MICHAEL SCHENKER On His Brother RUDOLF: He 'Is A Bully, And I Don't Connect With Bullies'
January 24, 2021
In a new interview with Spain's Metal Journal, legendary German guitarist Michael Shenker was asked if he thought about approaching his former SCORPIONS bandmate Klaus Meine to contribute his vocals to a reworked version of the SCORPIONS song "In Search Of The Peace Of Mind", which appears on "Immortal", the upcoming album from MSG (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP). Michael responded (hear audio below): "Because Klaus and I, we started COPERNICUS before we joined the SCORPIONS, I always tried to [entertain] the idea of doing something with Klaus [again]. But over the years, my brother Rudolf [Schenker, SCORPIONS guitarist] has become — he's just simply a bully."
He continued: "I'm 66; [Rudolf is] seven years older. By him not giving me the musical credit for 'In Search Of The Peace Of Mind', and then also tricking me with the 'Lovedrive' album, which I was helping them to open the doors for America for them… In 2015, when they approached me for the SCORPIONS box and I found out so many lies, I got very disappointed in Rudolf. I always supported Rudolf and said more power to him — I was so happy that he was successful. And I was happy that I was very successful in fulfilling myself as an artist. So we all got what we wanted.
"I love Rudolf as a brother, but social distance is needed, so I don't get tricked into any further inconvenient situation," Michael explained. "Rudolf is a bully, and I don't connect with bullies. It creates turbulence, and it's inconvenient… I don't wanna open another can of worms. The moment I would team up with Klaus, automatically me and Rudolf would be involved some way or another.
"I don't wanna be controlled by them," Michael said. "I have established myself in a way that I don't wanna be tricked into more inconvenient situations. The moment I connect with Rudolf — you have to understand — it will carry on just the way it did when I was 15, and it will never stop. He's a trickster. And Klaus and Rudolf, of course, they are very, very close together. And there is no point. I, actually, in the end, I cannot do anything with Phil Mogg [UFO singer] anymore or with Klaus Meine, because it just opens another can of worms.
"I don't wanna be controlled by control freaks that are chasing fame just for the sake of fame, losing respect [of] the fans, et cetera, et cetera, making a last album and then another last album and another last album and another last album. It never stops. I mean, these people have no sensitivity and respect for their fans. And so, I don't wanna be involved. I'm not like that. I'm true to myself, and I enjoy being pure as an artist.
"Rudolf and I, we have been separated for 50 years," Michael said. "We have never actually spent any time together except for the tour dates in the [SCORPIONS] 'Lonesome Crow' period, but that's it. So we're used to that anyway.
"I hope for Rudolf to find his way back to understanding what true life is about. [He's] chasing something that gives you something that in the end is not gonna make you happy, which is fame and money, et cetera, et cetera. It rarely makes anybody happy. I mean, sometimes it kills people — too much fame, it kills people; they just die. And so I don't wanna be involved in that world. And I know by connecting to Phil and to Klaus [and] Rudolf, it will just be more of the same. They're always chasing the same thing, and they're addicted to it. And when you're addicted, you don't know how to stop."
Michael gave a number of interviews in the last few years in which he said that he was "disappointed" in Rudolf over the narrative he and SCORPIONS had created about the writing and recording of 1979 album "Lovedrive". Michael added that SCORPIONS took advantage of him and took credit for his songwriting efforts, particularly as it relates to the tracks "Holiday" and "Coast To Coast".
In 2019, Rudolf 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."
Michael Schenker first appeared on SCORPIONS' 1972 album "Lonesome Crow", earned acclaim in the 1970s on classic UFO albums such as "Phenomenon" and "Lights Out" before rejoining SCORPIONS for 1979's "Lovedrive". He departed soon thereafter to launch MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP. And while his sometimes-erratic behavior have derailed parts of his career, Schenker remains one of hard rock and metal's most influential axemen.