Schenker's place in the guitar god hierarchy

legend71

Active member
I’m not sure how this thread turned into a Schenker-Van Halen battle/comparison ?

Judging a guitarist by how many records they have sold ?

It simply has nothing to do with your ability or your influence on the instrument.
I quote below the first entry in this thread:

We all know Ed's stamp on the late 70's is unique and just about cements him at the top as game changer lead guitar players go BUT if we take his variac and throw it on Schenker's rig here in 1975, how are we not giving Michael way more credit for his influence on people and his ability to absolutely rip? He's playing with less gain here and working for every note but he's unbelievable. Ed added the tapping to mainstream ( even though it had been done before) and he had the gain. They also had the songs and DLR. But UFO was no slouch song wise either. I honestly have Schenker up there with Ed. What do you guys think?

This is how it became EVH vs MS LOL. Does that make sense. Anyway it is all good. MS is great too.
 

gtrwun

Well-known member
I quote below the first entry in this thread:

We all know Ed's stamp on the late 70's is unique and just about cements him at the top as game changer lead guitar players go BUT if we take his variac and throw it on Schenker's rig here in 1975, how are we not giving Michael way more credit for his influence on people and his ability to absolutely rip? He's playing with less gain here and working for every note but he's unbelievable. Ed added the tapping to mainstream ( even though it had been done before) and he had the gain. They also had the songs and DLR. But UFO was no slouch song wise either. I honestly have Schenker up there with Ed. What do you guys think?

This is how it became EVH vs MS LOL. Does that make sense. Anyway it is all good. MS is great too.
Fair enough.
I guess the title of the thread got my mind going in a different direction.
I feel there are many players pre VH that don’t get the respect they deserved. Blackmore, Uli, etc.
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
I honestly have Schenker up there with Ed. What do you guys think?
OP titled the thread "Guitar God", and that's a pretty bold statement. Me, compared to EVH, he's not even in the neighborhood, let alone the ballpark.

EVH was an innovator, and literally inspired MILLIONS.

Schenker is a fine guitar player, but there's a TON of others way higher up the list. Peoples' interpretations certainly vary.

Gary Moore, for one, is several notches above Schenker in talent, and the number of players he influenced. Yngwie, (though I'm not a fanboy), also cemented himself as an innovator. John Sykes? Ace Frehley? Alex Lifeson? Paul Gilbert? Those are innovators, and inspired millions of players. Those are Guitar Gods. Schenker is just a great guitar player.
 

CarlF

Well-known member
I doubt many of the Schenker-deniers were even around in Mike's heyday, mid to late 70s. The closest guy I'd compare him to is Uli.
Sometimes the better player isn't recognized, put on magazine covers.
While Schenker was burning in '75, where was EVH? That's right. Playing covers at backyard parties. It's a generational thing. Each decade has it's heroes. Like I said, Nobody copies Schenker, Jimi, Page, Beck, West, Trower, Blackmore. EVH couldn't improvise his way out of a paper bag. Watch that Jason Becker tribute as an example.
 

napalmdeath

Well-known member
ALOT of guitar players play guitar today because of Ace Frehley, including me.. Was he an amazing player? I'm certainly not putting him up there in the greatest of all time, but he sure influenced alot of people, was an innovator in his own right, and owns a bigger share of Rock and Roll history, than a Michael Schenker. Makes him a guitar God in my book. LOL all you want, but I don't know if many can argue that point. Who do you think inspired Dimebag Darrell?
 
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thegame

Well-known member
ALOT of guitar players play guitar today because of Ace Frehley, including me.. Was he an amazing player? I'm certainly not putting him up there in the greatest of all time, but he sure influenced alot of people, was an innovator in his own right, and owns a bigger share of Rock and Roll history, than a Michael Schenker. Makes him a guitar God in my book. LOL all you want, but I don't know if many can argue that point.
Do you bow at the altar of Cobain, the Edge and Johnny Ramone too? All far more influential than Schenker as well. Your criteria may cut it at Rolling Stone magazine but not in a hard rock centered gear forum lol
 

JackBootedThug

MODERATOR
I remember coming home from school and throwing the double platinum live 8 track in the stereo and rocking out. One year I was ace for Halloween and the next Gene. Even had their lunchbox....and a beegee's one also...lol...good times...
 

