Story by Scott A. Smith
Photo courtesy of Scorpions
Scorpions lead singer Klaus Meine almost lost his voice for good back in 1982.
After years of pushing his voice in concert and inside studios, Meine found himself almost silenced during the writing and recording process for what would become a break-through effort for Scorpions, the “Blackout” LP. When Meine lost his voice, the stress level and blood temperature of Scorpions founding guitarist Rudolf Schenker rose and fell, respectively.
But Schenker’s optimistic spirit wasn’t killed by that moment. Actually, the life-long fan of The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and The Pretty Things was only down in the dumps about it for a few hours.
“I always thought Klaus could make it,” said the 67-year-old Schenker during a telephone interview with Real Rock News before laughing. “We straightened Klaus’ backbone, kicked him in the behind and then he was ready to go. Klaus was ready to get his voice back.”
And Meine did. His vocals on the “Blackout” LP and subsequent released album’s like 1984’s “Love at First Sting” and 1985’s “World Wide Live” have been hailed as inspired and truly unique by fans.
Meine’s voice, today, remains equally strong, Schenker said. This will be witnessed during Scoprions’ upcoming headlining slot for the annual Rocklahoma music and camping festival, a multi-stage event that takes place May 27-29 at Catch the Fever Festival Grounds, 1421 W. 450 Road in Pryor, Okla., east of Tulsa, he said.
“Scorpions are so excited about playing Rocklahoma,” Schenker said. “Really, playing Rocklahoma will be like an extension of our 50th anniversary tour.”
Featuring Meine, Schenker, guitarist Matthias Jabs, bassist Pawel Maciwoda and drummer James Kottak, Scorpions will play most or possibly all of the band’s big hits for Rocklahoma fans. Those hits include the loud-and-proud anthems “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Big City Nights,” “No One Like You” and “The Zoo,” as well as guitar-heavy ballads like “Still Loving You” and “Wind of Change,” Schenker said.
Among the dozens of bands slated to play Rocklahoma are Sixx A.M., Thousand Foot Krutch, 3 Doors Down and surviving members of Ronnie James Dio’s band who now call themselves Last in Line. For Schenker, having so many artists in one location will be as exciting for the bands as it will be for the fans facing the stage.
“We know so many of those other guys, it will be a lot of fun,” he said. “We can’t wait to rock fans like a hurricane at Rocklahoma!”
When asked to name his favorite Scorpions song, Schenker was quick to reply.
“I see Scorpions as having three legs,” he said. “Those legs are love, peace and rock ‘n’ roll. Love is for the song ‘Still Loving You,’ peace is for ‘Wind of change’ and the rock ‘n’ roll part is ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane.’ If you ask me, those are the three legs of this band.”