Michael Schenker

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Michael Schenker at the Frankfurt Music Fair 2005

Michael Schenker (born January 10, 1955 in Sarstedt ) is a German rock guitarist and brother of Rudolf Schenker .


Michael Schenker rose in the 1970s as a teenager (was promptly called "The German Wunderkind" in England) to become the first German rock musician of world fame. He is considered a pioneer and one of the most formative guitarists who had a lasting influence on several generations of guitarists. People like Eddie Van Halen , Kirk Hammett , Slash or Zakk Wylde give his name when asked about role models and important influences. Michael started playing guitar at an early age. At the age of only eleven, he formed his first student band The Enervates , which reenacted titles from The Shadows and The Beatles . After only three months this group was dissolved and his second band Cry emerged , which was later renamed Cry Express and was then the “first real beat band in Hanover” and “youngest beat group in Germany”. In his third group, Copernicus , Klaus Meine was the singer. Together they later switched to his brother Rudolf Schenker's Scorpions , with whom Michael initially played from 1969 to 1973.

In 1973 Schenker was with the Scorpions on a promotional tour for their first album Lonesome Crow . There he was asked by the English band UFO , when he played in the opening act with the Scorpions, if he wanted to represent their guitarist Bernie Marsden for two concerts, as he had not been allowed through at the border without ID. The 18-year-old Schenker agreed, first played with the Scorpions and then went back on stage with UFO after a short break. The British, so enthusiastic about him, signed the young giver straight away, so that after the tour he officially became a member of UFO, despite the language barrier (Michael didn't speak English at the time), and therefore replaced Bernie Marsden. In this group, Schenker drew for hard rock classics such as u. a. the anthems Doctor Doctor , Rock Bottom or Love To Love . At the Scorpions he was replaced by Uli Jon Roth on his advice . After personal and alcohol-related problems, he left the band UFO in 1978 and returned to the now internationally successful Scorpions, helped them in the studio with the recording of the album Lovedrive , went with them on the subsequent Lovedrive European tour, but left them again after only 26 concerts. In the same year he founded the hard rock group The Michael Schenker Group / MSG . The mutated between 1986 and 1993 with the participation of rock singer Robin McAuley to the McAuley Schenker Group .

The groups Ratt and Vixen appeared together on an MTV Unplugged show that was recorded on August 11, 1990 at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City . Michael Schenker played on this show as a replacement for Robbin Crosby as the second guitarist for Ratt. After the performance, Bobby Blotzer from Ratt, Share Pedersen from Vixen and Michael Schenker came up with the idea of ​​setting up a joint project. They hired the singer Richard Black from the group Shark Island and Tracii Guns from the LA Guns to complete the band. The resulting supergroup was called Contraband and released a self-titled album in 1991. The band went on tour through the United States in support of Ratt. In the absence of success, the record remained the only release and the group split again.

Schenker found his way back to UFO in 1993 and recorded the record Walk on Water with the group . After touring in 1995, 1997 and 1998 and the release of the albums Covenant (2000) and Sharks in 2002, he separated again from UFO. From 1996 Schenker published a number of other own productions in the USA , some under his name, some under the band name MSG, which again stands for Michael Schenker Group . The albums published under his name between 1993 and 2003 are purely instrumental albums, with the "Thank You" series only being recorded with acoustic guitars . In 2004 and 2005 five studio albums were released with his participation, which only contain cover versions . In September 2011 the album Temple of Rock was released , on which some well-known rock music stars appeared as guest musicians, e. B: Pete Way (ex-UFO), Chris Slade (AC / DC), Herman Rarebell (ex-Scorpions) and Michael Schenker's brother Rudolf Schenker. On the associated Temple Of Rock tour in 2012, he performed with former Scorpions musicians Herman Rarebell, drums, and Francis Buchholz , bass; The program also included some Scorpions titles, especially the Lovedrive album . As a singer, u. a. Robin McAuley and Doogie White with. Since then, Schenker has played with Rarebell, Buchholz, White as well as keyboardist, guitarist and singer Wayne Findlay in the band "Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock", which has so far released the studio albums Bridge the Gap and Spirit on a Mission .

