|Born on: 10.01.1955
Michael Schenker (born 10 January 1955 in Sarstedt, Lower Saxony) is a German rock guitarist, best known for his tenure in UFO, in addition to his solo band. He first rose to fame as a founding member of the Scorpions, then achieved fame in the mid 1970s as the lead guitar player for UFO. Since leaving UFO in 1978, he has been leading the Michael Schenker Group in various incarnations. He is the younger brother of Rudolf Schenker, who is still a guitarist with the Scorpions. His career has had many ups and downs, partly due to a long history of alcoholism and personal problems; still, Schenker continues to perform and record and to maintain a following, and is called "a legendary figure in the history of metal guitar.
In 1979, Schenker entered upon a solo career by founding the Michael Schenker Group (MSG). The history of MSG is strewn with personality conflicts and incidents. In 1982, original singer Gary Barden, who sang on the first two studio albums, The Michael Schenker Group and MSG as well as the band's third release (the live album One Night at Budokan) was fired in favor of Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Alcatrazz). Bonnet lasted one album (Assault Attack) and was fired from the band because he often lost his voice during shows, although the actual firing happened after he dropped his pants in a warm-up gig in Sheffield before the Reading Festival. Barden was called in at the last minute and did the show with only a few hours rehearsal. He stayed with MSG for the recording of a new studio album (Built to Destroy) and the band's second live album (Rock Will Never Die).
After Barden's second departure, Schenker reorganized the band around himself and new singer Robin McAuley and renamed it the McAuley Schenker Group. The new incarnation of MSG was steered toward a more commercial hard rock sound. After three albums, Schenker and McAuley parted company. In the meantime, he briefly replaced Robbin Crosby in Ratt, appearing on their 1990 MTV Unplugged performance.
In 1995, Schenker briefly rejoined UFO for their reunion album Walk on Water and toured with them briefly. Schenker then resurrected the Michael Schenker Group with all new members and recorded three more albums, Written in the Sand, The Unforgiven, and Be Aware of Scorpions. He later rejoined UFO for two further releases, Covenant and Sharks.