Music Appreciation: Michael Schenker


I was interested in music at a young age. My father built his HiFi system from a Heathkit, and I am pretty sure my fascination with Progressive Rock was kindled by hearing Emerson, Lake and Palmer on the radio (Karn Evil 9, 1st impression, part 2 was frequently aired).

But, my desire to learn to play guitar was driven by the discovery of Michael Schenker. My first brush with his playing was when a friend in high school introduced me to the song “Shoot Shoot” from the UFO album “Strangers in the Night”, a live album recorded on the last tour that Michael did with the band before a brief return to the Scorpions, and then launching his solo career with the Michael Schenker Group.

Straight up playing, very melodic, and no “tricks”, it was just a solid wall of guitar.

I went on to find many other influences, and to chase many sounds, but always came back to Schenker. It wasn’t the fastest. It didn’t have esoteric effects. It didn’t have a lot of flash. But his sound, his style, and his playing has endured in my mind as a pinnacle to attempt for the last 40 years.

As I write this, I am listening to the recording from his “The Unforgiven World Tour” circa 1999, and the recording was made at the Keystone Palo Alto, not far from where I lived (alas, I was unable to catch that show).

The secret to his sound (at that time) was Gibson Flying V guitar, a wah pedal, and straight into a Marshall amp. Nothing fancy, no pre or post processing. Just straight ahead rock and roll.

Fucking gold right there.

About the author


Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.

By gander


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