MICHAEL SCHENKER Sets Record Straight Regarding His Involvement With SCORPIONS' 'Lovedrive' Album

MICHAEL SCHENKER Sets Record Straight Regarding His Involvement With SCORPIONS' 'Lovedrive' Album

In a brand new interview with Guitar Interactive, Michael Schenker attempted to to set the record straight regarding his involvement with the 1979 SCORPIONS album "Lovedrive". Asked if he played all the guitars on the LP, Michael said (see video below): "I don't remember what I played. All I know is I had a contract with the SCORPIONS to be the sixth member of the 'Lovedrive' album — not touring or part of the SCORPIONS; just for the 'Lovedrive' album. But they left the picture out, and that's already breach of contract. Then Rudolf [Schenker, SCORPIONS guitarist and Michael's brother] asked me if I would give him my part of the composition for 'Coast To Coast'. [I was, like] 'Okay, I'll give it to you as a present.' Then they left out that I wrote the beginning to 'Holiday'. If there is no name 'Michael Schenker,' then people would never know I wrote this. And so they left it out. And also the 'Lovedrive' story [on the album's latest reissue] was false."

Michael went on to say that he believes there were more nefarious reasons for why Rudolf took songwriting credit away from him.

"When I left the limelight and Rudolf took over, he [did it] in a sneaky way, because he tried to distort my image. He asked me if he can use the black-and-white flying V guitar design, and I was wondering, 'Why does he wanna be me? Why does he want my image?' And he asked me for that composition. And so today, I know what he did.

"I wrote the first hit for UFO, that became a hit in the United States, in '76 with 'Lights Out'," he continued. "And the SCORPIONS, when I joined the 'Lovedrive' album making, all of America got very excited. People were, like, 'Wow! This is amazing.' And then I didn't carry on with them, because that's not what the deal was. So I did what I could, and obviously, it was phenomenal what the result was. According to other people, it became Vince Neil's favorite record. But they couldn't believe that I would not carry on with the SCORPIONS. I tried — I tried to do half a tour. I couldn't do it. And I had this transition time. I had my own vision. I was so creative and bubbling [with] creativity, but in an experimental way — not in a commercial way… That gave Rudolf a chance to become very famous and do all the things that he so desperately wanted, and I was not standing in his way. Because I already made a decision, I don't need to stay in the lane of fame; I wanna do this. So nobody actually got deprived; everybody did exactly what they wanted. [Along the way] a few lies had to be made up by the SCORPIONS — by Rudolf — because, basically, what the trick was they wanted to fool America as if nobody is missing. Because they left the picture out, so therefore there's only five pictures. Schenker is still there, there is a black-and-white guitar, and then, later, blond hair. And then on re-releases, I wasn't even mentioned anymore."

Michael gave a number of interviews in the last few years in which he questioned his brother's integrity, going so far as to call Rudolf "a con artist" who "completely adopted" Michael's image as his own. He also denounced the SCORPIONS for "distorting" the story of his brief tenure with the band and criticized what he saw as ongoing efforts to minimize the contributions of the group's former drummer Herman Rarebell and ex-bassist Francis Buchholz, as well as SCORPIONS' long-running creative complacency. It all came to light, Michael said, when he was approached to help with the 50th-anniversary SCORPIONS reissues.

Earlier this year, Rudolf — who is seven years older than Michael — dismissed Michael's criticism, telling Classic Rock magazine: "Look, I love my brother. He's a fantastic guitar player but he knows nothing about business. When we made 'Lovedrive', the band was under contract to Dieter Dierks [producer and manager]. When I asked Michael to play a solo to my composition 'Coast To Coast', we agreed a half-and-half credit, but Dieter wouldn't allow it — this related to publishing and studio costs. Michael had a signed contract with Dieter that gave him one point on the song. And we agreed to pay Michael… he had the money."

He continued: "But in 1985, when [Michael] was completely smashed and had a new MSG with Robin McAuley, Michael lived with me in my house. We flew in musicians, I did all of that for nothing on the understanding that Michael would pay me when a record label came in. But he didn't pay me anything. So I took his half to cover the bills he hadn't paid. Everything is clear. All Michael has to do is ask: 'What's happening here?' But he doesn't; instead, he gives these stupid interviews."

Rudolf added: "I still love my brother but he has always hated business matters and the only person that's to blame here is himself."

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