Wings Of Planes
The Scorpions may consider changing the lyrics of their "Wind of Change" single to "wings of planes" because they’ll be spending several hours looking at them as they fly over some barren Russian countryside.
The German rockers, who have been touring for four decades, have 12 shows in 17 days and – by promoter Ed Ratnikov’s calculation – will clock up 14,950 "air kilometres" (about 9,200 miles).
But the schedule isn’t as punishing as it might first appear, as the Talent Concert International chief has chartered a luxury Tupolev 154, which has ample comfortable cabin space for the band and crew and plenty of room for the backline in the cargo hold.
The worst slog is the nine-hour 6,000-kilometre flight from Komsomolsk to Kazan, which takes the band from the Chinese border to the meeting of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in what’s known as central European Russia.
It takes more than one-third of the tour’s flying time, although the longer flights are all overnight.
The act became massively popular in Russia and some of the other old communist states largely because of the hit "Wind Of Change," with its references to Moscow’s River Moskva and Gorky Park. The song was viewed as a reflection of the sociopolitical changes marking the end of the Iron Curtain and Cold War.
In 2005 the viewers of the German television network ZDF chose "Wind Of Change" as "the song of the last century." It’s frequently played on television shows presenting video footage of the fall of the Berlin Wall and is widely known in Germany as the song that captures the country’s reunification and fall of communism, even though it only rose to popularity two years later.
The Scorpions’ Russian tour begins at St. Petersburg Ice Palace April 10 and finishes at Moscow Kremlin Palace April 26.