Chequered Past was a prime example of a band being less than the sum of its parts, featuring musicians who were well-known on their own or for their previous musical associations. Lead singer Michael Des Barres, who had fronted the bands Silverhead and Detective, teamed with ex-Sex Pistol guitarist Steve Jones. Completing the lineup was the rhythm section from Blondie, bass player Nigel Harrison and drummer Clem Burke, and guitarist Tony Sales, formerly of Utopia. Signed to Emi American, Chequered Past was released in late summer of 1984 and included a guest appearance by guitarist David Lindley, as well as a cover of Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way." Radio failed to embrace the single "How Much Is Too Much?" and the album flopped. They broke up soon after, with Des Barres joining Duran Duran spin-off the Power Station for their tour (Chequered Past had toured with Duran Duran). Burke would end up drumming for the Eurythmics, while Sales would, several years later, become a member of David Bowie's short-lived Tin Machine project.
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