UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER Says Losing Rights To ACCEPT Name Was ‘Biggest Mistake’ Of His Professional Career
In a new interview with Simfonia Metàl·lica, former ACCEPT singer Udo Dirkschneider was asked to name the biggest mistake he made in his professional career. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): «I can tell you. This is the only thing I’m really not happy with. I was creating the name ACCEPT. And then, when we came — let’s say in ’80, ’81, we had to sign a lot of documents. And sometimes you’re not really looking on this. And then, in the end, when they fired me [from] my own band, I found a paper [saying] all the rights [to the ACCEPT name] go to [ACCEPT guitarist] Wolf Hoffmann. And that’s really a big point, a bad point for me. The name is normally on me and not on Wolf Hoffmann.»
He continued: «This was a big mistake — not really to look what you’re signing. But anyway, this is history — [it happened] a long time ago. And I think in the end now, in a way I don’t care. But sometimes [I think] I did a big mistake. But anyway, it happened.»
Earlier this year, Udo ruled out the possibility of a reunion with ACCEPT, telling TNT Radio Rock: «I don’t wanna say anything bad. Wolf is a great guitar player. He’s a great guy — I know that. But one thing, and that’s why never ever can happen again a reunion or stuff like that, is he was stealing my name. A long time ago, in ’81, when we had to sign some papers. I was really young, and, ‘Yeah, okay,’ I signed my contracts. There was some paper in between [all the others], and he [got] the rights [to the ACCEPT name]. But it was not Wolf [who orchestrated it]; I think it was now his wife. She was the manager of ACCEPT, and she was clever to put the [ACCEPT] name on Wolf Hoffmann. And this is the thing that makes me still angry — he was really stealing the name. I mean, I was making ACCEPT in ’68.
«In the end, as a person, [he’s] definitely a great guitar player, a great guy,» Udo added. «It’s history. I think I’m quite successful with U.D.O. If I want, I can do anytime a tour under [the name] DIRKSCHNEIDER and play ACCEPT songs. If I really say, ‘Okay, I wanna do this again,’ no problems at all. But the rest, in a way, is history.
«For example, I was working with [fellow former ACCEPT members] Peter Baltes and Stefan Kaufmann together on the single ‘Where The Angels Fly’, and everybody was, like, ‘Oh, what is this? This is more ACCEPT than ACCEPT is doing now at the moment.'»
Dirkschneider‘s long-running metal band U.D.O. released an album in July 2020 called «We Are One», featuring contributions from Baltes and Kaufmann. Baltes and Kaufmann also reunited with Dirkschneider in the studio to record an EP under the DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG banner, titled «Arising», which came out in August.
This past January, Hoffmann was asked by SiriusXM‘s «Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk» if he was surprised to see Baltes working with Dirkschneider on some new music last year. He responded: «Yeah, I probably shouldn’t say much about that. Again, I can only speculate what that was all about. At the end of the day, we do our thing, and everybody has to know for themselves what they wanna do. Yeah, let me not say as much about that as I can, please.»
Back in 2015, Hoffmann dismissed Dirkschneider‘s comment that the band’s then-lineup — which included Baltes and ACCEPT‘s singer of more than a decade, Mark Tornillo — performed live «without any emotion.» «It’s just hilarious at this point,» Wolf said. «It’s just a big joke in our lives. And we just go on about our lives, and we do our thing, and we just… We let these things go by and laugh about it. He’s actually sort of our press agent, in a way. He keeps us [in the news].»