Why Michael Schenker Ignored a Rolling Stones Audition Invite
Michael Schenker revealed he was invited to audition for the Rolling Stones soon after he arrived in England to join UFO in 1973 – and explained why he decided not to call the band back.
The guitarist was 17 years old when he left Scorpions for UFO after receiving an offer he’d been looking for. “I always told the Scorpions I’d leave if an English band, no matter what band, an English band, is getting me over there,” Schenker said in a new interview, which you can watch above. “Because in Germany, people don’t understand anything I do. In England, being a musician was a profession, and what I was doing came from there."
Schenker said a couple of months later, he received a phone call. "'Michael, would you like to come do an audition for the Rolling Stones?’" he recalled. "I said, ‘What? The Rolling Stones? I’ll call you back!’” He then phoned his older brother Rudolf Schenker, who was still in Scorpions, who told him, “It’s your life, you need to figure [it] out.”
“I never called back,” Michael noted, adding that he’d been aware of the band’s reputation for raucous behavior since the death of Brian Jones in 1969. “If I would join this band, I would be dead in two years. I was a very fragile guy at the time. I was so scared of that idea at the time.”
The Stones post vacated by Mick Taylor in 1974 was eventually filled by Ronnie Wood the following year. “The funny thing is, he’s a Michael Schenker fan,” claimed Schenker, who recalled how Wood showed up at a Michael Schenker Group concert at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 1983. “He came with his whole family, maybe even two wives or something, there were so many people," he recalled. "It was fantastic.”
Michael Schenker Fest will release a new album, Resurrection, on March 2.