MICHAEL SCHENKER - "I Was Always Disappointed Not To Be Able To Tour Assault Attack With GRAHAM BONNET"
October 29, 2017, 2 years ago
Michael Schenker is one of the most significant rock guitarists in the history of music. He has mesmerized the rock community since the 70's with his characteristic guitar play and contributed not only to Scorpions classics such as "Lovedrive", "Coast To Coast" and "Holiday", but also constructed himself a monument during his time in UFO by writing hits like "Doctor Doctor" and "Rock Bottom" among others. His playing has influenced several generations of guitar players enormously.
Back in 1979, the "German Wunderkind" decided to be his own boss. He founded the Michael Schenker Group aka M.S.G. and released the masterpieces Assault Attack and Built To Destroy, the live legacy One Night At Budokan as well as the McAuley Schenker Group pearls Perfect Timing and Save Yourself. Around that time, outstanding musicians such as Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), Don Airey (Deep Purple), Cozy Powell (ex-Gary Moore), Chris Slade (AC/DC), Pete Way (UFO) and Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake) were all invited by Schenker to play with him. M.S.G. also became home of great vocalists, most notably Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley. Those guys were also a part of the comprehensive Michael Schenker Fest, whose celebrated Tokyo show was released as live CD, DVD and Blu-ray this past March.
Schenker recently spoke with Mick Burgess at Metal Express Radio about Michael Schenker Fest. An excerpt is available below.
Q: Your latest UK tour starts in early November. Are you looking forward to coming over to play again?
Schenker: "Absolutely. We recently did a few festivals like Sweden Rock which was great but it started when in 2016 when we got an offer to headline Loud Park in Japan and I asked who was headlining the other night and they said the Scorpions, so I said I`d pass. No seriously, we started off at Loud Park and that is the third biggest indoor arena in the world. We had Gene Simmons open up for us. We then did a few shows in Japan and we recorded the Tokyo show for a DVD. When I saw that I thought, that`s it. I had to do some more show. I financed it myself and went ahead and arranged some shows as Schenker Fest and it`s working out fantastic. This will be the first time the Schenker Fest show will have been in the UK. It`s been quite a while since I list played in England so I`m really happy to be doing this."
Q: You only did one album, Assault Attack, with Graham Bonnet and did part of a warm up show in Sheffield before it fell through back in the early `80s. Did you feel like there was unfinished business with Graham?
Schenker: "I was always disappointed not to be able to tour Assault Attack with Graham. It didn`t end how I`d planned it so certainly there is unfinished business and I`m so pleased to have the chance to work with Graham again. I played a few shows with Graham in Japan last year and that was the first time in years that we`d played on stage together. It was great to do that so I am looking forward to doing this tour with him. It will allow do what we had planned to do when we did the Assault Attack album and finally play the UK together."
Read the complete interview here.
Now the time has come for Michael Schenker to move another step forward: He fulfills the long-awaited dream of all hard rock fans by entering the studio as Michael Schenker Fest. The band have just started the recording process for a brand-new studio album with producer Michael Voss. Its release is set for spring 2018 through Nuclear Blast, the band's new record label.
Comments Schenker, "I am very happy to have signed with Nuclear Blast Records and I am looking forward to releasing a killer Michael Schenker Fest studio album in the spring of 2018. The album will feature 3 original M.S.G. singers - Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet & Robin McAuley - plus Doogie White (Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock). Keep on rockin'!"
With this latest signing, a long-desired dream came true for the South Germany-based label. Owner Markus Staiger grew up with Michael Schenker's music and is also one of his greatest admirers. "I'm proud to be able to work with the ultimate guitar god, Michael Schenker. He has always been my idol and he's the reason why I started to play the guitar when I was 13 years old. But I was ungifted in that area, so I had to stop and decided to found a record label instead. It's a great day and I feel happy just like back in the day when I was listening to Lovedrive and Michael Schenker Group for the very first time, and went nuts! Thanks!"
Michael Schenker Fest tour dates:
November (featuring original M.S.G singers Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley)
2 - London, UK - O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
3 - Sheffield, UK - O2 Academy
4 - Manchester, UK - O2 Ritz
5 - Hull, UK - City Hall
March (featuring original M.S.G singers Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley, plus Doogie White)
6 - The Fillmore - Silver Springs, MD
7 - Carnegie Music Hall - Pittsburgh, PA
9 - Berklee Performance Center - Boston, MA
10 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
11 - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
12 - Club Soda - Montreal, QC
14 - Royal Oak Music Theatre - Detroit, MI
16 - Agora Theatre - Cleveland, OH
17 - Concord Music Hall - Chicago, IL
18 - Pabst Theater - Milwaukee, WI
19 - Cabooze - Minneapolis, MN
22 - Neptune Theatre - Seattle, WA
24 - Events Center - San Jose, CA
25 - The Grove - Anaheim, CA
26 - Marquee Theatre - Phoenix, AZ
27 - House of Blues - Las Vegas, NV
29 - Cervantes Ballroom - Denver, CO
31 - Vibes Event Center - San Antonio, TX
April (featuring original M.S.G singers Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley, plus Doogie White)
1 - Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX
4 - The Ritz - Tampa, FL
(Photo - Frank C. Duennhaupt)