Scorpions: A Team Effort

The Scorpions
– The Scorpions
At their 2019 performance at Krakau Arena, Poland

One reason the Scorpions were able to conquer the world is their network of reliable partners. From supply to production to transporting – Pollstar picked a cross-section of longtime collaborators who shared their thoughts on the Scorpions’ legacy.
German veteran promoter Ossy Hoppe has been working with the Scorpions since the early ‘80s and even promoted them in Japan on a tour of baseball stadiums. After a stint with a German competitor, the band just returned to Hoppe’s Wizard Promotions. “We are all very proud to represent one of the greatest German international rock bands in history. It feels like I have known them for a hundred years and we have been friends since then,” he tells Pollstar
According to Hoppe, the three main reasons for the Scorpions’ incredible longevity are “great songs, professionalism and German quality.” He said, “having worked with thousands of bands, the Scorpions are one of the very few where I liked almost everybody. They get a lot of respect from their colleagues all over the world, because they always looked after other bands they worked with, even when they were headliners, and treated them with utmost respect.”
Yoav Zemach, the son of the late legend Shmuel Zemach, who’s been promoting the Scorpions in Israel since 2016, said “working with The Scorpions is like working with a very well oiled machine. At the same time you feel that this machine has heart and soul, they are like a big family. The band, Klaus, Rudolf, Matthias, Pawel and Mikkey, obviously are huge talents, but they are also amazing human beings, they speak with people at eye level. I love them all.”
Klaus Meine's vocal range at age 71 is still impressive.
Jakub Janecki
– Klaus Meine’s vocal range at age 71 is still impressive.
He still likes to let his fans join in on the fun.

Without the Scorpions, Poland probably wouldn’t have experienced the birth of Prestige MJM, today one of the country’s most successful promoters. One of the companies co-founders, Janusz Stefansky, promoted a motorsport and music event in 2008, called “Rock Legends – Speedway Legends.” “At that time I was the president of the Ostrów Wielkopolski Motor Club. A huge rock star was supposed to play on the first day at the stadium, and on the second day – there was a Speedway Race with the biggest stars of this sport. The choice fell on Scorpions, I wrote to their former manager, the late Peter Amend, with an offer. To my great surprise, he got back to me. We managed to get the sponsors, who helped found the project. The concert was great and the reason. that I, together with my partners Marek Kurzawa and Mateusz Pawlicki, decided to set up a concert agency.”

Stefański explaned, how Amend taught the crew, “how to perfectly organize the concert of a star. During the three days of the group’s stay in Poland, he drew attention to various small but important things. We thought he had some reservations. Therefore our surprise was even greater when he not only said goodbye at the airport in Wroclaw but also: ‘thank you for the good organization, if you’re interested in promoting the next Scorpions concerts in Poland, write.’ Today, we understand each other practically without words, both with the band and the people working with the musicians. We also value the fact that the band finds time for dinner and conversations every time we have a show. These types of meetings build a special bond.”
Shamma Laiquddin is another German promoter whose history with the Scorpions goes way back. She first saw the band perform at Vestlandhalle Recklinghausen, in the 1970s when she was still a teenager. “Capacity the must have been around 400. The first show I remember promoting as an employee of Mama Concerts was a double bill with Meat Loaf sometime in the 1990s. Then, when I had my own company [Munich based Shamma Concerts], I promoted  some concerts in extraordinary places, castle gardens mainly.”
Ross Knudson of LAMC Productions is the promoter of the last Scorpions show of the “Crazy World Tour,” in Singapore. He said the concert “certainly lived up to the name ‘Crazy World’ due to emergence of COVID-19 a month before the show. We worked closely with Rod MacSween, Scorpions & Whitesnake to keep things on track while so many other shows canceled or postponed. Temperature checks & contact tracing were implemented to ensure safety and it turned out to be a fantastic show!”
José Muniz, president of Mercury Concerts in Brazil, has been working with the Scorpions since 1997, when they headlined “Skol Rock Festival” in São Paulo and performed in several Brazilian markets plus Buenos Aires and Santiago. On their most recent visit during the “Crazy World Tour,” the band headlined another one of Muniz’s festivals, “Rockfest”, as well as other festivals in the region. “I also booked them at Rock in Rio and they played for 100,000 people closing the night. It was an amazing tour,” Muniz says, adding, “The band is great to working with and their production team is very perfectionist.”
Mikkey Dee
Jakub Janecki
– Mikkey Dee
Got lifted into the air during his solos on the “Crazy World Tour”

One of the main gimmicks on the Scorpions’ most recent world trek was a drum riser that elevated Mikkey Dee above the stage for his solos. The piece of tech was provided by Dutch company WI Creations, headed by Hans Willems. His team also “created seven video blocks, constructed from WI’s new Stage Floor system. Custom video modules were built, so the LED could be attached very quickly to the front of the blocks. The three off-stage blocks were fixed, with the middle one – upstage centre – elevated to a height of 5 metres. The WI solution was to lift the centre section – measuring three by three meters – using three 500kg WI-hoists, and the platform stabilised by four scissors, one at each corner. Everything packs down into touring dollies for rapid deployment, load-ins and get-outs, which is essential for change-overs,” Willems explains, adding that the main challenge was “to ensure the platform was stable enough to handle a highly animated Mikkey Dee during his solos.” 