Jdub

Active member
ALOT of guitar players play guitar today because of Ace Frehley, including me.. Was he an amazing player? I'm certainly not putting him up there in the greatest of all time, but he sure influenced alot of people, was an innovator in his own right, and owns a bigger share of Rock and Roll history, than a Michael Schenker. Makes him a guitar God in my book. LOL all you want, but I don't know if many can argue that point.
Kiss and Ace Frehley were popular with pre teenagers mostly and sure, plenty of kids picked up the guitar because of Ace when they first came out... Most people, particularly if they were, or became musicians, grew out of Kiss in a hurry,... if they ever liked them at all. Growing up in LA, you would get laughed out of Junior High, let alone High School for being a Kiss fan. ZEP, Sabbath,Skynyrd, Foghat, Aerosmith, Purple, Rainbow, UFO, Thin Lizzy etc were the bands than anyone over 12 liked, particularly if you played guitar. Of course in 1978 VH blew everyones socks off and the rest is history.

The shock factor of the show and the makeup etc was what they brought to the table and is what carried Ace for his relatively few years in the spotlight. . I liked them when I was 10 when they first came out because of the visual wow factor. That lasted about a year. Lol And certainly never was inspired because of Ace's playing. Michael influenced and still influences many big name players today and is still bringing the goods. Ace could not play very well in his prime, let alone now. He has not made any impact whatsoever for over 40 years. He was a flash in the pan and not a very good one. To consider him in the same category in terms of influence as Schenker or most of the others mentioned in this thread is a stretch. He sucked then and is even worse now. Pre-teen Idol for a few years maybe... not a Guitar God.
 
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Greazygeo

Well-known member
Kiss and Ace Frehley were popular with pre teenagers mostly and sure, plenty of kids picked up the guitar because of Ace when they first came out... Most people, particularly if they were, or became musicians, grew out of Kiss in a hurry,... if they ever liked them at all. Growing up in LA, you would get laughed out of Junior High, let alone High School for being a Kiss fan. ZEP, Sabbath,Skynyrd, Foghat, Aerosmith, Purple, Rainbow, UFO, Thin Lizzy etc were the bands than anyone over 12 liked, particularly if you played guitar. Of course in 1978 VH blew everyones socks off and the rest is history.

The shock factor of the show and the makeup etc was what they brought to the table and is what carried Ace for his relatively few years in the spotlight. . I liked them when I was 10 when they first came out because of the visual wow factor. That lasted about a year. Lol And certainly never was inspired because of Ace's playing. Michael influenced and still influences many big name players today and is still bringing the goods. Ace could not play very well in his prime, let alone now. He has not made any impact whatsoever for over 40 years. He was a flash in the pan and not a very good one. To consider him in the same category in terms of influence as Schenker or most of the others mentioned in this thread is a stretch. He sucked then and is even worse now. Pre-teen Idol for a few years maybe... not a Guitar God.
Ace is why I picked up the guitar, same with alot,of my friends. In the 70’s you couldn’t go to the newstand and check out all the music magazines like Creem etc without seeing articles and pics of Kiss / Ace. Its funny, listened to Kiss all the time but was forever till even learning any of their stuff. Just liked to listen to it and didn’t want to lose the magic of it I guess. Probably been a long time, but drink a beer or two and put on Alive I and crank it. They had some great tunes on there And Ace plays pretty good on there. They get pretty cheesy later as we all know. Sure Eddie is technically better, but I think influence wise it’s a toss up. Eddie just never was much of an influence for me. Never learned Eruption even. Probably just liked more progressive stuff.
 

Greazygeo

Well-known member
I was Ok with everything until Ace Frehley was mentioned .Man you HAVE to be kidding me . He would be absolutely nothing without the marketing machine of Paul and Gene. He might have inspired people to play but in m y world he's really not very good.
But would VH be anything without the marketing of Gene? Kiss Alive I man, great party album. Just sayin’ 😎
 

Jdub

Active member
Ace is why I picked up the guitar, same with alot,of my friends. In the 70’s you couldn’t go to the newstand and check out all the music magazines like Creem etc without seeing articles and pics of Kiss / Ace. Its funny, listened to Kiss all the time but was forever till even learning any of their stuff. Just liked to listen to it and didn’t want to lose the magic of it I guess. Probably been a long time, but drink a beer or two and put on Alive I and crank it. They had some great tunes on there And Ace plays pretty good on there. They get pretty cheesy later as we all know. Sure Eddie is technically better, but I think influence wise it’s a toss up. Eddie just never was much of an influence for me. Never learned Eruption even. Probably just liked more progressive stuff.
UFO Lights Out was the album that made me pick up the guitar. Hands down for sure. I remember the day I heard it on the radio.. KMET in Los Angeles. I immediately went to the Warehouse Records and bought the album. I was 11.. Quickly sold my baseball card collection and bought a Hondo LP copy and Fender Champ.. What a piece of shit guitar.. Lol. Rainbow Long Live Rock and Roll came out around the same time and that floored me as well. Kiss was out the window.. The mention of Creem and other rags such as Hit Parader brings me back. Good times! Growing up in the 70's was fun. Kiss clearly had huge commercial success and like I said, I loved it for a short while. Having older brothers and sisters, I was exposed to a lot of great music as a toddler, so my fascination with Kiss and Ace was short lived. I was one of a small handful of people I grew up around, that did not mock KISS and consider them a joke from day one, so it is hard for me to consider Ace a major influencer. I did play Destroyer and Alive 1 over and over for a period of time, but quickly grew out of it. I do still enjoy a few of those tunes now from time to time for nostalgic sake. Like you said, there are some feel good tunes. I loved to listen to VH first few albums, but Eddie was not as much of an influence on me as Schenker... BUT the "sound" of VH1 was fascinating to me. Schenker hit me hardest and is my biggest influence. Later on it was Rhoads, Uli Roth, Gary Moore and Malmsteen. No right or wrong, just personal experiences and preferences. Cheers!
 

