Former SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell says that he unsuccesfuly tried to broker a peace between Michael and Rudolf Schenker.
Michael Schenker gave a number of interviews in the last few years in which he questioned his brother’s integrity, going so far as to call Rudolf “a con artist” who “completely adopted [Michael‘s] image” as his own. He also denounced the SCORPIONS for “distorting” the story of his brief tenure with the band and criticized what he saw as ongoing efforts to minimize the contributions of Rarebell and ex-bassist Francis Buchholz, as well as SCORPIONS‘ long-running creative complacency.
In a brand new interview with Metal Talk, Rarebell was asked about Michael‘s claim that SCORPIONS presented “a completely false ‘Lovedrive’ story” as part of the band’s 2015 deluxe box set containing reissues of some of their finest work.
“I said that to Michael, and now I will say it in public,” Herman said. “I was there on the ‘Lovedrive’ album. Michael played on my song, ‘Another Piece Of Meat’, as you all know, a fantastic lead solo. He also created songs like ‘Coast To Coast’. He played also guitar on ‘Loving You Sunday Morning’, he’s on ‘Lovedrive’, and all those songs, that’s Michael Schenker playing. So I think he got his [one-]sixth share on the album sales — because we didn’t split it five ways; we split it six ways, plus the producer. And I have the proof. He cannot say, ‘They didn’t pay me my share.’ The SCORPIONS did pay his share, and I have the proof. Now, the thing is, in the publishing at the time, Michael and Rudolf said to each other, ‘Okay…’ Rudy said to Michael, ‘Of course, you wrote ‘Coast To Coast’, but I give you your part of the publishing,’ and for some reason, he never did. And he wrote it against his studio cost, which he says was his highest income from this. That I don’t know. I know one thing: all the money which had to be paid [to] him from the SCORPIONS limited company has been paid. I have the proof and the bookkeeping.”
Rarebell said that he doesn’t understand why the Schenker brothers cannot simply talk things out with each other and put their issues to rest.
“What he does with his brother… It’s his brother,” Herman said. “If you cannot get clear with your brother, then I cannot help you. I tried to bring them back together, but you don’t mouth people bad on either side. They’re both great guitar players, and they influenced millions of people, especially Michael. I am always clear with them. We look [each other] in the eye and say, ‘This is how it is.’ If you play a song with me, then you are my brother and I share it with you. If his own brother doesn’t do this, then [it’s] beyond me.”
Michael Schenker first appeared on SCORPIONS‘ “Lonesome Crow”, earned acclaim in the 1970s on classic UFO albums such as “Phenomenon” and “Lights Out” before rejoining SCORPIONS for 1979’s “Lovedrive”. He departed soon thereafter to launch MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP. And while his sometimes-erratic behavior have derailed parts of his career, Schenker remains one of hard rock and metal’s most influential axemen.
Last year, Michael said that he “was very disappointed” by how he was portrayed in SCORPIONS‘ 2015 deluxe box set. “They lied about everything,” Michael said. “I had a contract for ‘Lovedrive’ as the sixth member of the band. There should have been a picture in there. They should have mentioned that I wrote the intro to ‘Holiday’, which is a 40-second setup that sets up the mood for ‘Holiday’, which was one of the most successful ballads ever of the SCORPIONS. Then there is ‘Coast To Coast’, which Rudolf asked me if I would give my portion of the composition to him. I wrote all the melodies in ‘Coast To Coast’, so I said, ‘Why not?’ I gave it to him.”
Michael also doubled down on his claim that Rudolf got some of his early ideas about songwriting and image from his younger brother. “Basically, he was pretending to be me,” Michael said. “And because I made the decision, when I was 23 years old, that I didn’t need [to be] holding desperately on to success and fame, because I’m a real musician and I was more interested in expressing myself as an artist, I never even looked back at the SCORPIONS, looking what they did with the ‘Lovedrive’ album. I only found out all of these things after my sister said, ‘Rudolf is a greedy wanker.’ That raised concern. When I read the false ‘Lovedrive’story/bio, then I went, like, ‘Wow! Maybe my sister is right after all.'”