Michael Schenker Newcastle City Hall 2nd Oct 1980 and 4th Sep 1981

Michael Schenker Newcastle City Hall 1980 and 1981
schenkertix1980Michael Schenker was (and still is) a true guitar legend. Back in the mid 70s, Shenker was the man. Great rock attitude, a reputation for being a pretty wild guy, great screeching riffs, fast fingers up and down the neck of his Flying V, a little bit flashy, so skinny, and amazing long blonde hair. I saw him many times with UFO right back from the early days when they used to play quite regularly at Sunderland Mecca. I would stand on the dance floor transfixed by Schenker’s playing, and had a few mates who swore down that he was the best guitarist at the time. “Doctor Doctor” was of course a big favourite of all of us, and the dance floor would always fill when it was played. Then around 1978, shock horror, Schenker announced that he was leaving UFO. He was becoming known for drug and drink excess, for being unreliable, disappearing for spells. The usual tale of a young guy (he was only 17 when he joined UFO) and too much too soon. However it seemed that he soon got his act together and that by 1980 he was of sufficient stature to lead his own band, and to go out and headline his own tour. Schenker set about assembling a band of top rate musicians. By 1981 his band included Schenker on his signature Gibson Flying V lead guitar, newcomer and Schenker discovery Gary Barden on vocals, ex SAHB Chris Glen on bass, his old UFO pall Paul Raymond on keyboards and rhythm guitar, and powerhouse drum supremo Cozy Powell.schenkerprog1981 I saw Schenker on his 1980 tour, in support of his first solo album “The Michael Schenker Group, when he called at Newcastle City Hall on 2nd October 1980 and at the same venue again on 4th September 1981 when he played in support of his second solo lp “MSG”. Both shows were opportunities for Schenker to show us what virtuoso rock guitar playing is all about. The set featured a mix of his new solo stuff and UFO favourites like “Rock Bottom”, “Shoot Shoot”, “Lights Out” and of course “Doctor Doctor”, which, for me, is one of the great classic rock songs, and a track that I play to this day.
Setlist from the Hammersmith Odeon gig of the same tour: Armed and Ready; Cry for the Nations; Victim of Illusion; Natural Thing; Feels Like a Good Thing; Into the Arena; Looking Out from Nowhere; Rock Bottom; Tales of Mystery; Lost Horizons; Shoot Shoot; Doctor Doctor; Lights Out
schenkertix1981From the 1981 tour programme:
“The Mad Axe Man is Back.”
“Is it Loud Enough?”
I just have to hear the first few bars of “Doctor Doctor” with that magnificent swirling guitar, and I’m back on that dance floor again – just to the right of the plastic palm tree 🙂
“Doctor doctor, please…..
Oh, the mess I’m in
Doctor doctor, please…oh, the mess I’m in
She walked up to me and really stole my heart
And then she started to take my body apart
Livin’ lovin’ I’m on the run
So far away from you
Livin’ lovin’ I’m on the run
So far away from you”
(Schenker and Mogg, 1974)
Wow is that song really 40 years old ? 🙂
It all seems like yesterday…..so recent, and yet so long ago

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mark on January 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Saw UFO with Schenker in 76-77-78, and yes he was amazing. I also saw the same MSG line-up in 80 & 81 but only in Chicago, and must agree that they were fantastic shows ,with Michael and the boys showing what a great rock band can do. Enjoy your articles, looking forward to more.

    Reply

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