UFO frontman Phil Mogg recently spoke to Classic Rock Revisited about the band's former guitarist Michael Schenker and the past, present and future of UFO. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Classic Rock Revisited: Michael [Schenker] recently did an interview with us and he had this to say about the original breakup, "Phil has always been a fighter. He was getting in fights all the time. I told him that if he ever hit me then I would leave the band. He wanted to find out if I was telling him the truth. He hit me so I left and that is how UFO split up." How do you respond to this?
Phil Mogg: "I've heard this kind of stuff from him and its old news. He's left the band a half a dozen times, he's left the SCORPIONS twice and he's even left his own band. Whatever the excuse or reason is, it's always someone else's fault. He's somebody who doesn't take responsibility for his actions. As I recall and I could be wrong, he wasn't actually hit, he was shoved, there's a lot of difference and the reason for that was due to a financial deal that he gone and done when we'd put all the money into the band, this was very early on when we were buying equipment. He was like a fuckin' storm in a tea cup, it almost makes me feel like not responding because for someone to hold on to that for so many years, something that is so childish it's almost crazy."
Classic Rock Revisited: Didn't he write a letter to Kerrang! magazine in the early 80's protesting the resurrection of the band?
Phil Mogg: "You know I don't know that (pauses). There's been so much madness associated with Michael. It's an endless thing; you could probably spend a couple of days going through it. It would go on forever (laughs). I love Michael's playing and 80% of him is real good. The other part of him is that he has a rather unfortunate side; you just have to look at his actions. I don't have to justify the band or anything else."
Classic Rock Revisited: You did make some amazing music together although it must have been frustrating at times, do you ever have any regrets that you weren't able to keep the working relationship alive?
Phil Mogg: "I think the most disappointing point was when we got back together in 1995, I had high expectations that we were going to get together and really put the effort into doing something and that all went pear shaped. As far as that went I kept completely out of it, we had our own manager and he had his own manager. I had nothing to say, all I wanted to do was show up, sing and write and play, that's all. I had no opinion. I felt I'll see how that goes and look what happened; he left the band three times then. Modesto (CA), Tokyo where he walked off in the middle of the show which was unbelievable because the audience was just standing in silence and finally Manchester. It isn't bad eggs or anything but what conclusion do you draw from it? Michael has a reputation for doing this. A band can't carry on like that when all you want to do is just go on and play. All the rest of it that was him coming and going, he went off and had his own career with Chrysalis anyways with MSG but I was very disappointed when we got back together in 1995 because I thought we were really going to put the effort into it."
Read Phill Mogg's entire interview with Classic Rock Revisited at this location.