MSG - Ventura Theatre
16th November 1996

Originally posted to AOL .. reproduced with permission

Well, it all started out great. Micheal had his signature black and white V's ready to shread. The new band was sounding good. The bass player is phenomenal. The drummer is great. The singer does just about everything but Phil Moog fantasticly (Hey Iron Maiden - you need this guy!). Even though I had already seen a setlist, the songs that were played just kept getting better as they went along and I was rockin'. Then, after awhile, Michael seemed to be having some kind of problem. What I gathered from his gestures and the roadies reactions, his monitor was up too loud. I could be wrong, but it seemed that way. After that, it was downhill. He seemed to be getting more upset and his playing showed it. The vocalist promised us more than two hours of music. He repeated it again a bit later. Well, after an hour and 38 minutes, the band left the stage. Fully expecting an encore ( Doctor,Doctor and Rock Bottom were the encores the previous two nights) We pounded the tables and yelled for more. After 10 minutes, the lights went on and that was it. Was this another example if Mr. Schenker's moodiness? I would bet my life on it. Why were we denied at least a half hour of music (he also cut two acoustic numbers)? Was it because we didn't clap loud enough? Was it because the venue wasn't full? Was it because his monitor was too loud? Was it because Michael Schenker is an egotistical ass that could give a shit about his fans? I think it was the latter. I have looked up to Michael Schenker, as a guitarists, since early in his UFO carreer. As a person and performer he is at best a flake, at worst...well, we won't go there. Add to that, his "companion" and manager Bella ( See liner notes on the boot CD "Mismanaged" ) and what the hell do we have left? Well, on a good night, we still have a great and inspired performance. On a night like last night, we get a man going through the motions, doing as little as possible to please his fans and as much possible to feed his own insecurities. I am going to the Hollywood show on Monday. Maybe, in a place like that, Michael may play a good show simply due to the industry related people who may be there. Let's hope Michael doesn't try to beat up any t-shirt bootleggers like he did the last time he played that venue. Now that was a performance! Bravo!!! But then, that's yet another dead horse to beat at a later time. After all is said and done, I will probably still go to any show in my area that Michael Schenker is involved in, and buy any piece of work he decides to release ( and those others decide to release :) ).

His work stands on it's own, I just wish he could.


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