Live Nation’s Nigel Melder, who promoted the Scorpion’s February dates down under, said, “They are super professional, the band, management and agent all worked with us and helped us put on the best Scorpions shows we possibly could. Unfortunately, Klaus was terribly sick the morning after the first show and landed in the hospital, later that day it was revealed to be the incredibly painful kidney stones. Klaus was back on stage, not missing a beat for a full show a few days after multiple operations. He’s a machine!”
Melder said it was “an honour to work with one of the greatest rock bands in the world. There is no going through the motions, no taking it easy and no phoning it in. After all of these years, they are still a powerhouse and truly one of a kind.”
Tor Nielsen of Live Nation Sweden has been working with the Scorpions on different levels since 1986. On the band’s most recent “Crazy World Tour,” Nielsen promoted five shows in the Nordics – in Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsinki. He said working with the band was “easy, as long as you give them what they require – and they know exactly what they need!”
Laszlo Borsos of Live Nation’s Central and Eastern Europe HQs in Budapest, Hungary, remembered organizing the first Scorpions show in Hungary a few years before the demolition of the Iron Curtain in 1986. “We have had a good relationship with them ever since. I’ve promoted six sold-out shows for the band in our region in the last years,” Borsos told Pollstar.
He said the Eastern European “Crazy World Tour” dates were “a big success, not only according to the fans, but the media reviews as well. The band played with such energy as they did decades ago; they were in sensational form.” According to Borsos, the Scorpions are “one of the great rock bands that are driven every night by the thirst to give the best concert of their lives. That’s why they are still touring and that’s why they can do sold-out shows even after 50 years, because the fans also know that their every gig is a real great rock experience.”
Tetiana Kovalevskiy of Anshlag in the Ukraine has been promoting the Scorpions in the country since February 2016. “There are not many foreign rock bands actually that could do shows in Ukraine with such constancy and get a full house every time,” Kovalevskiy explained. “When Klaus says, ‘Pryvit Kyiv, Yak Sparvi?’ (“Hello Kyiv, How are you doing in Ukrainian), the audience goes crazy. Every time band gives themselves up to the public and the joyful journey of music within the ages begins. It is incredible to see rock legends that are performing on the stage with the energy and passion of youth and to notice small kids in the hall that are the biggest fans of the band with their parents or grandparents.”
She said, “working with band and their team is easy as they are professionals of a kind. When we organized our first show of the Scorpions, they put in a lot of advance work to assure we will be capable of promoting their show, and sent their technical assistants upfront to check everything in detail. It made the preparation process much easier.”
Fernando Gomez Pose of Bring The Noise Events, which promotes Ressurrection Fest in Spain, where Klaus Meine sang “Wind of Change” in Spanish, when the Scorpios headlined in 2018. Pose said, “undoubtedly they are one the biggest rock legends out there and few can say they’ve been touring for 50 years at this level. We hope they can keep playing for 50 years more.”
Juan Antonio of Spanish promoter Madness Live remembered his first shows with the band in 2014 in the capital of Madrid: “Two incredible consecutive nights in Madrid, 11,000 people per night with tickets sold out months before. That was a really great experience working with one of the biggest Rock bands of all times. Last year, we had them Rock The Coast Festival and, as always, they played a great show. The band is in great shape and their shows never disappoint.”
The Scorpions peformed during a proper thunderstorm at Copenhell 2016
Morten Skovgaard
– The Scorpions peformed during a proper thunderstorm at Copenhell 2016

Jeppe Nissen of Live Nation in Denmark confirmed the band’s professionalism: “The show at Copenhell 2016 was quite a night. When Scorpions went on stage the sky opened and it rained massively, there was lightning as well. But the band kept on playing and working super hard in the pouring rain and the crowd keep on supporting them – so, against all oddsm it ended up being a magical night that showed the band’s loyal fans and their own will to perform through lightning and thunder (literally) for their fans and music. Amazing.”

Maxim Mazurovskii of Interfest, who promoted two sold-out “Crazy World” shows in Belarus and Cyprus, said: “The principal band members got involved in deep personal after-show feedback after the second show. We had a nice meet-and-greet set-up in Minsk, which the band asked to use on the rest of the tour. So, now they are touring with it. I’b be honored to work with these legends and their team again, if possible.” 
Charlotte Carrel, director of Rock Oz’Arenes, which takes place in a beautiful 2000-year old amphitheater in Switzerland, recalled the band’s performance last year: “The amphitheater was at full capacity, there was a full moon shining among the stars right above us, and when the band came onto the stage the crowd went simply wild. I was shivering with thrill at Rudolf’s first notes.”
Elmar Lamberti of German company Trucking Service has been handling trucking for all the Scorpions tours for the past 20 years. “We do all shows that are feasible by transportation on the road. So, we go from Lisbon, Portugal, all the way to Ekaterinburg in Russia.”
Lamberti explained that the Scorpions only need two trucks for their backline and stage setup, including the video elements. PA and lights are supplied locally. “Only in Germany they do a full production with eight to ten trucks,” Lamberti explained. He said, the band “will continue, as they have fans all over the word, They have great songs, which brings back so much from the past. That will never end.”
The Scorpions were all set to play a Vegas residency this summer, which got cancelled for obvious reasons.  Chris Dalston at CAA, which represents the band in North America since last year, addressed the situation: “Of course it’s disappointing the band cannot perform on a tour that they worked so hard on and one that so many fans want to see. There was real buzz about the Vegas event, but we are hoping to get the green light to reschedule for next year. Part two of the tour will be a full U.S. and Canada arena run that can only happen when the impacts of the virus have settled a bit.”