Rudolf Schenker

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Rudolf Schenker as the guitarist of the Scorpions. Concert on February 7, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.

Rudolf Schenker (born August 31, 1948 in Hildesheim ) is a German guitarist , songwriter and band leader of the Hanoverian hard rock band Scorpions, which he and Wolfgang Dziony founded in 1965 .


Rudolf Schenker grew up in Sarstedt near Hildesheim as the son of a civil engineer. At the age of 17 he founded his first band in 1965, which soon after became the Scorpions. After leaving school, he learned the profession of high-voltage electrician , which subsequently also benefited his band in the event of technical problems. Later he also learned the profession of photographer . Since the Scorpions often had to struggle with financial problems in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Schenker photographed bands he was friends with at their concerts, thus filling the band's budget; Schenker took the first Scorpions band photos with a self-timer. In 2007, early Schenker photographs were exhibited in a gallery in Los Angeles . He developed his vision early on, "to play with the Scorpions wherever there is an outlet" and one day to be one of the 30 biggest rock bands - a vision that finally came true 20 years after the band was founded.

His younger brother Michael Schenker used to play for the Scorpions. His sister Barbara is also a musician and played a. a. with the Hanoverian band Viva Keyboard. One of his trademarks is the "windmill" - he rotates with his right arm.

Schenker as the composer of the Scorpions

Schenker is the main composer of the Scorpions. On the debut album Lonesome Crow he composed all seven pieces together with his brother Michael. On the Scorpions' second album, Fly to the Rainbow , he was involved in four of the seven pieces as a composer. He had written three pieces together with Klaus Meine , another with Meine and his brother Michael. On the album In Trance he was involved in six of the ten songs, five of which he composed alone, one with Ulrich Roth . On the fourth band album, Virgin Killer , Schenker was involved in five of the nine pieces as a composer. He wrote four pieces together with Klaus Meine, another with Meine and Uli Roth. On the album Taken by Force he composed five tracks. On the sixth album of the Scorpions, Lovedrive , eight pieces were represented; Rudolf Schenker had composed all of them, one together with Herman Rarebell . The lyrics were from Meine and Rarebell.

Schenker composed seven of the nine tracks on Scorpions' seventh album, Animal Magnetism , and the lyrics were again by Meine and Rarebell. On the album Blackout he is named as composer or co-author of all nine songs, the same applies to the nine songs of the album Love at First Sting . On the 1988 album Savage Amusement , Schenker is named as the composer for eight songs. The eleventh studio album by the Scorpions, Crazy World , contained the hit Wind of Change and was the only album that reached number 1 in Germany. Of the eleven songs, only two were by Schenker and Meine, namely Send Me An Angel and To Be With You In Heaven . Four more pieces were written together by the Scorpions according to the imprint on the record. There are nine songs on the Face the Heat album that he composed. Klaus Meine was the text author for almost all of them. The following album, Pure Instinct, contains eight tracks for which Schenker was the composer. On Eye to Eye he was involved in eleven of the fourteen songs, but only three of them as the sole composer. On the live album Acoustica , Rudolf Schenker composed and wrote the titles Life is too Short and When Love kills Love together with Klaus Meine . On the 2004 album Unbreakable , he is listed as a composer or co-composer on seven songs. On the most recently released album Humanity Hour 1 , he co-composed four of the twelve pieces. He also composed the instrumental piece Concerto in V , which was published on the 1995 live album Live Bites .

For the singer Bonnie Tyler he composed the song You're the One , which appeared on her album Free Spirit in 1995 . Klaus Meine wrote the text. The song can be heard in a different version on the Scorpions' album Pure Instinct . On the Scorpions' farewell album, Sting in the Tail , he composed the song Slave me alone, he is listed as co-composer for eight of the thirteen other titles, and as co-author of the lyrics for three of the titles. On the MTV Unplugged - in Athens album from 2013 he is the lyricist and composer of the song Love is the Answer , which he also sings. On the album Return to Forever he is involved in six titles as a composer or co-composer.

Schenker took over for the songs They Need a Million and Drifting Sun from the album Fly to the Rainbow . T. the lead vocals. Schenker can also be heard as lead singer on the song Hey You .

Well-known songs as a composer (selection)

Schenker is listed as a composer or co-composer on more than a hundred songs. His compositions have sold more than 100 million copies on phonograms, and in some cases more than 160 million phonograms have been sold. He is considered the most successful guitarist from Germany.

