Silverhead (1972 – 1974)

Left to right: Robbie Blunt, Pete Thompson, Nigel Harrison, Rod Davies and Michael Des Barres

Silverhead was Michael’s first major band project. The band formed in early 1972, after he put an ad in Melody Maker, looking for musicians.

In addition to Michael, the first lineup included; Rod “Rook” Davies, who had played with David Bowie in The Riot Squad, on guitar. Nigel Harrison, who had played with Champion Jack Dupree and a couple of blues bands, on bass guitar. Steve Forest on guitar. And Pete Thompson, a friend of Davies, on the drums.

After getting signed to Deep Purple’s own label, Purple Records, Silverhead’s first (self-titled) album was released that same year. Led by the singles “Rolling With My Baby” and “Ace Supreme”, the album featured a good mix of blues, rock, soul and country, with most of the songs written by Michael, Rod Davies and Steve Forest.

 

 

The band soon went on the road, touring the UK and USA as support for Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and several other acts, quickly getting a reputation as a solid live band.

Although later labeled a glam-rock band, Silverhead was actually more of a dirty blues-based rock band – further showcased on their second album 16 And Savaged (1973). By this point, guitarist Forest had been replaced by Robbie Blunt (formerly of Bronco and Suzi Quatro’s original backing band).

 

 

More intense touring followed, across the UK, Europe and the USA. In early 1974 the band also went on tour in Japan, where both albums were successfull.

The band started work on their third album, which had the working title Brutiful. But in the summer of 1974 the band split up. Harrison later joined Blondie, Blunt worked with Robert Plant and Thompson became the drummer for Robin Trower.

Silverhead only recorded two albums, but they are still appreciated worldwide by fans of great rock music, and thanks to new CD re-issues the music continues to be discovered by new generations.

 

…Fast forward to November 2011, and the surprise announcement that Silverhead will reunite for two special shows in Tokyo in April 2012!

“We all immediately agreed it would be perfect, since it will be the 40th year anniversary of the birth of the band. We are thrilled to play these songs together again!”, Michael said.

On April 20th and 21st, Silverhead played their first concerts together in 38 years at the Shimokitazawa Garden venue in Tokyo.

“It was a great feeling after so many years apart, to be involved with the band again. The shows went way above our expectations, as the crowd were so magical, knew all the lyrics and sang their hearts out all night”, Michael said after the Tokyo shows.

And will there be more Silverhead in the future? We’ll just have to wait and see…

 

Robbie Blunt, Nigel Harrison, Michael Des Barres, Pete Thompson and Rod Davies - live in Tokyo, April 2012 
(Picture by Tsuneglam Sam)

 
 
 

Studio albums

Silverhead (1972)

1. Long Legged Lisa
(Des Barres/Davies) (3:30)
2. Underneath The Light
(Forest) (5:24)
3. Ace Supreme
(Des Barres/Forest) (2:58)
4. Johnny
(Des Barres) (6:24)
5. In Your Eyes
(Des Barres) (6:05)
6. Rolling With My Baby
(Des Barres/Forest) (3:52)
7. Wounded Heart
(Forest) (5:23)
8. Sold Me Down The River
(Des Barres/Davies) (4:26)
9. Rock And Roll Band
(Des Barres) (5:53)
10. Silver Boogie
(Silverhead) (0:54)

Michael Des Barres: vocals
Pete Thompson: drums and assorted percussion
Steve Forest: guitar, vocals
Nigel Harrison: bass guitar
Rod Rook Davies: guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals

Brass section: Dave Caswell, Lyle Jenkens, John Mumford
Brass arrangement: Rod Davies
Keyboards arrangement: Mick Hodgkinson
Backup vocals: The Silverettes

Produced by Martin Birch

Released by Signpost/Purple Records

 

16 and Savaged (1973)

1. Hello New York
(Des Barres) (3:18)
2. More Than Your Mouth Can Hold
(Des Barres/Blunt) (3:24)
3. Only You
(Des Barres/Davies) (4:13)
4. Bright Light
(Des Barres) (4:43)
5. Heavy Hammer
(Des Barres/Blunt/Davies) (3:40)
6. Cartoon Princess
(Des Barres/Harrison) (4:11)
7. Rock Out Claudette Rock Out
(Des Barres/Blunt/Davies/Harrison/Thompson) (3:30)
8. This Ain’t A Parody
(Des Barres/Blunt/Harrison) (3:21)
9. 16 And Savaged
(Des Barres/Blunt/Davies/Harrison/Thompson) (4:21)

