Michael Schenker: "Rudolf doesn’t have much talent as a guitarist"

Michael Schenker
(Image credit: Nuclear Blast)

Michael Schenker has resumed verbal sparring with his brother, Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker

In a wide-ranging interview with Guitar World, Michael is asked if Rudolf, being the elder of the two, might have expected to be successful first. 

"As the younger brother, I probably ended up wearing his underpants and school uniform, and riding his bike," Michael responds. "He was the oldest and I got the hand-me-downs. I didn’t look for fame and success, but I became successful. 

"I didn’t look to become an icon, but I became one, it became me. Rudolf focused on those things, but he couldn’t get it. It’s a strange message - that existence of two brothers who made such a weird success in their own way. The puzzle is not completed yet between us.

The younger Schenker goes on to say that he led the way for his older brother, saying, "I believe I was born to make him successful. Rudolf doesn’t have much talent as a guitarist. Without direction, he is lost. He copied everything I did. [Laughs] I needed to pave the path for him.

"I’m not saying that competitively, but with an open heart. I jumpstarted the Scorpions. They should be happy instead of acting like I’m some little shit."

This isn't the first time Michael has attacked Rudolf, and during the Michael Schenker Fest tour in November 2018, Michael introduced a version of the Scorpions' Coast To Coast by talking about Rudolf stealing his songs and money.

Last June, Rudolf responded during an interview with Classic Rock, saying "I love my brother. He’s a fantastic guitar player but he knows nothing about business. When we made Lovedrive [released in 1979] the band was under contract to Dieter Dierks [producer and manager]. 

"When I asked Michael to play a solo to my composition Coast To Coast we agreed a half-and-half credit, but Dieter wouldn’t allow it – this related to publishing and studio costs. 

"Michael had a signed contract with Dieter that gave him one point on the song. And we agreed to pay Michael… he had the money."

He continued, "But in 1985 when he was completely smashed and had a new MSG with Robin McAuley, Michael lived with me in my house. We flew in musicians, I did all of that for nothing on the understanding that Michael would pay me when a record label came in. But he didn’t pay me anything. 

"So I took his half to cover the bills he hadn’t paid. Everything is clear. All Michael has to do is ask: ‘What’s happening here?’ But he doesn’t; instead he gives these stupid interviews. I still love my brother but he has always hated business matters and the only person that’s to blame here is himself."

Last month, Scorpions announced a nine-date residency in Las Vegas, with support from Queensryche.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.