Guest appearances (selection)

  • 1988: Concert by Bon Jovi in the Olympiahalle Munich (with We're an American Band )
  • 1991: Rudolf Schenker, Klaus Meine, Bo Diddley and Faith No More with My Generation at the third International Rock Awards at Wembley Arena, London .
  • 1994: Appearance with the Hungarian band Omega in the Népstadion in Budapest
  • 2002: Concert by Dio and Deep Purple in Braunschweig (with Dios song Rainbow in the Dark , with Klaus Meine)
  • 2006: Santana concert in the TUI-Arena in Hanover
  • 2008: Concert for the 25th stage anniversary of Doro Pesch in the ISS Dome in Düsseldorf, with Klaus Meine
  • 2008: Smashing Pumpkins concert in the Color-Line Arena Hamburg (together with Uli Roth on the Scorpions song Robot Man )
  • 2008: Guitarist of the All-Star-Band performing Chuck Berry on the occasion of the awarding of the Golden Camera for the life's work of music to Berry (Song: Roll Over Beethoven )
  • 2009: Flying V interpretation of the national anthems of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America before Arthur Abraham's boxing match against Jermaine Taylor on October 18th
  • 2011: Guest at MSG at the High-Voltage Festival (for the song Rock You Like a Hurricane )
  • 2016: Guest at the Classic Rock Award 2016 in Tokyo on November 11th: No One Like You and Rock You Like a Hurricane together with u. a. Jimmy Page , Tesla , Joe Perry , Richie Sambora , Def Leppard , Jonny Depp , etc. a. with house band Rob and Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), Korn drummer Ray Luzier and Tommy Hendriksen from the Hollywood Vampires.
  • 2018: Guest at the Hollywood Vampire concert (Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry) in Stadtpark Hamburg on June 3rd (rhythm guitar at "Train kept a Rolling")
  • 2019: Very special guest at the 50th Anniversary Tour of Uli Jon Roth on January 21 in Tokyo and on January 22 in Nagoya, Japan.



Ali Campbell (UB 40)

  • 1995: Big Love (guitars, sound engineer)


Michael Schenker

  • 2011: Temple of Rock (rhythm guitar)

Rob Halford

  • 2001/2008: Live Insurrection (rhythm guitar at Blackout)


2011: Golden Decadence (Rock n 'Roll) (Songs: The Way Across the Hills, Keep Watching on me)

Guitars and amplifiers

Rudolf Schenker is known for playing mainly Gibson Flying V guitars or replicas of them. Schenker has a total of around 200 Flying V guitars in his private possession, making it one of the largest collections of this guitar in the world. For example, he owns a '58 Gibson Flying V Korina, which he bought from Pete Townshend and was previously owned by Joe Walsh . Schenker made the guitar, worth around 250,000 euros, available on permanent loan to the Rock'n Pop Museum Gronau .

Signature guitars

In 1984 Gibson launched a Rudolf Schenker Signature Flying V guitar. In 2013 another signature guitar was launched under the name Gibson USA Rudolf Schenker Flying V. The guitar was produced in an edition of 400 copies; the largest edition of an artist project by Gibson to date and one of the largest editions for a signature guitar to date. The guitar is sold out worldwide today (as of 2019). In 2014 Gibson built an acoustic Flying V exclusively for him.

The luthier Boris Dommenget builds for Rudolf Schenker exclusive Signature guitars , including for example the first acoustic guitar Flying V style, Rudolf Schenker at the concerts for Acoustica played project, the Ferrari V and the Scorpions V .

The company WFO Custom Guitars developed the Scorpion-F1 in 2002/03 . The single piece is u. a equipped with 2 exhaust pipes connected to a smoke machine. Rudolf Schenker often plays this guitar live on the song Blackout .

In 2009 the guitar company Deanguitars launched a guitar under the name Schenker Brothers V , which was dedicated to Rudolf and Michael Schenker. This was handed over to both of them and produced in a small series of 200 pieces.

The Richter company offers Rudolf Schenker Signature guitar straps.


In the past, Rudolf Schenker mainly used amplifiers from Marshall Amplification , e.g. B. JMP or JCM800 2203. Currently he uses amplifiers from Engl . The Skrydsrup company builds exclusive rigs for Rudolf Schenker.


Rudolf Schenker lives in Bothmer in the joint municipality of Schwarmstedt near Hanover. He also runs his own Scorpio Sound Studio there . He is the managing owner of Scorpions Musikproduktions- und Verlagsgesellschaft mbH with sole power of representation . As the owner of the Scorpions music production company, Schenker takes care of the band's protected name and trademark rights (e.g. Scorpions lettering ). He is also the owner of the Wind of Change brand with Klaus Meine .

Schenker is a member of the Rock and Pop Council of the German Rock & Pop Musicians Association. V. as well as member of the board of trustees of the German Pop Foundation.

Rudolf Schenker is chairman of the creative jury of the Pyronale.

He and his wife Margret divorced in 2003 after 37 years of marriage and they have a son together. Schenker has lived with his partner Tatyana Sazonova ever since. He has a son with her.

Schenker has been practicing yoga and meditation since he was 18 , as well as Ayurveda for several years . He also does endurance sports.

