Phil Demmel Schenker Guitar

In a recent interview with Music & Medicine, former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist spoke about how he got two of his guitar heroes, Rudolf and Michael Schenker, to sign one of his flying V guitars from Jackson.

Phil said: “Michael Schenker played in UFO. He played in the SCORPIONS when he was 15 years old. Just a prodigy — just a natural guitar player. [He’s] a little crazy. I would think he’d admit that. But I love his style; you understand what he’s feeling.

MACHINE HEAD is playing Wacken [Open Air] festival in Germany, so it’s 80 thousand people. It’s crazy. SCORPIONS are playing. They’re actually playing before MACHINE HEAD. So I met Rudolf Schenker, who is in the SCORPIONS; he played the same guitar. [That’s Michael‘s] brother. His son is a big MACHINE HEAD fan. We bumped into him at a METALLICA show, and I got drunk with Rudy and his kid. So I got Rudy to sign it. This is Rudolf. So I get Rudolf to sign it. And then Michael Schenker is coming to town. And I know the local promoter. So I go down. [I tell the promoter] ‘Hey, I’ve got this guitar. Can I come down to soundcheck and maybe have Michael sign it?’ [And he said], ‘Yeah, bring it down. Here’s the tour manager’s name.’

“So [the tour manager] gives me a call. And he’s all, ‘Yeah. Come on down. He’ll sign it.’ He’s all, ‘Well, what if I ask him if you can just play [UFO‘s] ‘Doctor Doctor’ with him? You just get up and play.’ So I’m all, ‘Don’t f*ck with me, man. Don’t set me up and then say this isn’t gonna happen. Don’t f*cking take this away.’ So he talks to Michael. [Michael said], ‘Yeah, have him come up.’ And like I said, Michael‘s a little crazy. I was waiting the whole day for something just to [happen]. Like the amp wasn’t working at soundcheck. And I’m, like, ‘All right. Here we go. He’s gonna pull the plug on it.’ But he didn’t.

“I went up and I played the song with an absolute legend. So, as we’re playing, he’s jamming, I’m jamming, and at the end of the song, I take the guitar over. I have a Sharpie ready, and I hand it to him. And he’s just ripping over here and he’s signing my guitar on the other side. So I bow.”

“It’s probably my rock and roll moment, as a fan, to have [Michael] sign this,” he added.