Michael Des Barres has been entrenched 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. 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. 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. 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.
In 2012 Gonzo Multimedia were proud to release Michael’s album Carnaby Street; an earthy return to his mid-60s blues/soul roots, and now, we are overjoyed to be bringing you a reissue a record from his distant past; recorded when Michael was a very different fellow to the healthy, happy man he is today.
He told us:
“The Detective albums were made under such a darkness and incredible indulgence. I always describe Detective recording in a studio as – it was three months just to get a drum sound. It was so costly, it cost 1 million bucks, and then we did it again. Those albums were under the aegis of the mightiest rock and roll band in the world, and they could do whatever they wanted. As a result we could do whatever we wanted, so … cocaine makes you particularly analytical <laughs> and we particularly analytical to such a degree that the studio incredibly over-recorded. When we played live it was completely different. As you know live rock and roll is what I live for, so that Detective live album is fantastic. Because it really captures what we were really capable of when you’re not thinking, when you are just being and doing, and as you know that is what I love the best. Spontaneous, chaotic rock and roll.”
Detective consisted of vocalist Michael Des Barres, guitarist Michael Monarch, bassist Bobby Pickett, ex-Yes organist Tony Kaye, and drummer Jon Hyde. The band released two albums, Detective (produced by the band, Andy Johns and Jimmy Robinson) and It Takes One to Know One in 1977, as well as Live From The Atlantic Studios, a promotional LP recorded only for radio broadcast, in 1978.
Soon, we shall all be able to hear and enjoy it.