Scorpions Lead Singer Denies CIA “Wind of Change” Theory

Did hair metal help end the Cold War?

German hair metal band Scorpions in 2002
German hair metal band Scorpions in 2002.
Lebrac72/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / May 20, 2020 6:00 am

What happens when hair metal and geopolitics collide? In recent weeks, a new podcast called Wind of Change from acclaimed journalist Patrick Radden Keefe has explored whether the song that gave the podcast its title was actually written by the CIA.

Yes, the one by Scorpions. Yes, the German hair metal band.

So far, the podcast has received plenty of acclaim. Slate’s review hailed “Patrick Radden Keefe’s fascinating new podcast about the role of rock in the last days of Communism as well as the unreliability of historical memory.” And at Vulture, Nicholas Quah praised the layered approach to its narrative: “Is this a podcast that’s trying to find out whether the CIA wrote a hit song, or is this a podcast that someone’s trying to weaponize to make the CIA look more effective than it was?”

At least one figure involved in “Wind of Change” — the song, not the podcast — has expressed strong feelings on the matter. That would be Scorpions vocalist Klaus Meine. According to the New York Post, Meine recently appeared on the SiriusXM show Trunk Nation and mentioned being contacted by Patrick Radden Keefe.

“I thought it was very amusing and I just cracked up laughing. It’s a very entertaining and really crazy story but like I said, it’s not true at all,” Meine told the program.

Of course, if he had been working in conjunction with the CIA, it’s likely that he wouldn’t admit to doing so in an interview. Are we entering paranoid thriller territory with this one? We might just be.

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