Michael Schenker Says He Wouldn’t Be Alive Today If He Joined The Rolling Stones

UFO guitarist Michael Schenker opened up about the time when he had a chance to audition for The Rolling Stones and revealed that it would be an unhealthy idea for him since every transition affected him psychologically and triggered his drinking problems.

As many of you know, Michael Schenker started playing guitar at an early age and played his first gig when he was 11, with his brother Rudolf Schenker and the Scorpions in a nightclub. Schenker was only 16 years old when he debuted with Scorpions on their debut album ‘Lonesome Crow.’

Michael Schenker had a bumpy road when he decided to take the offer of being the lead guitarist for UFO, ultimately left the band after their show in Palo Alto, California, on 29 October 1978, despite having a series of successful albums and tours.

After leaving UFO, Schenker rejoined Scorpions in late 1978 for a short period of time, when they were recording their sixth studio album Lovedrive and he composed and played lead guitar on three songs, ‘Another Piece of Meat,’ ‘Coast To Coast’ and ‘Lovedrive,’ however, after briefly touring with the band, he decided to leave Scorpions for good.

During a recent interview, Michael Schenker revealed that Scorpions strictly wanted him to stay with the band during the recording of ‘Lovedrive’ and go to the United States since there was a big hope for their music to grow bigger, however, Schenker wanted something else for himself. The transition from one band to another, apparently, always pushed him to a place that caused him to have drunk heavily.

The fear and the result of the transition, seemingly, was the main reason why Schenker refused to audition for The Rolling Stones when he got a call for the opportunity. As he revealed, another change in his life when it comes to his band could have caused his life to be over.

Here is what the interviewer said:

“You had issues in the ’90s and probably the early millennium where you openly admit you had problems with alcohol which nearly derailed you. At what point do you think, ‘I’ve got to change my life or I’m going to die, or people are just going to remember me as a joke?'”

Here is what Schenker said:

Every time I did a transition time, the biggest one was in ’79 when I was actually basically fighting myself. I actually had a contract as a sixth member of the Scorpions, should have been a picture on the ‘Lovedrive’ album, they left that out.

But they always hated me for having not stuck with them because they wanted to persuade me to stay with ‘Lovedrive’ and go to America because everybody was going crazy in America – managements in the business that I was joining, there was big hope. And, of course, it was a bummer for the Scorpions and it was a hard time.”

He added:

“So every time I had a transition time, I had really like a year of figuring out what is going on and finding the next step. But that was part of it. The main thing was stage fright, stage fright was the problem. I was too sensitive, especially when I was young – 16, 17, 18 – very, very fragile.

And that’s why I got scared from The Rolling Stones’ call. Somebody called me up asking me if I wanted to audition for The Rolling Stones, and I was shocked when I heard that because I just joined UFO. I never called back, I never took the telephone number, and I was happy with UFO. It was a big enough step for me. The Rolling Stones, I don’t even think I would still be alive today, it would have been too overwhelming.”

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