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Michael Schenker Refutes Charge That He Tried To ‘Take Over’ Aerosmith

Michael Schenker Steven Tyler
Gareth Cattermole / Alberto E Rodriguez, Getty Images

One of the stories in Aerosmith‘s official memoir, 2003’s ‘Walk this Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith,’ concerns an unsuccessful attempt to recruit Michael Schenker as Joe Perry‘s replacement in 1979. In a new interview, Schenker says that, while he auditioned for the group, he was not trying to “take it over,” as they had claimed.

“What happened was that [manager] Peter [Mensch] flew me to New York,” he tells Classic Rock. “Steven [Tyler] wasn’t doing so good at the time, and I wasn’t in the best shape either. I ended up sat in my hotel room for five days waiting for something to happen. And when it did…it was worthless. Nobody was in a fit state to make it work. But later, when I started the Michael Schenker Group, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton wanted to be my rhythm section. We did some rehearsals but then just as we were getting somewhere Steven got better, so they went back to Aerosmith.”

According to the book, Schenker, who had recently left both UFO and Scorpions, walked into the session and said, “Hello, I’m taking over. Before I join your band, I want it clear I’m taking over right now. Here – my jacket – take and hang up.” Schenker denies the charge with nothing but praise for Aerosmith.

“No, no, no,” he said. “It wasn’t like that at all,” he protests. “I wasn’t trying to take over their band. How could I do that? This is Aerosmith. They have ‘Walk this Way,’ it’s an all-time great rock song. They’re fantastic.”

Next: Top 10 Aerosmith Songs

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