MICHAEL DES BARRES - "It's A Dangerous Thing To Give Young Men A Million Dollars In The City Of Angels"
by Martin Popoff
Man, the dude's been part of SILVERHEAD, DETECTIVE, CHEQUERED PAST, POWER STATION... and a major actor as well. I'll let you survey the history (it goes for miles), but if you get into the guts of his new solo album, Carnaby Street, much of the history is right there, including the insane highs and the death-warmed lows.
"The reason for making Carnaby Street is merely one of love and respect for, you know, when I first started to listen to music," begins Des Barres, from his California home. "Because what happened to me was... I'm not sure I've been to the end of this incarnation in my life, this myriad of bands. You know, I started to very seriously act after The Power Station, and 25 years of working in television, killing people, you know? (laughs). About 16 years ago, I thought, oh my God, what made me want to do this in the first place? I remember so clearly, so vividly, like it was yesterday, what it was like to go at 15, 16 years old in London, every night to see THE YARDBIRDS, THE ANIMALS, THE ROLLING STONES, THE FACES... I mean, people who have sort of disappeared into the mists of time, a lot of them. I thought, that sort of... B3-driven, guitary, bluesy rock bands whose endings were longer than most contemporary bands' albums, you know? Oh, I love that so much. About three years ago, I was in Austin, Texas, taking a break from it all, and I thought, what do I really want to do? What I really wanted to do was to be in a nightclub standing in front of a microphone, with a Les Paul in my hands and play some rock 'n' roll music. So, I wrote these songs, came back to LA, formed a band, went out and played every club that I could possibly find. Went in and recorded it in a week, one, two takes, tops. Everything you hear that I sing, I didn't change one syllable of. I believe that it's the best album I've ever made. I mean, if the criteria of 'good' is in the moment of centered rock 'n' roll music, then Carnaby Street is that. Whether you dig that music or you dig SKRILLEX, or you like ADELE, the fact is, that album is a pure, real, passionate record."
MICHAEL DES BARRES - "It's A Dangerous Thing To Give Young Men A Million Dollars In The City Of Angels" Page 2