MICHAEL SCHENKER: My Brother RUDOLF Is A 'Con Artist' Who 'Steals Everything That I Have Done'

May 18, 2016

Legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On his current relationship with his brother, and former bandmate in the SCORPIONS, Rudolf Schenker:

"My generosity was very sadly abused, and I don't appreciate that. And so these days, I'm staying away from the SCORPIONS as far as I can, especially from Rudolf. I can't trust him anymore. I don't know what else he has in his 'trick box.'

"The last thing they did was 'Winds Of Change', [and] they cut Herman [Rarebell, former SCORPIONS drummer] out, they cut Francis [Buchholz, former SCORPIONS bassist] out… They were responsible with them for their commercial success; it wasn't those three… Klaus [Meine, vocals] is the only one with the real talent, but it wasn't those three that are calling themselves the SCORPIONS are proudly walking with the brand name. That brand name has become a brand new because of different eras and different components and different inputs from different people. And so it's very sad that they have become… [With] SCORPIONS, everything has become numb and dumb; it has nothing to do with music anymore. They milked what they could milk for the last 23 years with that manager who just died, and they haven't done anything since Herman and Francis left. So why they cut out these two guys who were their mates all this time? It's just sad that people can be so desperate to be in charge of everything that is success. And it probably ends up, if you have been very successful, it probably ends [with you] being very addicted to it too; it makes it even worse. Who knows what makes the world go around for that kind of attention-seeking people? I don't understand. Because one moment they're all friends and they're all mates, and the next moment they're fighting each other and they're fighting about money. It's crazy."

On Rudolf's comment in a July 2015 interview that there wasn't room for two Schenkers in the SCORPIONS:

"Rubbish! Absolutely rubbish! Rudolf cried on the phone, begging me back to the SCORPIONS when I left them. Because I went there to help the SCORPIONS out. I had just left UFO. I was 23 years old. I already had a hit in '76 with 'Lights Out' and then 'Too Hot To Handle' and 'Only You Can Rock Me', etc. etc. I had done it all [by] 23, while Rudolf was already 30 years old. Then they found out that I left UFO with 'Strangers In The Night'. And Matthias [Jabs] couldn't do the [SCORPIONS] album; he was not capable — he was too young and too inexperienced. So Rudolf, he asked me to help them out. I said 'okay,' and I helped them out. When I finished my work, they were so blown away, they wouldn't let me go. And by that time, it already went around the world that Michael Schenker, who just left UFO, had rejoined the SCORPIONS. So they got rid of Matthias because they needed me in the band. That's basically how it went. And then when I started touring with them, I put my black-and-white guitar on, my black-and-white outfit, and I started touring with them. After two weeks, I couldn't stand it; I couldn't stand playing Uli's [Jon Roth] songs. I was a guitarist with a focus on pure self expression. I wanted to purely express [myself] and develop as a guitarist; I did not want to be part of the artificial commercial world, and I didn't want to have to climb and go the same way again as I had just finished with UFO. I already experienced all of that and knew it wasn't for me. So Rudolf called me back after I went away, and he was crying on the phone, he was begging me to please come back and continue because they had a great future. I was embarrassed by his approach, and I came back again. And, again, I'm seven years younger than they. They very easily could talk me into anything. When I was 15, they were already over 20. When I was 23, they were already 30. So I never felt, especially also being a very shy person, that I was strong enough to stand my stand and talk to them directly in the face, so I went away again. And then they must have a big promise to Matthias to get him back, who probably was already very disappointed, and then they changed the story around to make it sound good, that, 'Well, I had to take my brother, because it's my brother.' Bullshit! They begged me into the SCORPIONS, and the fact is I did not want to be part of a commercial touring band anymore; I wanted to do and go my own way.

"I would agree to that extent, 'there is no space for two Schenkers,' because if I would have stayed with the SCORPIONS, my brother would have never… he would have never experienced what he experienced; that's the only reason.'

On why he feels so betrayed by his brother Rudolf:

"I personally think it was meant to be like that [with me not being part of the SCORPIONS], but I would have never thought that 30 years later, I would discover and [be] disappointed [by] a misrepresentation of my art that was basically stolen. And then [Rudolf] dyed his hair blond, and then he started pushing further and further and further. And now he's become an addict, a fame addict. Now that I'm with Dean Guitars, he wants to even further make people aware [that] he is the guy with the Gibson black-and-white flying V and that it was his thing. I gave my brother, Rudolf Schenker, I allowed him to play and use a black-and-white flying V, and I gave him a song to make it his, and that was my word. And as a thanks I'm getting is that he, when he had big success with 'Holiday' and with 'Rock You Like A Hurricane' and then 'Winds Of Change', he made that whole black-and-white them, he made it his. In the biggest magazine in Germany called Stern, he built the whole interview, over several pages, all based on 'black and white.' It's unbelievable! He's just a con artist. He steals everything that I have done. I'm his younger brother, and thinks he can get away with it, which he did — until they approached me to be part of the SCORPIONS box [of the reissued 'Lovedrive' album]. And I said, 'This is unbelievable.'

"And let me tell you something else: The first time I got a little skeptical about this whole situation here was actually before the SCORPIONS box when my sister wrote me an e-mail and said, 'Our brother is a greedy wanker.' And I went, like, 'What? That comes from my sister. You must be joking.' That was the first time I had goose pimples. I went, 'Whoah! What's going on here?'

"I have been playing the bloody… what do you call it?... 'sündenbock.' It's a German word, sündenbock. It means the person you can put all the blame to. That's what I basically have been for him. All the bad things go to me and all the good things go to Rudolf. And he's a junkie. He wants to earn and own all the good things. He wants to be the one that gets recognized for it. It's too crazy. It's actually sick already. Then, when the 'Lovedrive' box came together, then I realized what [my sister] Barbara said was absolutely true: that guy is lost. Sorry, but that's the way it is."

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