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Music

Forever and a Day: Scorpions film for the first time on TV

The Scorpions wanted to offer their last farewell to their fans with a world tour. A film co-produced by DW shows how it actually relaunched the most famous German rock band's career. Watch both parts here now.

Watch video 42:31

Forever and a Day - The Scorpions Story (1)

Watch video 42:31

Forever and a Day - The Scorpions Story (2)

Stop while you’re ahead is an adage German rockers the Scorpions have taken to heart. After nearly half a century in the business, the five-man band from Hanover announced they would be embarking on a farewell tour in 2010.

It was the perfect opportunity to send a film crew to catch the Scorpions’ last hurrah. Working for Deutsche Welle, the team accompanied the band on their tour around the world over the next few years. In the resulting documentary, “Forever and a Day” the rockers reflect on their unparalleled careers and let viewers in on a secret: They don’t really want to stop.

These guys are passionate about what they do – and they didn’t sell 100 million records without working hard. It was particularly in the 70s and 80s they that established themselves globally with hard rock standards like “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “Big City Nights,” and ballads like “Holiday” and “Still Loving You.”

Scorpions in the 1970s, Copyright: picture-alliance/KPA

It was in the 70s that the Scorpions rose to fame - first in Germany, then abroad

From garage band to headliner

In the film, lead singer Klaus Meine and guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs recall their highlights from half a century on the road together, and film director Katja von Garnier weaves together entertaining anecdotes with historical film footage.

Right from the start, Schenker makes it clear that success didn't just fall into the Scorpions' laps. It all came down to discipline and determination. The five-some set their sights high - despite resistance from advisors, labels and promoters, and managed to play their way through Germany, then Europe and Asia - ultimately landing as headliners at top American festivals.

Every success story is strewn with setbacks, and the Scorpions are no exception. In 1981, for example, Klaus Meine lost his voice when they were recording the album "Blackout." For the next 10 months, it wasn't clear whether he would be able to sing again and even considered throwing in the towel. But Rudolf Schenker kept the group together and Meine went through a complicated vocal chord therapy.

The Scorpions at a 1989 concert in Moscow, Copyright: picture-alliance/I. Mikhalev/RIA Novosti

The voice of change: The Scorpions at a 1989 concert in Moscow

Soundtrack to German reunification

Hardly a decade later, the Scorpions released their biggest hit of all time, "Wind of Change," which would become the anthem of German reunification.

Nevertheless, the 90s were not a particularly success decade for the group, but things picked up again in the 00s with live gigs and a broadening fan base outside of Germany.

At home, the band was often belittled as macho hard rockers, though their image in Germany has improved over the past two decades.

The price of life on the road

With things going so well, why do the Scorpions want to bow out now? You'll have to watch "Forever and a Day" to find the full answer. But one thing is clear: Their lives on the road have come with a personal price.

Watch video 04:58

Scorpions film 'Forever And A Day' premieres in Berlin

One particularly moving moment in the documentary is a drive through Paris in a limousine. Klaus Meine and his wife Gabi talk about how challenging it can be to harmonize a private life with a high-powered music career. Even though the singer had a secure home life for years, he painfully feels the consequences of his career choice.

"Gabi is right when she says, 'Now we can do something nice together, but you left your energy on the street and I only get the leftovers,'" says the rocker. While the disappointment can be felt, the couple also seem to have a deep sense of understanding for each other.

Watch video 04:04

Scorpions' newest album: 'Return to Forever'

Rock concerts instead of retirement

The plans for their grand finale included their 17th studio album, “Sting in the Tail,” and a three-year world tour. The album became one of the bands most successful; the farewell tour was a triumph. They couldn’t stay away for long. In 2013, the Scorpions announced their comeback. In the summer of that year, the group performed two acoustic sets in the Lycabettus theater in Athens. That performance resulted in “Scorpions – MTV Unplugged,” and was swiftly followed by a tour of Germany.  In February 2015, to celebrate their 50th anniversary, the band released a new album titled “Return To Forever.”  The Scorpions kept on performing on the world’s biggest stages throughout 2016. Their “2016 World Tour” started in September.

Despite the band’s latest projects, what’s portrayed in the film is in no way outdated. It’s rather a revealing contribution to the Scorpions’ ongoing story. The 100-minute film shows that at the beginning, they truly believed that they were embarking on their last series of concerts. Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker, both in their mid-60s, put the pedal to the metal for their “Farewell Tour.”

Fans of all ages then celebrated the band and their music with such enthusiasm that the German rockers realized they simply had to keep going. The images of the concerts and the special moments of the tour are so spectacular that at the end of the movie, one thing is clear: Stopping isn’t an option for the Scorpions. “Forever and a Day” rather makes you want to shout: Encore.

The documentary will be aired on DW in two parts on October 9 and 16 and will be available on dw.com afterwards. 

 

Broadcasting Hours:
 

Part 1:

DW


SUN 09.10.2016 – 19:15 UTC
MON 10.10.2016 – 01:15 UTC
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DW (Amerika)

MON 10.10.2016 – 09:15 UTC

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Part 2:

DW


SUN 16.10.2016 – 19:15 UTC
MON 17.10.2016 – 01:15 UTC
MON 17.10.2016 – 15:15 UTC
WED 19.10.2016 – 05:15 UTC
THU 28.10.2016 – 03:15 UTC

Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3
Delhi UTC +5,5 | Bangkok UTC +7 | Hong Kong UTC +8
London UTC +1 | Berlin UTC +2 | Moscow UTC +3
San Francisco UTC -7 | Edmonton UTC -6 | New York UTC -4

SUN 30.10.2016 – 09:15 UTC

Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3
Delhi UTC +5,5 | Bangkok UTC +7 | Hong Kong UTC +8
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San Francisco UTC -7 | Edmonton UTC -6 | New York UTC -4

DW (Amerika)

MON 17.10.2016 – 09:15 UTC

Vancouver UTC -7 | New York UTC -4 | Sao Paulo UTC -2

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