Michael Schenker says that he has no interest in taking part in UFO's farewell tour.
The legendary German guitarist, who first joined UFO in 1973 and last played with the band in 2003, told RockMusicStar.com that there is "no point" in him returning to the group for its final run of shows. "It's too incomplete," he explained (hear audio below). "First of all, I can't do anything with the SCORPIONS or UFO unless it would be the original lineup. Secondly, I would not join their organization — period. I would not leave my place that I have, where I'm operating from."
Schenker went on to say that he bumps into UFO singer Phil Mogg "all the time" because they "live very close to each other" in the United Kingdom. "And [Phil] moved even closer to me now than he was before," he said.
Although he is on friendly terms with his former bandmate, Schenker said that he doesn't regard the current UFO lineup as the genuine article.
"I said to Phil at some point when I bumped into him… I said it to him, but I say it, in general, to everybody — there is more UFO if Phil and I get together than there is what Phil has with UFO right now with Paul Raymond and Andy Parker," Michael said. "I said, 'Hey, Phil, why don't you join the MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST. There is more UFO in you and me than there is what you do with UFO, what you call UFO.' And that's a fact, because the part of UFO that is meaningful is the part when I was in the band. And UFO was then already on the way to become the biggest band in the world and would have been today still the biggest band in the world, but it was not what was meant to be."
Mogg, who has been the only constant member of UFO throughout the band's existence, announced his plans to retire from the group a year ago.
The singer, who will turn 71 on April 15, released a statement confirming that he will leave the band after UFO completes a farewell 50th-anniversary tour.
"Being out on the road isn't always tremendously luxurious, and although the playing is as great as it ever was, the stuff that surrounds it becomes very tiresome," the vocalist said. "I always told myself that when I reached that stage, I would step down, and that's what I'm going to do. This is the right time for me to quit."
UFO's latest release was the 2017 covers collection "The Salentino Cuts".
The band's founding drummer Andy Parker has been back in UFO since 2005.