Michael Des Barres, Carnaby Street
Glam rock icon Michael Des Barres announces his forthcoming CD release 'Carnaby Street' on Gonzo MultiMedia, UK, for July 10, 2012.
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 LiveAid 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.”