Michael Schenker is “without question one of the best rock guitar players on the planet”, according to his bandmate Robin McAuley

“His level of playing is phenomenal to watch.”

Michael Schenker

Image: C Brandon / Getty Images

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Just how good is Michael Schenker with the guitar? Apparently so good that Irish rocker Robin McAuley is “still in awe” after sharing a stage with the man for 35 years.

McAuley, who was a vocalist for rock outfit McAuley Schenker Group from 1986 to 1993, tells Chaoszine, “After 35 years of standing on stage with him, I’m still in awe. His level of playing is phenomenal to watch and to be up there on stage, I go, ‘Damn, this is cool. It doesn’t get much cooler than this.’”

“And he’s amazing. He’s amazing because I know a lot of people put a lot of emphasis on age and everything. Attitude has a lot to do with it too, and it’s where you are in your place. There’s a lot of pride in what we do, I think.”

He continues, “I always tell people that as a singer, I can see a lot that’s going on. And if I see people whispering going, ‘Shh, this guy can really play.’ I’ll hear it. And I don’t want that to happen a lot. I don’t want to get too much pride for that. So I do my best. And I know that, yeah, I would love to make another record with Michael or whatever he’s got planned.”

McAuley, who is 70 this year, also says during the chat that he always thought he would retire from music after turning 40.

“So I guess I’m 30 years late. [laughs] I feel pretty good. My voice is still good. I still love what I do. I love to perform. I like the whole rush. It never gets old for me,” he says. “There are some things about the business I just don’t like. The politics behind the business and all of that stuff, I really stay away from. I’m here for the music. And I like to work with people I like to work with. And that’s, I think, what keeps me going. If there’s a situation that’s a little uncomfortable, it’s not worth the hassle for me.”

Jimmy Page, who turns 80 next January, is a “huge legacy”, McAuley says. “And still loves what he does. Paul McCartney doesn’t have to work, but he works. It’s just the enjoyment of the craft. And I suppose sooner than later, I won’t do it. But not today.”

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