Greazygeo

Well-known member
UFO Lights Out was the album that made me pick up the guitar. Hands down for sure. I remember the day I heard it on the radio.. KMET in Los Angeles. I immediately went to the Warehouse Records and bought the album. I was 11.. Quickly sold my baseball card collection and bought a Hondo LP copy and Fender Champ.. What a piece of shit guitar.. Lol. Rainbow Long Live Rock and Roll came out around the same time and that floored me as well. Kiss was out the window.. The mention of Creem and other rags such as Hit Parader brings me back. Good times! Growing up in the 70's was fun. Kiss clearly had huge commercial success and like I said, I loved it for a short while. Having older brothers and sisters, I was exposed to a lot of great music as a toddler, so my fascination with Kiss and Ace was short lived. I was one of a small handful of people I grew up around, that did not mock KISS and consider them a joke from day one, so it is hard for me to consider Ace a major influencer. I did play Destroyer and Alive 1 over and over for a period of time, but quickly grew out of it. I do still enjoy a few of those tunes now from time to time for nostalgic sake. Like you said, there are some feel good tunes. I loved to listen to VH first few albums, but Eddie was not as much of an influence on me as Schenker... BUT the "sound" of VH1 was fascinating to me. Schenker hit me hardest and is my biggest influence. Later on it was Rhoads, Uli Roth, Gary Moore and Malmsteen. No right or wrong, just personal experiences and preferences. Cheers!
I was trying to remember the other big mag, yep Hit Parader and a cherry sunburst Hondo II LP was what I started, on with a Marlboro amp and a EH Muff Fuzz. Tone for minutes!!
Blizzard Of Ozz, Virgin Killers and Moving Pictures were my aha moments. Before I played was into Kiss, Alice Cooper and BOC.
 

legend71

Active member
I doubt many of the Schenker-deniers were even around in Mike's heyday, mid to late 70s. The closest guy I'd compare him to is Uli.
Sometimes the better player isn't recognized, put on magazine covers.
While Schenker was burning in '75, where was EVH? That's right. Playing covers at backyard parties. It's a generational thing. Each decade has it's heroes. Like I said, Nobody copies Schenker, Jimi, Page, Beck, West, Trower, Blackmore. EVH couldn't improvise his way out of a paper bag. Watch that Jason Becker tribute as an example.
So you don't think Schenker ever played covers before he got in a more notable project? You do not think he learned from playing covers of Leslie West and Clapton etc? Everyone starts somewhere. I think EVH is a great improviser as most of his solos are off the cuff really. But I think you are pretty much saying he cannot wail away on the minor pentatonic in a 12 bar blues. Ok - I agree with you on that. If that is your definition of improvising - cool. MS is great but his influence was not as great as EVH and the reason for that is that he was not the musician that EVH ultimately was.
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
While tastes in players is subjective, denying that MS is a god is just crazy talk. Gary Moore amazing. But is he doing anything MS didn't do lead wise? If he's up there, the mad axeman is there for sure. Putting him in the same sentence as Ace? lol please. We all love Ace and his song writing and style influenced a ton of players but let's not pretend his grasp of one pentatonic scale and wide vibrato was earth shattering. He infuenced people equally for setting smoke bombs off in his LP ..that's a gimmick, not a super power or divine gift. He did write the best KISS tunes though no questions. Good catchy riffs and I love him for that but he had a hell of a time playing to the tempo of the song and always dragged, He's most definitely a mortal.
 

311splawndude

Well-known member
Agreed. VH was accessible to most everyone, not to mention they were like a bomb going off when VH1 dropped.

UFO was an acquired taste that frankly I never really acquired. I tried because of MS. That said, Schenker aside there were much better bands during that era "to me" ala Thin Lizzy. UFO just never held my interest and really it started with the songs, I never really thought they were that strong. IMO only.