Schenker has been touring with the formation "Michael Schenker Fest" since 2016, alongside the MSG singers Gary Barden , Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley , Chris Glen (bass), Steve Mann (guitar / keyboard) and until his death on January 19th 2019 Ted McKenna (drums) to the lineup. Since then, drummer Bodo Schopf has performed live, while Simon Phillips contributed most of the drum parts to the group's third album, "Revelation". Since the 2018 album "Resurrection", Doogie White has been involved again as a singer. For the tour in 2020 it was announced that in addition to Barden, McAuley and White, Ronnie Romero will be the fourth singer . a. is a permanent member of Rainbow and CoreLeoni . Romero is the third lead singer of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, with whom Michael Schenker works, after Graham Bonnet and Doogie White.

On August 11, 2020, Schenker announced on its website that a new MSG record will be released on January 8, 2021, with a lot of renowned musicians on board (lead singer Ronnie Romero). The title is Immortal . The album contains 10 tracks, including a new recording of In search of the peace of mind , the first song Michael wrote in 1971 at the age of only 16 for the first Scorpions LP Lonesome Crow .


Michael Schenker is known for his exclusive use of electric guitars of the " Flying V " type, which was originally designed by the US company Gibson . Since the summer of 2005, the US-American instrument company Dean Guitars , in cooperation with Michael Schenker, has been producing a "Signature Flying V" -like guitar series tailored to his needs, which has since changed to different models at irregular intervals, often even in limited numbers Editions that are being expanded (some copies have long been out of print). According to a contract with Dean Guitars, Schenker plays his own Dean guitars, both in the studio and on stage, without exception. Some of his guitars were stolen when producer Michael Voss broke into his studio while recording Spirit on a Misson in late August 2014.

He coined a special guitar finish, namely a black and white pickguard (pickguard) on the white and black lacquered guitar. As an amplifier he uses devices from the British company Marshall , mainly the "JCM 800" model in the 50-watt version with two 4x12 "boxes as a full stack.

The special sound of his guitar can also be traced back to the use of a wah-wah effect device from Dunlop, model "Cry Baby", which filters individual frequency ranges from the guitar signal depending on the pedal position. This can be heard very prominently on the title song of the 1982 album "Assault Attack" produced by Martin Birch .

In 2010 he received the Marshall “11” award from Classic-Rock magazine in London, other winners were Slash and Ron Wood .

The readership of the largest magazine in Japan for heavy metal fans “Burrn!” Voted Michael Schenker three years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018) as the world's best guitarist.

Michael Schenker is regarded as a gifted, very fast, melodic, precise, elegant and technically clean guitarist, but also as an accomplished songwriter. Siggi Schwarz about Michael Schenker: “His playing combines feeling, virtuosity and melody, which is unique in rock music”.


Michael Schenker

  • 1987: The Michael Schenker Portfolio ( compilation )
  • 1992: Positive Forward ( CD single )
  • 1993: Thank You
  • 1993: Anthology
  • 1994: The Story of Michael Schenker ( compilation )
  • 1998: Thank You With Orchestra
  • 2000: The Odd Trio
  • 2000: Adventures of the Imagination
  • 2000: MS2000 Dreams and Expressions (CD with 20 electrically instrumental tracks)
  • 2001: MS2000 Dreams and Expressions (CD contains, in addition to the 2000 album, a bonus track and is also equipped with a different cover)
  • 2001: Into the Arena 1972–1995 ( Best of from Australia with numerous non-album tracks and bonus tracks from Japanese CD editions)
  • 2002: Doctor Doctor - Best (1976-99) [Zounds; contains titles by UFO, MSG and Michael Schenker; all tracks digitally remastered, CD-Text]
  • 2002: Thank You 2
  • 2002: Thank You 3
  • 2003: Forever and More: The Best of Michael Schenker ( compilation )
  • 2003: Thank You 4
  • 2008: Guitar Master - The Kulick Sessions (new edition of Heavy Hitters, supplemented by two songs "Save Yourself" + "Finding my Way" as well as two instrumental bonus versions of "Doctor Doctor" + "War Pigs")
  • 2009: Greatest Riffs (US compilation )
  • 2010: Instrumental Intensity ( compilation )
  • 2011: Temple of Rock
  • 2012: Temple of Rock - Live in Europe (as CD, double vinyl, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and Limited Deluxe Collector's Edition -double CD, Blu-ray Disc + bonus DVD- released)
  • 2017: FEST - Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A (released as 2CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 2CD / DVD box), from the formation "Michael Schenker Fest"
  • 2018: A Decade of the Mad Axeman (double CD, one of them live) ( compilation )
  • 2018: FEST - Resurrection (first studio album of the formation "Michael Schenker Fest" with three original MSG singers from the 1980s: Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley & Doogie White)
  • 2019: FEST - Revelation (second studio album of the formation "Michael Schenker Fest")

