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Michael Schenker

"Today we want to tell you about the virtuoso and talented guitarist Michael Schenker.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

He was born on January 10, 1955, in the town of "Sarstedt", western Germany.

Michael is the younger brother of "Scorpions" guitarist Rudolf Schenker.

Rudolph was the one who got Michael into music and influenced him to play the guitar. This happened at a very young age and rumor has it that Michael first held the guitar at the age of 4. Michael admired Rudolph, learned a lot from him, and saw him as a role model. He even bought a "Gibson Flying V" guitar similar to his brother, a guitar that would become his trademark. It was so identified with him that "Deane Guitars" created a special V-shaped model for him.

Rudolph and Michael grew up on bands like "Deep Purple", "Led Zeppelin", and "Wishbone Ash". The guitarists who most influenced Michael were Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton.

Michael started out with a small band together with his friend Klaus Meine. They both joined Rudolf's band, the "Scorpions". Michael played his first gig with the band when he was only 11 years old. In 1972 they released their debut album "Lonesome Crow". Michael was then only 16.

The Scorpions were initially the warm-up band of the British band "UFO". Phil Mogg - "UFO" lead singer was very impressed with the young and virtuoso musicians and offered him to join the band. Michael agreed and left the "Scorpions" in 1973.

With Michael's entry into "UFO," he began to change its sound. "UFO" was a heavy rock band with the influences of Space Rock and even Boogie and Michael changed its style from end to end combining innovative, rhythmic, virtuoso, and heavy music.

Thanks to Michael, "UFO" got better from album to album and reached a peak in the form of the masterful live album "Strangers in the Night". During his career with "UFO" Michael was part of great albums such as "Lights Out" and "Obsession" and co-wrote stadium anthems such as "Doctor Doctor", "Rock Bottom" and "Lights "Out".

However, unfortunately, Schenker was addicted to alcohol at the time and did not get along with lead singer Phil Mogg. Following a conflict in which each blamed the other, Michael Schenker left the band on October 29, 1978, after the band performance in California.

After "UFO" Michael briefly returned to "Scorpions" and played on the album "Lovedrive" from 1979. But even then problems began to emerge when Michael started being late to rehearsals and recordings and not showing up to the band performances. In the end, the band had enough of Michael's contempt and recruited Matthias Jabs as his permanent replacement. Later Michael will point out that he simply did not enjoy performing other people's songs, so it led him to behave as he did and eventually lead to his dismissal from the band.

After his second and brief affair with "Scorpions", Michael began receiving interesting job offers from well-known artists of the time, including "Aerosmith" after guitarist Joe Perry left and even an audition for the "Rolling Stones". Later he also got an offer from Ozzy Osbourne, however, it didn't materialize, with Ozzy justifying the matter, saying that Michael was simply making unreasonable demands.

Eventually, Michael decided to start his own solo project, with a lineup he would put together. At that time Michael was very popular and this gave him the confidence to go with the solo project idea forward.

Thus, in 1979, the German / American / English "Michael Schenker Group" (MSG) was formed.

The band's initial lineup included keyboardist Don Airey, drummer Simon Phillips, bassist Mo Foster, and singer Gary Barden. The band released their first album as early as 1980, when the one who was chosen to produce the album was none other than Roger Glover - bassist of "Deep Purple".

Since then, Michael has released under various lineups another 18 studio albums, and countless live albums, collections, and cover albums.

Various variations of the lineups include "McAuley Schenker Group", "Schenker's Temple of Rock" and "Michael Schenker Fest" - Schenker's "Dream Team" lineup, with which he released his excellent album "Revelation" in 2019.

In parallel with his extensive solo career, Michael managed to return briefly to "UFO". This happened in 1995 for the excellent reunion album "Walk On Water", which included the band's classical lineup, with the return of keyboardist Paul Raymond and drummer Andy Parker.

On January 29, 2021, "MSG" released their 14th album "Immortal. The album will also mark 50 years of Schenker's musical career. The first single from it includes a collaboration with Ralf Scheepers, the singer of the German metal band "Primal Fear".

During his years of activity, Michael Schenker had collaborated with many artists. These collaborations include Graham Bonnet, John Sykes, Bernie Marsden, Stephen Stills, and many more.

Michael Schenker is a gifted, talented, and intelligent guitarist who has become one of the great influential, and respected guitarists in the metal world. He knew how to take everything he learned from the founding generation of Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, and Ritchie Blackmore and upgrade it to a unique, innovative, and daring style of music that would sweep away a generation of young musicians, who would follow in his footsteps and want to be like him.

Among the guitarists who mentioned that they were influenced by him are Marty Friedman, Dimebag Darrell, Adrian Smith, Slash, Kirk Hammett, Alex Skolnick, Randy Rhoads, Mike McCready, Kerry King John Petrucci, and more.

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