Rudolf Schenker Recalls Jon Bon Jovi’s Regret About Scorpions

Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker recently sat down with Ultimate Classic Rock for an interview and revealed that Jon Bon Jovi once regretted taking the stage after Scorpions.

The Moscow Music Peace Festival, held in Moscow, Soviet Union, on August 12–13, 1989, brought high-profile metal and rock bands such as Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Scorpions, and Bon Jovi together. The one-time event took its place in history as the first concert rock and metal artists from abroad were allowed to perform in the capital city of the Soviet Union.

The festival was broadcast live in many countries, including the United States. Later, the bands that had performed at the Moscow Music Peace Festival released a compilation album titled ‘Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell.’ After Scorpions took the stage following Ozzy Osbourne, it was Bon Jovi’s turn to perform. Rudolf Schenker said that MTV wanted Bon Jovi to go after Scorpions since they had a broader fan base than Scorpions.

The band’s members told the officials it was not a problem for them, but it didn’t go as expected for Bon Jovi. When Scorpions finished their performance, and Bon Jovi appeared on stage, people started leaving the stadium. Schenker recalled a statement Jon Bon Jovi made later, mentioning his regret about playing after Scorpions. The rocker had said that he never wanted to perform after Scorpions from then on since they stole the spotlight.

Rudolf Schenker speaking on Jon Bon Jovi’s regret:

“We did those ten shows, and then one year later, Doc McGhee became our manager. He knew how big we were already in Russia and because he had something to do for the authorities in the United States, he did this ‘Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell’ project and what became the Moscow Music Peace Festival. They found a stadium, and we played under the Olympic torch. It was unbelievable.

I remember we played before Bon Jovi because, in those days, they were very much a big MTV band with a lot of great hits and songs. They played behind us because MTV said, ‘Look, we’ll show the whole show in the United States, and we know they have more of a following than the Scorpions.’ We said, ‘Okay, no problem.’ But the problem was that when we finished, the people were leaving when Bon Jovi played. I remember Jon said in the interview, ‘Promise me something: I’ll never play after the Scorpions!'”

The guitarist also said elsewhere in the interview that the two-day event was unbelievable and had pure rock and roll spirit. They were so impressed by the audience that they inspired Scorpions to write the hit song ‘Wind of Change’ in the following days.