Michael Schenker Reacts To Eddie Van Halen Stealing The Parts Of His Songs

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During a recent appearance on The Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White Show, former Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker stated that he was amazed when he found out he heavily influenced Eddie Van Halen.

By the mid-’70s, Van Halen had only been together for a few years, and they regularly played shows in clubs, house parties, colleges, and hotel bars. The band had started to develop a small but loyal fan base in the Los Angeles area, with their setlists primarily consisting of covers from pop and rock to disco. They had started to work on their original material at the time.

Then, the band also began playing in larger venues. On one of those nights, Van Halen was the opening act for UFO at the Starwood. Many who attended were amazed by Van Halen’s performance. It was evident from their early days that the band would have a massive impact on the music scene. Michael Schenker recalled when Van Halen opened for them and his influence on Eddie Van Halen during his latest appearance.

The guitarist stated that he didn’t know Van Halen at the time as they were a new band. He later learned that he heavily influenced Eddie Van Halen when people told him about that. They said they could hear something similar to Schenker’s sound in Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing. Eddie’s stealing parts of his songs didn’t bother him, though. He felt amazed and honored when he discovered the resemblance since Eddie is his favorite guitar player.

Michael Schenker’s words on Eddie Van Halen stealing parts of his songs:

“We played the Starwood, and apparently, Van Halen was opening up for UFO. I never knew that because it was a brand-new band. It was five years before they broke through. So apparently, much later in life, I found out that Eddie Van Halen was a fan and got influenced by me. People told me they could hear some stuff.

I don’t listen to music. So I wouldn’t know, but I could only know by what people reported to me. I was very amazed when people told me, ‘Hey, do you remember this band that was opening up for UFO in the Starwood?’ I had a glimpse of that coming into the soundcheck. There wasn’t bad playing, but I don’t remember anything of the music or anything, but that was Van Halen, maybe under a different name or whatever, but that was remarkable.

I never knew that. Because to me, it was another one of those support bands that nobody knew. But they were in the making of being big, and so it’s quite remarkable. I heard that people were saying that Eddie was doing some stuff; you can hear my influence. I love Eddie’s playing. He is, for me, by far the best guitar player. And even though I wasn’t listening to music, you could never get away from hearing it everywhere. He was fascinating. He is my favorite guitar player.”

You can listen to the interview below.