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Mike Dow Mike Dow
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edge staff writer


Scorpions: MTV Unplugged' and the farewell tour'

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Only a handful of active rock bands make it to their 50th anniversary. Even rarer are the bands still seeking a challenge as they get there. The Scorpions will hit that milestone in 2015 and are still looking for new ways to rock you like a hurricane.  

Klaus Meine, lead vocalist for the Scorpions since 1969, says his band received an invitation from MTV to perform a series of acoustic-based 'Unplugged' shows in a venue of their choice. Seeing it as an opportunity to rework classic material, pull out some rarities and introduce a few new songs, the Scorpions readily agreed. 

'We wanted to come up with a whole new concert,' Meine told me last week, calling from the band's home base of Hanover, Germany. 'We wanted to make this a whole different show with songs going back to the '70s that we've never performed live and some new songs too.'  

The shows were filmed and recorded last September at the gorgeous Lycabettus Theatre (constructed in 1965 the same year the Scorpions formed) situated 1,000 feet above Athens, Greece,  marking the first ever 'open air' concert recorded for MTV 'Unplugged.'  


Scorpions at Lycabettus Theater, Athens Greece.  Photo courtesy of Vassilis Gonis.

The high-definition results have just been issued as 'The Scorpions MTV Unplugged live in Athens' - available on CD, vinyl, Blu-ray and DVD from Sony International.   

Scorpions classics were treated with new arrangements, including 'Rock You Like A Hurricane,' 'No One Like You' and 'Still Loving You.' 'The lead singer for A-ha, Morten Harket, joined us for Wind of Change,' which gave that song, with his voice, a whole new expression,' Meine said.  

Going into the shows, Meine says the band rehearsed nearly 40 songs before deciding on the final set list. 'We even had some cover songs in there, but then we said, Come on no cover versions, let's do some new Scorpions material.''

Guitarist Matthias Jabs contributed a new instrumental 'Delicate Dance.' 'Rudolph (Schenker, founding member and lead guitarist) added a new song, and I encouraged him to sing it on stage,' Meine told me. 'I also had a new song called Follow Your Heart.' For the very first time, I sent everybody off stage and it was like, Klaus, come on. Pick up your guitar the stage is all yours.' It was a whole different setup but still a rock show even with acoustic instruments. There were 18 musicians on stage (including eight lovely string players Strings from Heaven,' Meine says) and our Greek fans went totally nuts they loved it.'  

In 2010, the Scorpions shocked fans when they announced a farewell tour to eventually visit 38 countries. They have since backed away from talk of a split while the tour continues with 15 countries still on the itinerary. Meine says that, with the exception of a few select 'Unplugged' shows scheduled for Germany in late April and early May, fans can expect classic electric Scorpions.  

'We pick up the tour next week in Madrid, Spain, Portugal, Lisbon and Russia,' he said. 'We go back to electric guitars and we'll pump it up to 11!' 

As for a 'farewell' from the Scorpions, I asked Meine about the future of the band.   

'We have this feeling of coming to the final curtain, you know?' he told me. 'We thought it would be the right thing to cap the massive touring around the world 100 shows a year. Yeah, it's still a farewell tour, but we're all on a farewell tour, aren't we? It's a challenge. The most important thing is, the demand is strong after all these years and we have a whole new generation of Scorpions fans. That's a strong motivation to play for all of those kids and be in front of three generations of fans every night


When I asked about a possible return to America (their last U.S. shows were in the summer of 2012), Meine flashed back to a memorable performance in Maine.    

'We were talking about it the other day,' Meine said. 'We'd like to come back to America and play the Greek Theater in LA. We'd also like to come back to Maine. In the U.S., our fans rock like a hurricane, and I'll never forget the famous Monsters of Rock' show we played near Portland (Oxford Plains Speedway) with Van Halen and Metallica (June 25, 1988). It was a very dramatic show. We had to interrupt the show many times because of thunder and lightning (laughs). We will never forget that show, and I'm sure there are many people out there in Maine who remember.'

'The Big Morning Show with Mike Dow' can be heard on Big 104 FM The Biggest Hits of the '60s, '70s & '80s - airing on 104.7 (Bangor/Belfast), 104.3 (Augusta/Waterville) and 107.7 (Bar Harbor)



Last modified on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 17:57


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