Former Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker opened up about being an independent musician during a recent interview with Classic Rock. Apparently, the rocker wanted the opposite of every other musician, not to be famous. For that purpose, Schenker turned down the offers coming from legendary artists, including his former band, even though his brother Rudolf Schenker begged him to stay.
Unlike other rockstars, Michael Schenker ran away from every band he was a member of as soon as that band achieved success and put them into the spotlight. Starting music at an early age, Schenker played his first gig when he was 11, with Rudolf and the Scorpions in a nightclub. The guitarist made his debut with Scorpions with their first record, ‘Lonesome Crow,’ at the age of 16.
Despite finding fame at an incredibly young age, the rocker knew he didn’t want to be famous and carry the weight that comes with it. To be free in his own work, he became the lead guitarist for UFO when Scorpions were opening for the band.
His career with this band was also problematic since the musician sometimes walked off mid-song causing shows to be canceled. Although he had a successful time with the band musically, Schenker eventually quit UFO after their show in Palo Alto, California, on 29 October 1978.
Following his brief reunion with Scorpions in late 1978, during which he helped record ‘Lovedrive,’ Schenker left the band for good and was permanently replaced by Matthias Jabs. Due to being a brilliant guitarist, Ozzy Osbourne offered him to replace Randy Rhoads after his passing. According to the rocker, something told him not to join the Black Sabbath frontman; therefore, he declined the offer, which was a dream to many.
During a recent interview, Michael Schenker also claimed that he turned down many other iconic artists during his career to focus on his solo career, including Deep Purple, Whitesnake, and Phil Lynott. If you ask the musician, his only reason for rejecting these opportunities was to be free in his work rather than limited by other musicians.
Furthermore, his brother and bandmate Rudolf Schenker called him crying and begged him to stay in Scorpions after his reunion. According to his statement, the guitarist turned down this offer because he wanted to have something on his own and fulfill his vision as an artist.
In the interview, Schenker said:
“After I played on the ‘Lovedrive’ album, I had Rudolf on the telephone crying and begging me to stay in the band. But I had to get away and do my own thing. I couldn’t have fulfilled my own vision had I accepted that offer or the invites from Ozzy Osbourne or Deep Purple or Whitesnake or Phil Lynott or any of the others who asked me to be with them. It was fun to be free. Those were my University of Life years.”
While it’s admirable for a musician to only focus on his music rather than care about achieving worldwide success or fame, the former UFO guitarist’s statements are a bit bold. Considering the fact that he and his brother aren’t on the best terms after calling each other ‘traitor’ and ‘greedy a**hole,’ fans now expect an answer from Rudolf.