Berlin Wall


Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I can't pretend to know the significance of this event. A former co-worker was from Poland and he remarked a great bit about the history of Europe in this last century for his country. I remember the news as it came over the airwaves with our family's chosen conduit of news information: Tom Brokaw from NBC. I believe CNN was around by that time, but as I came up, my weeknight evenings were spent at table indulging in mom and grandma's delicious food at 5:30PM listening to and watching Tom Brokaw on NBC's Nightly News. Apparently Brokaw went back for today's commemorative events that were scheduled outside the Brandenburg Gate. He is much more grey of hair than he was in 1989. I grew up with him, I remember that voice. It is burned into my mind.

Strange as it is, I also think about Klaus Meine from the German hard rock band The Scorpions. Not only Klaus but the the rest of the band. I saw them in concert with a friend of mine at the now non-existent St. Louis Arena while they were on the 'Tease Me Please Me tour', early 1990's for certain. I can't recall the exact year but I recall sitting stage right and I nearly vividly remember that stage design. I think the Scorps (short for Scorpions) designed a tarantula with their Bon Jovi lights that hung over the stage. The tarantula came down over the band at strategic points during the show. Fun memories. Great show, excellent band.

One song from their album 'Love at First Sting' comes to mind, it is the song 'Crossfire'. Military snare drum beat, metal guitars played through big Marshall stacks (more than likely JCM 800's), and the high-pitched screaching voice. I love Klaus, though. I probably should provide a link to the song 'Winds of Change', but I really have had enough of that song. It is an interesting musical piece for sure, but it was played far too much for my tastes over the radio circuits in St. Louis, Missouri. But with 'Crossfire' I think Klaus is trying to provide a commentary on the situation in Western Germany prior to the Wall's being toppled, perhaps Europe and Eastern Europe, in general. Not necessarily poignant, the song, but perhaps it is. Either way, metal prevails, as do my base instincts. Maybe the shredder guitar just gets into my bones and rattles me a good way. I have no idea.

But with the Berlin Wall falling asunder surely these fellas in the Scorpions must've experienced elation beyond their wildest imaginations. Either way, in this link I'll provide below, you see that most of the band is still intact these days. I think they lost a member or so in the rhythm section, not sure if Herman is still there (didn't do the research). Either way, I love these guys because they are pretty odd to the critical community, but that is precisely the point about music: it is for all, and not just for the critical. Music is for joy and it is ubiquitous. And this band has surely had its share of critics. They don't seem to want to age, their lead singer is a little eccentric, as is one of the guitarists and the singer is balding which typically doesn't bode well with the Metal Music community. It could potentially be a strange experience to see them live. Beyond all of this, they are still doing it. God love 'em for it. Can you imagine the flack they have received over the years? It might have crossed their minds to throw in the towel. I am glad they didn't.

It has been decided that there will be two videos linked for this posting. I kind of enjoy this current video of them playing this past summer 2009 in Gdansk, Poland, the song 'Coming Home'. After watching it in full, it is clear that the rhythm section has been replaced, but the two guitarists and the singer are the same as in the 80's and 90's. The second link provided will apparently be simply the audio of the song 'Crossfire', from the 'Love at First Sting' album, with a picture remaining constant on the screen. It provides audio that is representative of the song to which I am referring. It will serve the purpose effectively enough.

I am realizing that I had hastily put together this Scorpions blog posting, but it was the anniversary that was the primary driver here. I love my 80's metal, however I do still wish to dedicate a larger portion of this blog to bands and other musicians that I have played shows with. I'd have loved to have played a show with Kevin DuBrow and Quiet Riot, but now he is dead from that cocaine overdose last year, so I can pretty confidently assume that I won't be writing about any future shows I would've shared with them. I'll do my best to temper some of the strong impulse that exists within me to carry on continuously about the brilliance of 80's guitar shredders. (please see video attached as a sample)

A posting that I hope to publish by week's end, next week, will hopefully be a nice little interview with a singer-songwriter that will be rolling into town on Nov 21, 2009 (Saturday) to play a show in the northernmost reaches of the city of Chicago. I just got off the phone with this person today and I was, thankfully, able to seek and obtain permission from them to submit interview questions. This is a momentous occasion as it will mark the very first interview with an artist for this here Derelict Songs Blog. I only hope the final product that gets published does the person and their craft justice. It will be informative to go about this project as it will provide early data for how the archetype of these blog interviews will develop and form for subsequent publishings/submissions.

Part of the blog will engage other personal interests. I might draw on a few other ideas that other bloggers employ in their efforts, namely photography. It is all coming around and to a light. Throwing darts. Just throwing darts. Or, pasta.

(creation of the blog was begun on Monday November 9, 2009 - 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall)

Thank you for reading!

- Mr. Whiskers


'Coming Home' live in Gdansk, Poland (June 2009)

'Crossfire' audio from the album 'Love at First Sting', with a still of the album cover


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