After Shakira's concert on December 12, 2002 in the Kölnarena , he presented her with one of his Flying V guitars. Shakira had worn a Scorpions T-shirt in a US Pepsi commercial and came out as a fan of the band.

In 1988 Schenker had a cameo appearance in an episode of the British comedy series The Comic Strip Presents… .

In 2006 Rudolf Schenker took part in an episode of Germany's Next Top Model .

Rudolf Schenker was active as a model for the Me, MYself & MeY campaign by the underwear manufacturer Mey .

Schenker is a founding member of the German Foundation for the Promotion of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.

During the 2010 Dakar Rally he was part of the accompanying crew of Volkswagen AG and during this time tested the new VW Amarok model with which VW contested the rally. In November 2010, the VW Group presented a Scorpions Amarok based on an idea by Schenker . a. is equipped with a special airbrush paint and an extendable Scorpions sting. The unique piece was handed over to Rudolf Schenker. In 2012 Schenker was a member of the accompanying crew again.

Rudolf Schenker was the patron of the campaign One hall for everyone - let's go! 1 × around the world! . This project supported the construction of a new gymnasium in Schenker's home town of Bothmer (Schwarmstedt). In September 2011 Schenker performed with the Federal Police Orchestra as part of a benefit concert in favor of the action in the KGS Schwarmstedt and played some songs by the Scorpions.

His book Rock Your Life (with co-author Lars Amend ) was number 1 on the book charts in Russia and Bulgaria. Together with Amend, Rudolf Schenker is the brand owner of the title Rock Your Life .

Rudolf Schenker works as a speaker with his rock-your-life philosophy and was one of the speakers at Forum One - The Biggest Leadership Forum in East Europe 2013 in Kaunas , Lithuania.

Rudolf Schenker has been the patron of the class! Project since January 2014 . We sing .

In 1985 and 2000 he signed the Golden Book of the city of Hanover . In 2000 he, like Klaus Meine and Matthias Jabs, was awarded the city plaque for the services of the Scorpions to Hanover . On June 20, 2000 he received the Order of Merit 1st Class of the Lower Saxony Order of Merit . In February 2015, together with Klaus Meine and Matthias Jabs, he received the Lower Saxony State Prize for 2014.

In January 2015, he signed the city of Bremen's Golden Book .


  • Rudolf Schenker and Lars Amend: Rock your life: The founder and guitarist of the Scorpions reveals his secret: having fun to happiness and success. mvg Verlag, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-86882-019-5 .
  • Matthias Blazek: The Lower Saxony Band Compendium 1963-2003 - Data and facts from 100 rock groups from Lower Saxony . Celle 2006, pp. 8-9 ISBN 978-3-00-018947-0 .

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. .
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  3. ( Memento of the original from June 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. . Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved September 22, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. . Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved September 22, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. justhesame: Faith No More + Scorpions + Bo Diddley "My Generation" 1991 . January 28, 2008.
  8. ( Memento of the original from January 12, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. CLASSIC ROCK Awards: A show like a supergroup jam - Classic Rock Magazin . November 16, 2016.
  10. Kyon Rock: Classic Rock Awards 2016 Jam Session / Rudolf Schenker Scorpions "No one like you" . November 27, 2016.
  12. GIBSON: Successful start to the trade fair with Min-ETune, Rudolf Schenker and the robots from Compressorhead - Kruger Media PR Agency Berlin - Music, Lifestyle, Entertainment . April 10, 2013.
  13. Rudolf Schenker presents his new Gibson Acoustic Flying V at Musikmesse 2014 - Kruger Media PR Agency Berlin - Music, Lifestyle, Entertainment . 17th March 2014.
  14. ^ Scorpions Musikproduktions- und Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.
  15. ^ Rudolf Schenker, Scorpions Musikproduktions- und Verlagsgesellschaft mbH - An der Dörbrake 5 - 29690 Schwarmstedt .
  16. BMW SCENE LIVE - Features: Wind of Change .
  17. ^ Trademark information for Wind Of Change from CTM - by Markify . Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved October 28, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. Musicians Online - DRMV - Musicians Magazine - German Rock + Pop Prize - German Pop Foundation .
  19. Scorpions: BILD backstage in LA .
  20. Mey Bodywear - underwear for women & men - online shop .
  21. Volkswagen builds Scorpions Amarok from November 18, 2010, accessed on April 16, 2011.
  22. Scorpion rocks with 45 police officers .
  23. Lars Amend : About me. ( Memento of the original from August 18, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Lars Amends blog, accessed May 4, 2013.
  24. Forumone .
  25. Birgit Reuther: Scorpions guitarist wants to make children sing .
  26. ^ Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany: End after 45 years: The Scorpions will dissolve .
  27. ^ Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany: State Prize for Choir Director and Scorpions .
  28. Rock star in the town hall - Scorpions guitarist enters the Golden Book .