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CLUB CHATTER

The Teutonic terror

Michael Schenker was considered a god when I was first learning to play the guitar.

As a child prodigy with his older brother Rudolph's band, the Scorpions, the younger Schenker came across like some possessed version of Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Mountain's Leslie West rolled into one. Later, after British post-psychedelic rockers UFO picked up the then-16-year-old Schenker, he became one of the most revered hard rock guitarists of the '70s.

Unfortunately, Schenker, who didn't speak much English at the time, was finding the ceaseless touring with UFO a strain on his physical and mental well-being. He rather famously flew the coop, launching his own Michael Schenker Group, which released three killer albums in the '80s.

When UFO reformed for a brief U.S. tour 10 years back, a show at the old Blind Mellons on Youngs Road was well-attended by the Schenker devout. (That show was recorded and released as a live album in 2000.)

The Blind Mellons show was Schenker's last appearance in Buffalo -- until now. The Michael Schenker Group plays Rock 'n' Roll Heaven, 2094 George Urban Blvd., at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are available through Tickets.com or at the club.

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Gig picks

A big ska-punk throw-down takes place in the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St., at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Headlined by Reel Big Fish, advance tickets are available at the Town Ballroom box office and Tickets.com for $23.50. Admission at the door on the night of the show will be $25.

Rise Against with guests Silverstein and Comeback Kid, arrive at the Evolution Entertainment Complex, 2094 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga, beginning at 7 p.m. Monday. Tickets, available through Ticketmaster, are priced $20.

The John Cowan Band plays the Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst St., on Sunday afternoon at 4. Admission at the door will be $20.

The Thirds will reunite for a 7 p.m. show at Nietzsche's this evening. Jim Brucato, Joe Head and Charlie O'Neil normally get together for a Christmas reunion, so this summer show is a rare treat.

A benefit, in aid of longtime Buffalo club doorman Sylvester Elmore, who has become seriously ill, takes place at 4 p.m. Saturday, inside Sub Zero, 70 W. Chippewa St. For additional information, contact the club at 852-1960.

e-mail: jmiers@buffnews.com

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