Last week, I suggested going to see Michael Schenker at the House of Blues. You should be familiar with his work. He’s got a million records, so let me make it easy for starters: (i) UFO's Strangers in the Night (live); (ii) MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP's Assault Attack; (iii) MSG – self titled first album (where he’s in dentist chair); and (iv) UFO's Lights Out.
Michael Schenker was in the Scorpions at 15. He was in UFO after that, then his own bands. He can be a nut case. He quits bands, names all 95 of his bands “MSG”, and basically acts like someone who has a German sensibility for craftsmanship but ends up playing hard rock in a foreign country at 16 with a bunch of drunk Englishmen. But he can play guitar. Others now do it faster, but not with his feeling and melody. If you don’t respond emotionally to at least some of his playing I would guess you a liar, and, to use a term of art, basically a fuckin’ dick.
So I was psyched to hear he was playing well, not drinking and was coming to the US with classic era singer Gary Barden. I wasn’t sure I could make the show, but it was the Lars Ulrich dilemma: at a certain point, all metal fans have to get out and see bands because they know these guys can’t keep it up much longer. Unfortunately, the tour was canceled before starting because he had “visa” problems. Maybe. But he’s had notorious melt downs. His lack of guitar skills while drunk rivals Eddie Van Halen. His postings on his “Message from Michael” website page can be so deranged that you think you’re reading “Message from Michael Jackson.”
So when a Michael Schenker show is canceled you are left thinking: “why – no, really?” Here are the good Professor’s speculative reasons why the Michael Schenker tour did not go forward: (i) current drummer Chris Slade (bald guy who was in AC/DC) shaved his head so close his brain came out but being a drummer nobody noticed; (ii) Michael forgot; (iii) Michael was giving Scorps dude and big bro Rudolph lessons on how to do anything besides a power chord; (iv) Gary Barden realized that singing bare-chested with suspenders is not hip, but he didn’t have time to buy new clothes; and (v) Pete Way (notoriously medicated UFO bassist worshipped by Nikki Sixx) turned Michael on to some pharmaceutical grade crank.