In the annals of rock history, there are tales of unexpected twists and turns that shaped the destinies of bands. One such story involves the legendary German rock band Scorpions and their first guitar player, Michael Schenker, who was spirited away by the British band UFO. Klaus Meine, the charismatic frontman of Scorpions, recently reminisced about this incident in an interview with ‘Monsters, Madness and Magic.’
Meine recounted the early days when Scorpions and Schenker were inseparable.
“We played together for quite a while with Scorpions. We recorded our first album, ‘Lonesome Crow,’ but after that, we had a tour in Germany with the British band UFO,” Meine explained. The twist of fate occurred during this tour when UFO lost their guitarist due to passport issues. Witnessing Schenker’s prowess on stage, UFO promptly recruited him into their ranks. “They realized how good this German kid was and hired him right away. So that’s how we lost our first brilliant guitar player,” Meine revealed.
For fans, this transition became evident when ‘Lonesome Crow’ was re-released, proudly bearing a sticker that read, ‘Featuring: Michael Schenker of UFO.’ This subtle addition underscored Schenker’s success with UFO and his initial association with Scorpions.
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Following this unexpected departure, Scorpions faced the challenge of finding a new guitarist.
Meine shared the band’s decision-making process: “Then we started all over again with Uli Jon Roth. Michael actually had recommended Uli, and he also became one of those guitar legends. So we were very lucky.”
The band’s resilience led them to the studio for their second album, ‘Fly To The Rainbow,’ in 1973-74. However, the lineup was in constant flux, with changing drummers adding to the challenges. Despite the hurdles, Scorpions persevered, laying the foundation for their future successes.
The story of how Michael Schenker was whisked away by UFO and Scorpions’ subsequent rise with Uli Jon Roth stands as a testament to the unpredictable nature of the music industry. In the end, Scorpions’ ability to adapt and thrive paved the way for their iconic status in the world of rock and roll.