Legendary German guitarist Uli Jon Roth has been forced to postpone his previously announced North American tour due to visa issues.
The trek, which was schedule to kick off in late May, was slated to celebrate a rare triple anniversary:
* 40th anniversary of SCORPIONS' "Tokyo Tapes"
* 40th anniversary of the birth of ELECTRIC SUN
* 50th anniversary of Uli's first-ever stage performance in 1968
Said Roth in a statement: "We're very sorry, but our tour of North America will have to be postponed now until a later date. We are forced to do this, because our work visas, unfortunately, didn't get issued on time to do this tour. As soon as we have the visas cleared, we will set up replacement dates and will keep you posted. All VIP passes will remain valid indefinitely until we get to play these shows. We hope that your schedule allows you to attend these new dates!
"We were all really looking forward to playing this special 'Triple Anniversary' program for you! But I promise we will make this happen as soon as possible.
"The visa situation has been getting worse year after year in recent times and this makes it very difficult for foreign artists to perform in the U.S. now. The same thing is currently happening to a lot of other artists, too, and several tours like ours had to be cancelled last minute at great expense to the bands and their American partners.
"We were told the percentage of work visas to the U.S. not being issued on time has suddenly increased by 1400% (!!!) since February this year… If this is true, this figure speaks for itself. It seems, now for the first time, we are caught out by this, too. (There was a visa delay on a tour with Yngwie in 2014 which resulted in a cancellation for me, but that was because of technical reasons and the visa was not denied.)
"We have played everything by the book, applied as early as we could, paid to have our visas expedited, employed the best immigration attorneys, have moved mountains, jumped through a veritable amount of hoops and STILL got delayed this year so far!
"We are confident that the visas will come through sooner or later, but until then we must be patient and move on to other things. I know that some of you had already booked flights and hotels, which must be very disappointing and annoying. I'm truly sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you!
"Please keep your fingers crossed that we receive the work visas soon! Stay tuned!"
To celebrate this special anniversary year, Uli will perform a whole series of concerts and tours worldwide with varying programs.
Uli's two-month "Triple Anniversary North American Tour" was slated to be devoted to performing a complete set of songs from Uli's ground breaking ELECTRIC SUN period.
"Electric Sun Reborn" was to consist of an intense 90-minute set by Uli and his band, complemented by multi-media projections. This was supposed to be followed by an intermission and a shorter set of the highlights from "Tokyo Tapes Revisited" to round off the three-hour extravaganza.
Uli has not performed the bulk of this music for over 30 years. Although it never enjoyed the overwhelming commercial success of SCORPIONS, ELECTRIC SUN was far more than just a cult band and had a sizeable following on both sides of the Atlantic as well as in Japan. Largely thanks to Uli's innovative and ground-breaking guitar playing and interesting compositions, the band became artistically influential and presented a unique blend, which was sometimes likened to a strange mixture, located somewhere between Beethoven and Hendrix.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar players ever, Uli pioneered a unique style of guitar playing which — for the first time — combined complete mastery of the instrument with an intensely melodic and emotional appeal. Uli's ELECTRIC SUN guitar solos are both uplifting and often mesmerizing, displaying a very wide variety of textures, colors and novel ideas. They always take you on a journey.
From his earliest days onwards, Uli has always been a bold and uncompromising musical innovator of the first order and his ELECTRIC SUN period bears ample witness to that fact. Being the first guitar player in rock to incorporate complex melodic arpeggio sequences, Uli Jon Roth — in the eyes of many of his peers — practically reinvented modern guitar-technique almost singlehandedly during his SCORPIONS tenure, but even more so during his ELECTRIC SUN days.
Uli has now taken a fresh look at this material, drawn from the altogether three ELECTRIC SUN albums which he wrote some forty years ago. The three albums — in chronological order — were "Earthquake", "Fire Wind" and "Beyond The Astral Skies". ELECTRIC SUN and Uli fans alike will be delighted to finally hear these songs played live again by the master himself.
As a real bonus for his die-hard fans and connoisseurs, Uli has a special treat in store which will bring many a tear to the eyes of nostalgic older fans; due to popular request, Uli will finally bring his legendary white Fender Stratocaster guitar on tour again. The famous instrument — which he used during almost all the SCORPIONS and ELECTRIC SUN recordings (!) — will make an onstage appearance for a couple of songs after having remained silent for so many years... The guitar has not been played in public since the mid-'80s when Uli switched over to Sky Guitars for good and he is looking forward to putting this iconic guitar through its paces for old times' sake. The whites strat can be seen on the covers of "In Trance" as well as "Fire Wind". Uli played this guitar in every single SCORPIONS concert since 1975 and on every single ELECTRIC SUN album.
To make the evening even more intense, another very special treat is reserved for the purchasers of VIP Passes and comes as a big surprise. (VIP passes are only available online at UliJonRoth.com). VIP Pass holders will be given a unique opportunity to hear Uli perform his "Metamorphosis Of Vivaldi's Four Seasons" in its entirety during a private pre-show concert.
Uli has not performed Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" in over fourteen years and this is a very rare chance to hear this amazing piece of music played live by the "Master Of The Sky Guitar" himself. Uli was the first and only guitarist ever to perform this most famous of all violin concertos on electric guitar note for note, stretching the instrument to the very limits of its capabilities, and beyond. Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" concerto was written in 1723 and sounds as fresh and inspirational now as it did three hundred years ago. Particularly so in Uli's truly mind-blowing rendition, which is fiendishly difficult to play on guitar and can only be performed at concert pitch on one of his signature Sky Guitars.
Uli will be accompanied for the VIP event by his two very talented young protégés, Niklas Turman and David Klosinski on guitar, as well as Corvin Bahn on keyboards, who will play the orchestral parts. As an additional treat, Uli is going to perform this piece on his legendary "Mighty Wing" seven-string Sky Guitar, which has not been seen in public for a long time, but which was his main guitar for a period of 20 years.