‘RIP UFO': Pete Way and Michael Schenker Distance Themselves From 50th Anniversary Tour
UFO will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2019, but two former members from the band's classic period said they're not interested.
Bassist Pete Way and guitarist Michael Schenker, who last played with the group in 2008 and 2003, respectively, have issued statements to confirm that they will not be involved in the anniversary tour next year.
Schenker, who first joined the group in 1973, told Classic Rock that “bands like UFO and the Scorpions are trying to fool the audience, and I’m not a part of that world. It’s becoming a trend to make a big deal about playing last shows, and those bands do it because they can’t get anywhere in a normal way. For me, UFO only exists with the original five members, plus producer Ron Nevison. [Singer] Phil Mogg calls his current band UFO, but it isn’t UFO.”
Way was a bit more diplomatic. “After the publicity which is currently surrounding Michael Schenker’s announcement that he most definitely will not be joining in with UFO’s advertised outing, I would like to make sure that nobody is under the illusion that I will be appearing," the bassist wrote on Facebook. "It is not made clear in the advertising. I will be touring with my new band – [former UFO guitarist who replaced Schenker] Paul Chapman will not be on guitar sadly, but it was a pleasure to see him again. I wish UFO all the luck in the world and I am sure fans would like to see the original lineup but for me, I can only say RIP UFO.”
Mogg has been the only constant member of UFO throughout their lifetime, though founding drummer Andy Parker has been back since 2005. The singer said he's stepping down from the group following the conclusion of next year's tour dates.
"Being out on the road isn’t always tremendously luxurious," he said, "and although the playing is as great as it ever was, the stuff that surrounds it becomes very tiresome. I always told myself that when I reached that stage, I would step down, and that’s what I’m going to do. This is the right time for me to quit.”
Mogg has given the current lineup his blessing to continue with the name, but he added that it "seems almost certain" that UFO will break up following these dates next year.