The Scorpions: Don't quit while you're ahead
As farewells go, the one the Scorpions continue to take since they announced their retirement is a long one. But why park the car when the ride is still thrilling and the bodies still willing?
In 2007, Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine told Classic Rock: “We want to end on a high, to keep going and find a moment to have a nice way out of this madness.”
The band’s 2012 documentary film Forever And A Day charted their ascent from the back streets of Hanover to the main stages of Europe, America and beyond, and was planned to culminate with their retirement. Five years later they’re still going strong, and about to embark on a tour of the US with Megadeth. What went right?
“We always say as long as the Rolling Stones can do it, we can do it,” guitarist Matthias Jabs says, laughing.
Jabs still has something of the ‘new boy’ about him, even though he joined the band before the recording of 1979’s Lovedrive album. “They don’t seem to stop! I’m going to see them in Hamburg in September so let’s see what shape they’re in. But as long as they keep doing it, we have to keep our promise alive.”
Jabs turns 62 this October, bandleader Rudolf Schenker has just had his 68th birthday and Meine is 70 next May. Schenker doesn’t bother celebrating, his rationale being that “in this rock’n’roll world, where I’m still alive, every day is a happy birthday”.
“We’ve got Mikkey Dee now,” he says, the former Motörhead drummer having replaced James Kottak, who allowed his penchant for alcohol to get the better of him. “He fits perfectly in the band. We fly together, we sit together after concerts, we have dinner together. We’re enjoying it so much. The music is still working for us, and the fans are still there. That’s the best birthday I can think of.”