With Scorpions

With UFO

  • 1974: Phenomenon
  • 1975: Force It
  • 1976: No Heavy Petting
  • 1977: Lights Out
  • 1978: obsession
  • 1979: Strangers in the Night (double LP / Live in Chicago)
  • 1992: The Best Of ( compilation )
  • 1995: Walk on Water
  • 1998: Werewolves of London ( Live )
  • 2000: Covenant
  • 2002: Sharks
  • 2002: Uli Jon Roth , Jack Bruce and UFO - Legends of Rock - Live at Castle Donington (DVD + CD)
  • 2011: The Chrysalis Years (1973–1979) - (5 CD box)
  • 2013: Hot'n'Live (CD 1 contains live recordings from 1974-78)
  • 2019: Phenomenon (3 CD Deluxe Edition, release 10/2019, CD 3 contains live recordings from November 5, 1974 concert in Atlanta / USA)

With The Michael Schenker Group (MSG)

see Michael Schenker Group # discography

With McAuley Schenker Group

  • 1987: Perfect Timing
  • 1989: Save Yourself
  • 1991: Never Ending Nightmare
  • 1992: MSG
  • 1992: Nightmare
  • 1992: Nightmare: The Acoustic MSG
  • 1992: Unplugged Live

With Schenker Pattison Summit

  • 2004: The Endless Jam
  • 2005: The Endless Jam Continues

With Siggi Schwarz

  • 2004: Siggi Schwarz & the Electricguitar Legends - Vol. I.
  • 2005: Siggi Schwarz & the Rock Legends - Woodstock - Vol. II
  • 2006: Siggi Schwarz & Michael Schenker - Live Together 2004 (new edition 2011 as Together Live 2004 - The Bonus Edition with two additional studio titles)

With Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock

  • 2013: Bridge the Gap appeared on CD, vinyl and a deluxe edition with the bonus acoustic song “Faith” written and sung by Don Dokken
  • 2015: Spirit on a Mission released as CD, double vinyl and a deluxe edition (CD + DVD), with the instrumental bonus song "Searching for Freedom" on the deluxe edition CD (50th place in the German album charts)
  • 2016: On a Mission: Live in Madrid released as double CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and Limited Deluxe Collector's Edition (double CD + double Blu-ray Disc) (84th place in the German album charts)


  • 1979: Wild Horses - Mad Ax Attack
  • 1981: Bernie Marsden - Look at Me Now
  • 1991: Bad Moon Rising - Bad Moon Rising
  • 1991: Contraband - Contraband
  • 2003: Schenker / Way - The Plot
  • 2003: Schugar / Schenker - Under Construction (Demo)
  • 2005: Various Artists: Heavy Metal Thunder: The Recordings (Heavy Metal Thunder ( feat.Sex Machineguns ) + Mask of Glory ( feat.Hiroyuki Nanba ))
  • 2005: Michael Schenker Group - Heavy Hitters
  • 2005: Various Artists: Numbers from the Beast - An All Star Salute To Iron Maiden (Run to the Hills ( Iron Maiden -Tribute by Michael Schenker and Robin McAuley))
  • 2006: Jeff Martin - The Fool
  • 2006: Gary John Barden - The Agony and Xtasy
  • 2007: Ratt - Tell The World - The Very Best of Ratt
  • 2008: Various Artists: We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
  • 2008: MSG - Schenker-Barden - In the Midst of Beauty
  • 2009: MSG - Schenker Barden Acoustic Project - Gipsy Lady
  • 2010: Various Artists: Metal X-Man
  • 2011: William Shatner : Seeking Major Tom
  • 2011: Michael Schenker Group - By Invitation Only (new edition of Heavy Hitters, supplemented by the Iron Maiden cover Run to the Hills)
  • 2013: Europe : Sweden Rock Festival 2013
  • 2013: Paul Raymond Project - Terms & Conditions Apply
  • 2016: Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions

Web links

Commons : Michael Schenker  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. MTV Unplugged Episode Recap on tv.com
  2. michaelschenkerfest | BIO. Accessed July 22, 2019 .
  3. MICHAEL SCHENKER HIMSELF - The Official Site. Retrieved July 22, 2019 .
  4. Michael Schenker Festival - Resurrection. Retrieved July 22, 2019 .
  5. https://www.facebook.com/ronnieromeroofficial/photos/rpp.520233494777371/1795300077270700/?type=3&theater
  6. michaelschenkerhimself.com