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Michael Schenker is Satan

By Spoiks
Well, he is. Have you ever seen him on the cover of the truly awful MSG album, Perfect Timing? (It has one good song, probably written by Desmond Child.) Schenker is pure evil in that picture. While Robin McAuley stands in the forefront with an expression on his face that says, "I am a heavy-metal dork, thank you very much. (And yes, birds do live in my hair.)" Schenker floats off in the background, his long blonde mane blowing behind him (spurred on by either the flames of hell or a giant industrial fan, your choice) his denim clothes gripping his thin, not quite emaciated frame. And then there are his eyes. They gaze out piercingly, letting you know that if the two of you happened to be stranded on a deserted island, he would have no problem splitting your head open with a rock when you failed to amuse him. And the thing is, he always has that look, everywhere. Flip to the group shot on the inside of Perfect Timing, and it's still there. No trace of a smile, no hint of enjoyment, only a cocky German arrogance of Wagnerian proportions.

One can assume Michael generates part of his "look of the damned" appearance from old texts of Paganini. He too, was a musical virtuoso of the day, as well as a showman (perhaps the first heavy metal star) who created the appearance of one who had more than a passing relationship with Satan. His withered arms peering out from a too small jacket, fiddling away at Perpetual Motion, bring to mind Schenker's photo-motif, that of a thin but fear-creating rock god, dedicated to become the greatest guitarist in the world. (And, in all reality falling far short of that goal, though carving a comfortable niche for himself as one of the post-Blackmore era's precursors to Malmsteenian neoclassical metal.)

In high school, I once copied a photo of Schenker (gleaned from an issue of Guitar for the Practicing Musician) onto the outside of my Geometry folder. It was a near perfect re-creation, in fact I still have the folder tuckered away somewhere. One day in the library, Chris Cherry (who a few years later was killed in a car crash, the first casualty of my high school class) said, "he's handsome." And she was right. I mean, I'm no fairy or nothing, but Schenker is undeniably good looking, and that makes his service of the dark forces more interesting. He could have easily settled into the rut of so many good-looking men, that of a slightly amusing chick hopper of the David Schwimer variety. But that was not for Michael - he had to become the guitar shredding, heavy metal guru of the master race we know and love.

I recall one amusing tale of Schenker. At one point in the early eighties after he'd left the Scorpions and MSG was being the commercial flop it was destined to be, he was called in to audition for Aerosmith. (Joe Perry had left to start his short-lived Joe Perry Project and pursue drug addiction full-time.) The story goes that he walked into the room and Steve Tyler and the rest of the Aerosmith club rose up and said "Heil Hitler!" Without saying a word, Schenker simply turned around and walked out the door. While I always utter a brief chuckle at Aerosmith socking it to old Uncle Fritz, I also have more than a grain of respect for the way Schenker handled things. Betraying no trace of emotion, he simply removed himself from the situation, knowing full well Aerosmith would be punished enough when they descended to the depths of hell, and he would be there deliver their retribution.

Spoiks is a distant relative of Donkey Kong.

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