Michael Des Barres: vocals
Pete Thompson: drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
Robbie Blunt: guitar, slide guitar
Nigel Harrison: bass guitar
Rod Rook Davies: guitar, percussion, vocals

Saxophone: Ian McDonald
Keyboards: John Bundrick Rabbit

Produced by Silverhead, Alan Harris, Stuart Wicks

Released by MCA/Purple Records

 
 

Live albums

Live at the Rainbow (1975)

1. Hello New York
(Des Barres) (3:26)
2. James Dean
(Des Barres) (4:39)
3. Sold Me Down The River
(Des Barres/Davies) (4:28)
4. Rock Out Claudette Rock Out
(Des Barres/Blunt/Davies/Harrison/Thompson) (3:55)
5. Only You
(Des Barres/Davies) (4:45)
6. Ace Supreme
(Des Barres/Forest) (3:28)
7. Rolling With My Baby
(Des Barres/Forest) (9:32)
8. Rock And Roll Band
(Des Barres) (4:28)

Michael Des Barres: vocals
Pete Thompson: drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
Robbie Blunt: guitar, slide guitar
Nigel Harrison: bass guitar
Rod Rook Davies: guitar, percussion, vocals

Recorded at London’s Rainbow Theatre on Nov. 9th 1973
Mixed at Nova Studios London

Produced by R. David

Released by Purple Records, in Japan only

 

Show Me Everything (2001)

1. Ace Supreme
(Des Barres/Forest) (3:18)
2. Cartoon Princess
(Des Barres/Harrison) (5:27)
3. More Than Your Mouth Can Hold
(Des Barres/Blunt) (3:57)
4. Bright Light
(Des Barres) (5:41)
5. Rock Out Claudette Rock Out
(Des Barres/Blunt/Davies/Harrison/Thompson) (3:11)
6. 16 And Savaged
(Des Barres/Blunt/Harrison/Thompson) (5:21)
7. Rock And Roll Band
(Des Barres) (10:00)
8. James Dean
(Des Barres) (5:37)
9. Sold Me Down The River
(Des Barres/Davies) (4:59)
10. Only You
(Des Barres/Davies) (5:33)
11. Hello New York
(Des Barres) (3:36)
12. 16 And Savaged
(Des Barres/Blunt/Davies/Harrison/Thompson) (12:34)
13. Roll Over Beethoven
(Berry) (5:01)

Tracks 1-7: Alexandra Palace, London, 29 July 1973
Tracks 8-13: Nakano Sunplaza Hall, Tokyo, 19 Jan. 1974

Released by Captain Trip Records, in Japan only

 

 

7″ singles

 

Ace Supreme
June 1972 (UK)
Purple Records (PUR 104)
Side A: Ace Supreme (7″ version)
Side B: Oh No No No

 

 

 

Ace Supreme
June 1972 (Japan)
Odeon (EOR-10389)
Special gatefold sleeve
Side A: Ace Supreme (album version)
Side B: In Your Eyes

 

 

Rolling With My Baby
November 1972 (UK)
Purple Records (PUR 110)
Side A: Rolling With My Baby (7″ version)
Side B: In Your Eyes

 

 

 

Rolling With My Baby
1973 (Germany)
EMI/Purple (C 006-94 047)
Side A: Rolling With My Baby (7″ version)
Side B: In Your Eyes

 

 

 

Hello New York
1973 (Japan)
Odeon (EOR-10493)
Special gatefold sleeve
Side A: Hello New York
Side B: Only You

 

 

 

Unofficial live albums

Rock and Roll Circus

1. Ace Supreme
2. James Dean
3. Sold Me Down The River
4. Only You
5. Hello New York
6. Silver Funk
7. Cartoon Princess
8. Bright Light
9. Rock Out Claudette Rock Out
10. 16 And Savaged
11. Rolling With My Baby

Audience recording of a concert at the Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo, Japan, on 10. January 1974

Released by Private Master (PM027)

 

 

Live in Tokyo

1. Ace Supreme
2. James Dean
3. Sold Me Down The River
4. Only You
5. Bright Light
6. Cartoon Princess
7. Hello New York
8. Rock Out Claudette Rock Out
9. 16 And Savaged
10. Rolling With My Baby
11. Roll Over Beethoven

Audience recording of a concert at the Nakano Sunplaza Hall in Tokyo, Japan, on 19. January 1974

Released by Dirty 13 (D13-009)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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