Uli Jon Roth has weighed in on the rift between Michael and Rudolf Schenker, saying that "the whole thing [is] a little sad."
Michael Schenker gave a number of interviews in recent months 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.
In a brand new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice (conducted by former ANTHRAX singer Neil Turbin), Roth — who was in the SCORPIONS for five years before leaving the group in 1978, following the release of the live double album "Tokyo Tapes" — stated about Michael's comments (see video below): "It was a little strange [to read what Michael had to say]. I couldn't follow it. I don't know what got into him.'
"I thought Rudolf always did good things for Michael. Certainly, I cannot second any of that stuff."
He continued: "I've been with Rudolf for five years extremely closely. He is the greatest guy. I totally respect him on the human level and as a musician. Maybe he is not like a virtuoso guitar player, but he is sure a heck of a songwriter, and that's rare. Very few people in rock can actually write a riff like 'Rock You Like A Hurricane' or whatever — stuff that really stays in your mind forever. Rudolf has that gift, and that should not be undervalued."
Roth added: "So I don't know what's with Michael. I don't know what the problem was. Maybe he knows something I don't know, but I kind of doubt it. It's all about different perspectives. Different people see things in a different light at different parts in their lives.
"Sure, some of the stuff [Michael] said, I could understand where he is coming from. Yeah, okay, maybe Rudolf plays the flying V [like Michael does], I guess. But then again, that's also natural. They are brothers, and they come from the same kind of background. And Rudolf did start the SCORPIONS; without Rudolf, there would be [no] SCORPIONS. He was the motor from the beginning. He was the only one with the real vision in that band to go forward to do that, and that's a tremendous achievement, through thick and thin. So the whole thing was a little sad. But maybe it will all blow over.
"I love them both. I've got great respect and love for Michael, who is one the greatest guitar players of all time — definitely. But I think there's no need to go up against your brother. If there's a problem, hold your peace [and] don't do it in public. That's my personal opinion."
Michael Schenker said last year that he was "disappointed" in his 68-year-old brother over the way the SCORPIONS described his time with the band during the writing and recording of the 1979 album "Lovedrive". Michael also claimed that that the SCORPIONS took advantage of him and took credit for his songwriting efforts. It all came to light, Michael said, when he was approached to help with the recent 50th-anniversary SCORPIONS reissues.