Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Flashback - Scorpions

Usually when I'm thinking about the Friday Flashback I have no problem coming up with a band that I want to showcase. As a matter of fact I usually have several to consider however as the days went by this week I didn't feel any inspiration about who I should choose. Then I started watching videos of some of the bands like Scorpions and Twisted Sister that will be playing at the Rock N America show that will be held in late July at the Zoo Amphitheater in Oklahoma City. The idea that came to me was to showcase those bands closer to the date of the festival. But as I thought more and more about and watched the videos I decided that there's a reason I was thinking about it now so I had better go with the feeling and use the Scorpions this week.

The band was originally started in 1965 in Germany by Rudolph Schenker however they didn't really start to gain any real ground until vocalist Klaus Meine joined in 1969 along with Rudolph's brother Michael. The band broke up when Michael left to join UFO however several members formed another band and then persuaded Klaus to join them and they ended us using the name Scorpions since it was much better known. The bands sound started to really form in the mid 70s and by the end of the decade with the release of the album Lovedrive their formula of hard driving songs mixed with melodic ballads really had taken hold.


With their 1982 release Blackout the band started gaining attention all over the world. This is when I first heard of them. I was on my schools track team and a guy named Russell Haynes was sitting behind me on the bus as we started on our way back from a track meet. He heard Rush playing on my Walkman and told me that if I liked them then I might like this band and he handed me his copy of the cassette. I was hooked immediately and I listened to it all the way back home. Somehow I got a copy of my own even though I had next to no money and I played it to death.

Can't Live Without You

In 1984 the band released Love At First Sting and became international superstars propelled by the video for the song Rock You Like A Hurricane. The album went double platinum in just a few months in the United States. On Friday April 13th, 1984 they came to the Tulsa Convention Center where I and about six other friends came to watch them. The ticket cost was a mere $13.75. We had crammed into my best friend Tom's mustang and made the drive up to Tulsa where we stood on the arms of our seats and rocked out to the band. One member of our group temporarily lost his glasses but we found them undamaged after the show. Another friend had taken them as a joke and apparently dropped them as he overdosed on PCP that was mixed in a drink and he was taken to the hospital. We never saw this happen and didn't even know where he was until his father came over the next day to let us know what had happened to him.

Rock You Like A Hurricane

Now all these years later the band that continued to tour and record has released their 17th and final album Sting In The Tail and will be touring the world for about 2 years as they say goodbye to their fans. Luckily for me they will be playing close to home an the Rock N America festival with other 80s metal groups so that makes it a nobrainer. I'll be there cheering them on and will be hoping that maybe, just maybe they'll come back one final time to Tulsa next year where this old man can rock out one more time like he did when he was young.

Raised On Rock

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