Legendary guitarist Michael Schenker was forced to cancel MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP's concert at Tokyo, Japan's Nakano Sunplaza after three songs Friday night (Nov. 17) because he was suffering from an unspecified illness. The following report was issued by the Michael Schenker News and Tour Information web site:
"It is very sad to say that tonight's show of MSG in Tokyo was cancelled at the point when they finished playing first three songs because Michael Schenker could not continue to play due to bad health condition.
"Something was wrong with Michael from the beginning. He could not really play some easy phrases of 'Assault Attack', a show opener. At this point, the worst scenario already came to my mind. During 'Ready To Rock', Michael stepped to the front edge of the stage and played with his usual action of bending over. It seemed to me that he was trying to keep on rocking and interacting with the audience. But he didn't play the solo of the song. Then he suddenly walked off stage. After a short break, he came back to stage. He responded to the audience by raising his hand. He no doubt tried to continue. They restarted the show with 'Let It Roll'. Michael still could not play well. Just after the first solo section, he threw his guitar (on the same spot where he smashed Leon's Flying V in 1988) and left the stage again. Jari, Pete, Rev and Wayne continued to play the song till the end without Michael. Then they also left the stage. The audience never stopped clapping their hands and wanting Michael back on stage. This lasted for a long time, maybe more than ten minutes. I prayed and prayed. While praying, I was thinking that he couldn't play even the easy phrases because he plays from his heart, and on the contrary, technical players could play somehow even when their condition is bad. I felt all the more sad by recalling how he struggled to continue. But he never came back. Then a man from the promoter came on the stage and announced that the show was cancelled because Michael cannot continue to play due to his bad condition. After a short while, Jari, Pete, Rev and Wayne appeared on stage again to say to the audience who were still there that they were sorry for what happened. Pete made a good statement. He also promised on behalf of the band that they will try to work things out to reschedule the show on November 27th. I sincerely hope this will happen.
"As many people didn't go home and stayed inside the venue, Jari, Pete, Rev and Wayne again came back on stage to shake hands with them and giving their picks and drum sticks to them. When Wayne left for the hotel, he kindly signed autographs to the fans who were waiting in font of the back door. They really care about fans. In the meantime, tomorrow's [Saturday, Nov. 18] gig in Sapporo is still on according to the promoter. They are supposed to fly from Tokyo to Hokkaido tomorrow. It will be a first test for whether they can come back to Tokyo in ten days after touring other Asian nations. I pray for Michael getting better tomorrow.
"I am so sorry for all the fans who came to see their shows, poeple concerned including Zakk Corporation, and MSG members, including Michael himself."