Agreed :yes:

EVH is the #1 rock player of all time. Everything about his playing, songwriting and musicianship was top level. No one inspired more to pick up and learn the instrument. #2 would have to be Hendrix. Then, it gets debatable.
MS is a fantastic effortlessly smooth player with great recognizable vibrato; deserves a spot in the top 10 but isn’t on the same level as EVH.
Sorry.

Agreed :yes:

I can't remember if it was here or FB but someone on the VH FB I think was saying Jimi Hendrix was better than EVH. I can't argue with that and I love Jimi as well. But here is how I look at it. If I'm stranded on a deserted island (not desert) and have to pick one catalog to listen to for the rest of my life - Van Halen's work would satisfy me much more than Jimi, or Michael, or Richie, or Randy, or Vai, or Miles, or whomever.

Therefore - this is all very subjective and fun to read everyone's opinion - but not worth getting into arguments. :)
 

jabps

Well-known member
While tastes in players is subjective, denying that MS is a god is just crazy talk. Gary Moore amazing. But is he doing anything MS didn't do lead wise? If he's up there, the mad axeman is there for sure. Putting him in the same sentence as Ace? lol please. We all love Ace and his song writing and style influenced a ton of players but let's not pretend his grasp of one pentatonic scale and wide vibrato was earth shattering. He infuenced people equally for setting smoke bombs off in his LP ..that's a gimmick, not a super power or divine gift. He did write the best KISS tunes though no questions. Good catchy riffs and I love him for that but he had a hell of a time playing to the tempo of the song and always dragged, He's most definitely a mortal.
Nobody is putting Ace above MS playing wise. MS is a supreme player, Ace is everyday meat n potatoes. That said there is no comparison on who influenced more players to pick up the guitar, whatever the reason Ace deserves credit for that. Same for a hack like Cobain. Whether I dislike him is beside the point, he influenced a whole generation to pick up the guitar.

As an aside and an avid Kiss...I like Ace, he did write some great songs ala Cold Gin/Parasite etc.. but I don't think I could credit him with writing the best Kiss songs. G&P wrote some pretty legendary stuff. Ace to me is great in small doses as a writer. Just MO.
 
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rstites

Active member
UFO Lights Out was the album that made me pick up the guitar. Hands down for sure. I remember the day I heard it on the radio.. KMET in Los Angeles. I immediately went to the Warehouse Records and bought the album. I was 11.. Quickly sold my baseball card collection and bought a Hondo LP copy and Fender Champ.. What a piece of shit guitar.. Lol. Rainbow Long Live Rock and Roll came out around the same time and that floored me as well. Kiss was out the window.. The mention of Creem and other rags such as Hit Parader brings me back. Good times! Growing up in the 70's was fun. Kiss clearly had huge commercial success and like I said, I loved it for a short while. Having older brothers and sisters, I was exposed to a lot of great music as a toddler, so my fascination with Kiss and Ace was short lived. I was one of a small handful of people I grew up around, that did not mock KISS and consider them a joke from day one, so it is hard for me to consider Ace a major influencer. I did play Destroyer and Alive 1 over and over for a period of time, but quickly grew out of it. I do still enjoy a few of those tunes now from time to time for nostalgic sake. Like you said, there are some feel good tunes. I loved to listen to VH first few albums, but Eddie was not as much of an influence on me as Schenker... BUT the "sound" of VH1 was fascinating to me. Schenker hit me hardest and is my biggest influence. Later on it was Rhoads, Uli Roth, Gary Moore and Malmsteen. No right or wrong, just personal experiences and preferences. Cheers!

I still enjoy Kiss now and then. They're fun songs, so no problem. I was never a big fan, so I never had a chance to burn out on them either. But, musicianship and creativity was never their thing. It's straight-forward party music, with the main selling point being the stage show of the time. Still, plenty of fun songs.

However, I'm with you on the bands. Some of my favorite bands are the late 70's hard rockers, like UFO, Rainbow (especially with Dio), Priest, and the NWoBHM in there. I also had all the Roth era VH albums and they're a lot of fun, but much more popish, much more radio friendly, and easy to see why they sold to the general public more readily. (Also, being American out of California gave them massive advantage over all the British bands.) I'll take them all. I don't need them to compete.

That's rough on the Hondo, though I'm sure you weren't alone. I got some half-decent super-strat import when I first started. It wasn't bad, though I ended up buying a Gibson Explorer within a year or so of starting.
 

Jdub

Active member
I was trying to remember the other big mag, yep Hit Parader and a cherry sunburst Hondo II LP was what I started, on with a Marlboro amp and a EH Muff Fuzz. Tone for minutes!!
Blizzard Of Ozz, Virgin Killers and Moving Pictures were my aha moments. Before I played was into Kiss, Alice Cooper and BOC.
We had the same exact first guitar. Same color too. Mine was really awful.. Finally saved up and bought a Gibson "the Paul" for 275.00.
 
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