There is much excitement within the music press and fans alike around the world about the news of the return of glam rock icon Michael Des Barres and his forthcoming CD release ‘Carnaby Street’ On Gonzo MultiMedia, UK. Michael Des Barres has been in the rock ‘n’ roll scene for four decades now. A European nobleman, brought up in England, living in Los Angeles, but with an enduring love of delta blues and the rock and soul of the mid-60s beat boom, he was front man for such seminal 1970s bands as Silverhead and Detective (featuring Tony Kaye of Yes). Jimmy Page personally signed Detective to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song records in 1975. From 1982 to 1985, Michael was a member of Chequered Past, which included Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison from Blondie, and Tony Sales of Todd Rundgren (‘Runt’) and Tin Machine fame. Michael Des Barres was also the singer with the touring and Live Aid version of The Power Station, a Duran Duran spin-off band that became one of the most iconic live acts of the mid-1980s. In 1985, Michael penned the song “Obsession”, which became a number one hit in 27 countries for LA new wave group Animotion; the track has been featured in numerous movies throughout the years.
After over 40 years of recording and performing, Michael has returned to his mid-Sixties roots with ‘Carnaby Street’, his first new album in many years. Revisiting his youth in swinging London, ‘Carnaby Street’ is an aural window into rock and roll’s past through the eyes and mind of Michael Des Barres. “The music I am making now is inspired by my past in the mid ’60s / early ’70s,” Michael explains. “As a kid I would go watch all the skinny white blues rock ‘n’ roll musicians in the clubs and it hit me like a hammer! I was so influenced by both the courage of these young white guys combined with the soulful rawness of the African American bluesmen, and the hybrid was so fascinating to me that it really stimulated my entire musical vocabulary. So, a couple of years ago, when I started writing songs again, I realised that I wanted these new songs to be as authentic as I had initially heard and was inspired by.”
This album may quote from the idioms laid down by Wilson Pickett, Zoot Money, and The Rolling Stones, but it is no exercise in retro-stylings. This is very much a piece of the second decade of the 21st Century. It may even be Michael Des Barres’ most important work to date. The opening line of the title track immediately sets the tone of the album; “I was 19 in 1967, on the streets of London. I was in Heaven. I was Oscar Wilde in velvet jeans. Everything you’ve heard is everything I’ve seen.” He is adamant that this is not an homage to mid-Sixties music, but a contemporary album by a contemporary band presenting songs about that particular time in his life: a time when as a teenager just entering manhood the world as a whole was celebrating ‘The Summer of Love’. “The name of the album ‘Carnaby Street’, for me, is a metaphor for the swinging London ’60s,” says Michael, “that whole youth cultural revolution that literally changed the world. So the name reflects my desire to go back to the roots, the joy and the love of the music when I first heard it.”
British born the Marquis Michael Philip Des Barres, along with his excursions into rock stardom, is also a gifted actor and is best known for his reccurring role as Murdoc on the popular television show ‘MacGyver’. He has been featured in dozens of movies and television shows over the past 40 years (including Seinfeld, ALF, Frasier, Bones, Ellen, Nip/Tuck and Pink Cadillac with Clint Eastwood) and was also a featured actor in the ’60s classic movie ‘To Sir With Love’ featuring Sidney Poitier. Michael was formerly married to GTO’s member Pamela des Barres, best known for her top-selling book ‘I’m With The Band’.
Recently, Michael Des Barres reunited with Silverhead for the first time in 38 years and performed to sold out audiences in Japan in April 2012. The reaction from the Japanese audience was electric! Michael is still very active acting and was featured in the US FOX television show ‘The Finder’ on May 4, 2012. A recent guest appearance on the new season of USA Network’s ‘Suits’ will air sometime this summer. He is also featured in the movie ‘California Solo’, in which Michael plays the manager of Robert Carlyle’s ex-rocker character, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah on January 25th. In support of Michael Des Barre’s new album release, several live shows are currently being scheduled. “The majority of the people that have come to see us play, and we’ve only played perhaps a dozen shows, has been 80 percent a young audience, early and mid-twenties, who consider us an indie band, ironically,” says Michael. “The music we are playing is below the waist rock ‘n’ roll, and I think that the audiences are kind of starved for a carnal, sensual, sexy blues music. There’s nothing ironic about our music – there’s nothing angry or apologetic about our music. We are there to make people happy and joyous and fall in love.”
In closing Michael Des Barres has this to impart to his followers of the past four decades: “The message that I have to say to fans and friends, and I don’t think of them as fans, I think of them as friends – and they are friends. We should all be friends, and really my belief in connection and engagement and letting people into your life… and I say it in the briefest possible way – LOVE EVERYONE NOW!”
Michael Des Barres ‘Carnaby Street’ CD release date July 10, 2012
For more information visit Michael Des Barres official website: www.desbarres.com
‘Carnaby Street’ website: http://www.mdbimmedia.com/
To pre-order Michael Des Barres ‘Carnaby Street’ CD (Special Edition):