We spent a few weeks rehearsing in Los Angeles then did a small House Of Blues tour in the USA... We had a week off before Japan, so maybe Barry should go home? No time again!!!!!!!!! Suddenly I was talking to the SCORPIONS' Rudy Schenker, they needed me to play some bass for their new album!!!!!... Oh my God!!!! I am one of the biggest SCORPIONS fans in the world! I love them! And there I was in Hannover, Germany recording with them! It was a dream come true, 2003 was lookin' pretty cool!! You are all gonna love the new SCORPIONS album!!!!!
"After a fast week in Germany with SCORPIONS I had to fly to Tokyo to start the B'Z Japan tour... I was at the airport in Hannover with my suitcase, a few basses, a mobile recording studio mounted in a huge gun case that would make Ted Nugent proud when I heard that I would have to pay around $2000.00 extra bags charge!!!!!!!!! What??? Well, somehow Rudy Schenker's guitar tech sweet-talked the airline lady (he mentioned SCORPIONS a few times, I think?) she made me pay only 600 bucks! What a relief!!! OK, so then I found myself In Tokyo where I would be living for the next 2 months, we rehearsed for about 2 weeks, then we played some of the biggest shows of my life! Except for maybe the TED NUGENT, KISS, AEROSMITH tour, also this year. Wow?
"A B'Z show has to be seen for you to grasp how big this band is... Every show was sold out, with anywhere from 40 to 50 thousand screaming Japanese fans!! And to top it off, we had 4 of the best motocross riders in the world jumping over us as we played!!! Insane!! They jumped around 60 feet across the stage over our heads every show!!! Unbelievable!!!!!! The tour finished on Dec. 27th at Tokyo Dome. Thank you B'Z!!! Domo Arrigato!!
"In between all of this touring, I finished my album!!!!! This is something that I have been working on for the last 2 or 3 years! A lot of it was recorded in hotel rooms all over America!! I even managed to have Ted Nugent and Billy Gibbons play a few solos! And what a joy it was to finally master it in Tokyo!! I am so excited!!!! It will be out soon!!
"Now I am sitting here on a plane, deciding ... Chicken? Or beef? And wondering where did 2003 go? I played so many shows it's kinda a big blur? I don't want to say it was the best of times and the worst of times......but it was? Hmmmm, but I know I will only remember the amazing stuff, like Tokyo Dome and DOKKEN, TED NUGENT! B'Z!! KISS, AEROSMITH and being in the studio with SCORPIONS!
"Last year my father passed away, he was my biggest fan, my buddy too, I miss him very much, I think I am still just trying to understand it all... I know it has changed me, but I hope I am on my way back!!... In a few hours I will be home, and in a few days I will be ready for 2004! So look out, here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I want to thank all of you who have supported me in 2003!! And wherever I am next year, I hope to see you as well!!!!
"Take care and Happy New Year!!!!!!!"