Michael's musical career has successfully spanned five decades, both as an artist and a songwriter. His love of Delta blues and rock and soul music endures from his early days as the front man of seminal 1970s glam band Silverhead as well as the hard rockin' powerhouse Detective, a band personally signed by Jimmy Page to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records.
In London, at nineteen years old, Michael played the androgynous rock star Rose in the nude musical The Dirtiest Show In Town, produced by Robert Stigwood, of Jesus Christ Superstar fame. Andrew Lloyd Webber saw Michael’s performance and went backstage to tell Michael that he should indeed form a real rock band. Michael quickly wrote his first song titled “Will You Finance My Rock and Roll Band” which he performed for Lloyd Webber, that song lead Michael to form Silverhead, his first band, a raucous glam rock experiment.They were immediately signed to Purple Records in 1972. Silverhead featured future Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison, Rod "The Rook" Davis, Robbie Blunt, Pete Thompson, Steve Forrest and was fronted by Michael Des Barres. Their self titled debut Silverhead was produced by Martin Birch. Silverhead toured the world and recorded their second album Sixteen and Savaged in 1973 before exploding in a narcotic haze.
After Silverhead disbanded Michael moved to the United States, In Los Angeles Michael formed the band Detective. Detective was signed to the famed Swan Song Records by Jimmy Page and recorded two albums. Detective has recently been remastered and reissued. Find out more about the mighty Detective here: https://www.detective-theband.com
From 1982-84 Michael fronted super group Chequered Past, which featured Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, Tony Sales of Tin Machine, and Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison of Blondie. In 1983 Michael co-wrote the song Obsession with Holly Knight, which became a number one hit in 27 countries for New Wave group Animotion, the track continues to be featured in countless movies, television shows and commercials. In 1985 Des Barres became the lead singer for the Duran Duran spin-off group,The Power Station after Robert Palmer withdrew. Michael performed at Live Aid as the new singer for The Power Station, followed by a six month tour.
Michael has released several full-length solo albums and singles. In 1980 he released I'm Only Human, produced by Mike Chapman, the title song went on to the top ten in England that year and in 1986 he recorded the album Somebody Up There Likes Me with producer Bob Rose. His next solo project Carnaby Street, which was self produced, was released in 2012, and in 2014 he reunited with Producer Bob Rose to record Key To The Universe. The album garnered a LSUG “Coolest Song in The World” nod for the single Can't Get You Off of My Mind, written by Linda Perry.
In 2018 Michael formed a new band Michael Des Barres and The Mistakes, whose entire ethos he summed up as, "We play very loud and we make lots of Mistakes!". The band has had two singles on Wicked Cool Records, 2018's Living in the U.S.A. with a B side featuring a revved up cover of Bob Dylan's classic song Gotta Serve Somebody, and 2019's Crackle & Hiss, with the B side featuring a cover of The Supremes classic Stop! in the Name of Love". Crackle and Hiss was named "Coolest Song In The World" the week after its release. In May 15 2020 MDB released his version of The Sex Pistols iconic classic Anarchy in the U.K. produced and arranged by Steven Van Zandt and was again named Coolest Song In The World on the week of its release. With the B side Where Did All The Lovers Go?, written by Michael, featuring Genya Ravan.
The single Get It On from the upcoming live EP, Live At The Hi-Hat, was released on July 10th 2020 by Die Laughing Records and Golden Robot Recordings. And the full Ep LIVE At The Hi Hat was released in October 2020.
This song is the result of of Prima Donnas golden age of rock sound, combined with the timeless voice of the multi-talented and creative Michael Des Barres. The single, which is released September 16 2022, is a collaboration between the label mates, and is co-written by Des Barres and Wicked Cool Records label owner, Stevie Van Zandt. Along with being available digitally, there’s a limited preorder white addition7′ vinyl which you can pre-order here.
"The new single "Ain't Nothing You Can do About It", is a collaboration between label mates, co-written by Michael Des Barres and Wicked Cool Records label owner, Stevie Van Zandt. Along with being available digitally, there’s a limited preorder white addition7′ vinyl which you can pre-order here.
The recording took place in early 2020 at Unison Music Studio with Bruce Witkin with Des Barres co-producing. Des Barre comments:
“I have admired Prima Donna as a band for quite some time since we are label mates at Wicked Cool Records, particularly Kevin Preston‘s songwriting. So, we got together and discovered a mutual love of exactly the same records and artists and immediately wrote this song.
Kevin Preston further adds:
“We wrote and arranged these tunes nose-to-nose on a couch and I got chills every time he started singing
Field, along with Kearney Thompson came together to create the video for the track, which was shot at Grandma’s Warehouse studio in Chatsworth. Field comment about the process:
From the very beginning, working with MDB just seemed very natural to us. From jamming out the song to recording, it went smoothly and was a lot of fun.
We really wanted to revisit that studio vibe with the music video. We had worked with Kearney Thompson on our last video (“Mistletoe Blues”), so we knew it would be a painless process. Once you add Michael, who is a pro musician and actor, it just felt right. We ended up getting some great footage of us just having a blast in the studio
And Michael also adds:
“I hope you like it as much as we enjoyed creating it!”" Folk N Rock
'Ain't Nothing You Can Do About It' by Michael Des Barres & Prima Donna is out now on Wicked Cool Records.
Rare collectable autographed two CD set. Exclusively distributed in Japan, with limited signed copies available. Only 24 signed copies available.
Disc one recorded live at Koseinenkin Hall Jan 10th 1974 and disc two recorded live at Nakano Sun-Plaza Jan 19th 1974. Package includes extensive photo leaflet, Japanese lyric pamphlet, ticket stub and Silverhead sticker, as well as a heartfelt personal essay by MDB. This is a rare and brilliant package, it doesn't get any better
for Silverhead's legacy.
The classic Sex Pistols anthem produced and arranged by Stevie Van Zandt. Named Coolest Song In The World on Little Steven’s Underground Garage Sirius XM the week of it's release. With the B side Where Did All The Lovers Go?, written by Michael, featuring Genya Ravan.
Available now through all streaming services.
Limited edition signed red and purple vinyl singles, available through the Michael Des Barres shop.
Michael Des Barres and Prima Donna
Ain't Nothing You Can Do About it (2022)
Michael Des Barres And The Mistakes
LIVE At the Hi-Hat (EP) 2021
Crackle & Hiss/Stop In The Name Of Love (Single) (2019)
Living in the U.S.A./Gotta Serve Somebody (Single) (2018)
Obsession - Acoustic (2021)
Anarchy in the UK - (single) (2020)
Where Did All The Lovers Go? (Single) (2020)
The Key to the Universe (2015)
Hot ‘n Sticky Live (2013)
Obsession (Single) (2013)
The Key of Love (Single) (2013)
Carnaby Street Encore Edition (2013)
Carnaby Street (2012)
Somebody Up There Likes Me (1986)
I’m Only Human (1980)
The Power Station
The Best of Power Station (1985)
Chequered Past (1984)
Live from the Atlantic Studios (1978) It Takes One To Know One (1977)
Hitting Japan, Beating Japan (2021)
Live at the Rainbow (1975)
16 and Savaged (1973)