Who is Michael Des Barres? Perhaps rock’s ultimate lead singer, he’s fronted legendary bands Silverhead, Detective, Chequered Past and Power Station, and he’s loved more women than you’ve met including legendary “I’m With The Band” groupie goddess Pamela Des Barres. Hell, he married her! Also having acted in dozens of film and TV programs including “MacGyver” and “Melrose Place;” Des Barres the coolest cat in a room full of hipsters.
West Coast Bureau chief Keith Valcourt met up with the rock god in Hollywood to discuss his legendary career, hanging with Led Zeppelin, playing Live Aid, and his brilliant (said in English accent) new CD: “Carnaby Street.”
Rocker: There is a line from the title track of your new CD “Carnaby Street” that makes me ask, what was it like to be seventeen on Carnaby Street in London in 1967?
Michael: I smoked so much hashish that it sort of turns paisley whenever I think about it. Carnaby Street is a metaphor for a feeling, for a vibe. It was a cultural revolution and Carnaby Street was the mecca for where everybody got their ruffled shirts and their extraordinary outfits. In those days there was a very definitive “them” and “us.” It was very tangible. You would see these men and women who looked like Oscar Wilde standing next to post-second-world-war veterans. What I tried to do with this album is evoke that vibe, that innocence, that sexy sort of charm, debauchery and experimentation. To walk down Carnaby Street in those days was to be proudly walking in the front lines on an army that was in a war against hypocrisy and mediocrity.