“Greetings to all of you! I hope you had a great New Year.
“Here is a condensed list of some of the events that are planned for the first half of this year. 2013 is going to be a very busy and intensely productive year ahead, it seems.
“We will start off with a two-day Sky Academy in Los Angeles, at the Santa Monica Playhouse, January 21-22. This is a beautiful, intimate theatre, where we held one of the previous Sky Academies, of which we all have fond memories. I’m looking forward to being there again!
“On the next day, I will take part in Jason Becker’s ‘Not Dead Yet’concert in San Francisco, together with my friends Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Richie Kotzen, Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind) and several other great players. Jason is an inspiration to all of us and I feel honored to be part of this worthwhile cause.
“Following that, I shall be attending the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California, and will do a signing event for the Sky Guitar limited edition at the Dean booth.
“At the end of January, we are embarking on my extensive 40th-anniversary tour of the U.S., which will take us all the way through February until the beginning of March.
“2013 marks the 40th anniversary of my involvement with the Scorpions. The main theme of this tour will therefore be dedicated to performing my personal favourites from the five albums which I recorded with that great band. I have chosen about 30 songs in all from that era as the basis of our repertoire, several of whom have never even been performed live by either the Scorpions or myself. We shall be rotating a selection of these songs on the tour, varying our sets on a nightly basis, because we cannot possibly play all of them in one go. We will, of course, also play some Electric Sun and Sky Of Avalon music, but the main theme of the performance will be dedicated to the early Scorpions era. Every show will be recorded for a live album, which will feature only songs from my time with the Scorpions. This will result in a double CD, which will be mixed in 5.1 Surround. The release will also contain a DVD and a documentary, including personal behind-the-scenes Super-8 footage, which I shot to document our tours from 1973-1978.
“As far as live albums go, I am intending to record two further ones in the following years: one will be featuring my favourite Electric Sun material, and the next one will consist of Sky Of Avalon/Transcendental Sky Guitar music.
“In order to do full justice to my selection of Scorpions songs, we are bringing a large band with an exciting lineup.
“Due to the length of the tour, not all members were free to do the whole tour. Therefore some of the positions will be filled by two musicians — each of them playing part of the tour.
The 40th-anniversary U.S. tour lineup will be:
* Uli Jon Roth: guitars, vocals
* Henning Basse: lead vocals
* Ali Clinton: guitars, vocals
* Niklas Turmann: guitars, lead vocals
* Ule W. Ritgen, Elliott Rubinson: – bass
* Jamie Little, Peter Holmes: drums
* Paul Rahme, Corvin Bahn: keyboards, vocals
“In addition to the concerts, there are 14 introductory Sky Academy seminars to be held during the course of the tour! These are usually taking place at the venues of the shows, on the same days and prior to the concerts. Pre-booking is essential, though.
“The seminars are not only geared for musicians. Anyone who loves music can attend. Sky Academy is about much more than just guitar playing, but players are also very welcome to bring their guitars and practice amps. The teaching should be useful to players of all levels.
“March, April and May will be dedicated to studio work and some shows in England.
“I also have been invited to play at the Royal Albert Hall in London by Alfie Boe as a guest for his concerts in April. Aside from this, we are going to collaborate on a new release of Bridge To Heaven intended for the Sunflower Jam cancer charity.
“In June, we will play six concerts in South America, co-headlining with Michael Schenker. The dates will be posted very soon.
“We are planning further European and U.K. dates for the second half of 2013 and a tour of Japan. All of these will be announced on [my official] website as well as on Facebook.
“I am also looking forward to my continued involvement in the Robert Johnson award in Hamburg, Germany, which is a great platform for genuine young guitar talents. As a special appreciation of his talent, I have chosen one of last years’ participants, the 14-year old Merlin Lauert, to share the stage with us at our Wacken 2013 show.
“And last, but not least: I have written an entire album’s worth of new material, which I am very excited about. As soon as time permits we will begin to record it.
“Once again, many thanks to all of you and God bless! Have a great 2013!”