It was in 1965 when the brothers Michael and Rudolf Schenker and vocalist Klaus Meine formed Scorpions as an amateur band. They signed their first recording deal in 1971 and brought out their debut album, “Lonesome Crow” a year later. In 1984, the Scorpions became the first German hard rock band to play three successive gigs in front of 60,000 fans at New York’s Maddison Square Garden. The very first album to be produced by the Scorpions themselves was ‘Crazy World’, featuring the smash hit ‘Wind of Change’, immediately becoming the most successful CD to date. ‘Wind of change’ was the worldwide top single of 1991, occupying the number one slot in eleven countries. In 1992, they received the World Music Award as the most successful German rock act. In 1994 the Scorpions again received a World Music Award.
Thirty years in the rock ‘n’ roll world did not stop the band from exploring different projects in a refreshing, intelligent way. Reflecting on past accomplishments, the band feels fortunate to have been part of music history and participate in memorable shows. “This is a live band that always gives 200 per cent on stage”, says frontman Klaus Meine. “Wherever there was electricity, we plugged in and rocked like a hurricane.”
Bharti Airtel Limited, who were instrumental in the materialisation of this musical extravaganza in Shillong, also organised a number of contests and programmes on the periphery of the show with a view to promoting music and delighting the music lovers of the region.
Airtel had organized an elaborate Rock Hunt Competition in four major cities of the region viz. Guwahati, Aizawl, Dimapur and Shillong in which the top local bands participated. The winners of the finals held in Shillong on December 11, Akhia, a rock band from Shillong got the privilege of performing before the Scorpions on the 12th. Lead singer Joe of Akhia said, “Airtel has made our dream come true. Performing on the same stage with the Scorpions is an experience of a lifetime and we shall cherish it all our life”. Akashdeep, the bass guitarist of Casino Blues from Guwahati, remarked, “This is perhaps the most momentous occasion of my music career. We are grateful to Airtel who have made this possible.”
Winners of Meet and Greet and several other contests organised by Airtel to mark the visit of the Scorpions received their prizes in the form of entry passes to the show, meeting the Scorpions members behind the stage, taking photographs with them and receiving memorabilia signed by them. Lamshaphrang Lyngdoh, a student of Class VII at Seven Set School, Shillong got a guitar signed by the members of the Scorpions being the winner of the contest, ‘Sing Like Scorpions’.
Mr. Sudipto Chowdhury, Chief Operating Officer, NESA, Bharti Airtel Limited was in an upbeat mood with the success of the show. He added, “Airtel last year had promoted a show for the music lovers of North East with the international rock group Michael Learns to Rock in Shillong. The Scorpions Live along with Airtel Rock Star Hunt are Airtel’s gift to the music lovers of the region at the onset of the Christmas season”.
The Scorpions re-affirmed their reputation as one of the greatest live bands of all time when they gave a stunning performance and in the process won the hearts and admiration of all those in attendance. The Scorpions’ Shillong gig was the opening act of the India leg of the hard rock bands’ ‘Humanity World Tour’. The band performed in Mumbai on December 14 and in Bangalore on December 16.
E. P. Desk