Tuesday, October 25, 2005

“Be welcome on the island many miles away from home”:Scorpions to Stage Havana Concert

The Scorpions, the famous German rock n’ roll band that dared playing 10 concerts in the former communist USSR in 1988 will be playing in Cuba this week.
The Cold War is now “over,” but Cuba is still surrounded by a mystique and the restrictions of the US blockade, as a kind of forbidden fruit for foreign musicians.
This year many outstanding bands have been led tempted to play in Cuba: the American group Audioslave, the United Kingdom’s Rick Wakeman & The New English Rock Ensemble and Mick Hucknall’s Simply Red, the Australian band Air Supply and Japan’s Miyazawa Sick.
Now it is the Scorpions’ turn. The concert has created great expectations, not only because the group is considered one of the 30 best bands in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, but also due to its enormous popularity among the Cuban audience, specially during the late 1980’s.
Songs like Still Loving You, Rock You Like a Hurricane, Holiday, Winds of Change, Send Me an Angel, Always Somewhere, Is There Anybody There, White dove, You and I, Blackout, among others, are very well-known by Cubans.
The current line-up of the Scorpions includes Rudolf Schenker (guitar and songwriter), Klaus Meine (vocals), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar) from Hanover, Germany, the American James Kottak (drums), and Pawel Maciwoda (bass) from Poland.
The concert in Havana, although not scheduled on the group’s website, is part of their 2005 Tour. During October they have been playing to massive audiences in Latin America, Mexico –Guadalajara, Mexico City, Chihuahua— and previously in Brazil –Porto Alegre and Victoria. After the concert in Cuba, they will head east to play in Quatar, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
The Scorpions’ Latin American fans who have never had the opportunity to see the band live during its golden years –they came to Latin America for the first time in 1994— can now go back in time and enjoy their music of the 1980’s.
Since their foundation in 1970, the Scorpions have never stopped performing. Many famous groups like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi have been the opening bands for the Scorpions.
With 20 albums to date, the Scorpions will be always remembered as the band that together with Led Zeppelin invented the hard-rock ballad.
A noteworthy fact is that the Scorpions have used their fame to support world peace and freedom. In 1994, they committed themselves to helping the United Nations to aid refugees from Rwanda’s civil war. One of their most beautiful and well-known singles, White Dove, was released with all proceeds going to victims. Another example was their performance in Beirut after the civil war in Lebanon had ended.
They were also invited to the 10th anniversary celebration of German reunification, where they played their legendary song Winds of Change accompanied by 166 cellists in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Over 35 years the Scorpions have played around the globe including venues in: Los Angeles, New York, Anchorage, Santiago de Chile, Glasgow, Beirut, Helsinki, Vladivostok, Dnipropetrovs’k, Tokyo, Volgograd, Leningrad, Now Havana is going to join the list of cities to witness the magic from the legendary German rockers.


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