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Michael Schenker: UFO are trying to fool their fans

(Image credit: Kevin Nixon/Guitarist Magazine - Getty)

Michael Schenker has ruled out any possibility of playing with UFO on their farewell tour.

Frontman Phil Mogg – the band's only ever-present member – announced his decision to retire from UFO earlier this year (opens in new tab) and will bow out following a 50th anniversary tour in 2019.

Many fans would like to see former members make guest appearances during the dates in the UK and Ireland, but the guitarist won’t be one of them and he’s explained exactly why he won’t take part.

He tells Classic Rock: “Bands like UFO and the Scorpions are trying to fool the audience, and I’m not a part of that world. It’s becoming a trend to make a big deal about playing last shows, and those bands do it because they can’t get anywhere in a normal way.

“I returned the UFO name to Phil Mogg in 2003 – it was a precious gift that I gave him for free and he didn’t even thank me. Why should I show up with UFO again? 

“For me, UFO only exists with the original five members, plus producer Ron Nevison. Phil calls his current band UFO, but it isn’t UFO. If he shows me no respect or appreciation, why would I do that for him?”

Schenker and Mogg both live in Sussex, England, with the guitarist saying that they see each other often – but haven’t spoken recently.

Schenker says: “When I use a zebra crossing, Phil’s there walking his dog. Or I see him in Morrison’s queuing up to buy a Lotto ticket. Or he’s going up the hill on his racing bike. It’s like a comedy. But we haven’t actually spoken for quite a while.”

The full interview with Schenker will feature in an upcoming issue of Classic Rock magazine.

UFO’s Last Orders - 50th anniversary tour (opens in new tab) will kick off at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, on March 29 and conclude with a set at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on April 4.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.