Former SCORPIONS Drummer: 'After I Left The Band, They Didn't Have Any More Hits'

Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with former SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell. A couple of excerpts follow:

On touring extensively in the States on the strength of "Animal Magnetism":

"We were special guests for TED NUGENT, AC/DC and AEROSMITH. Our opening act was DEF LEPPARD. Rick Allen, the drummer for DEF LEPPARD, was only 16 then. Cliff Davies, TED NUGENT's drummer, and I smuggled him into the clubs every night. He had to show his license and they would stop him but because of our status with the bands they would let him in. We would often end up jamming in the clubs with the local musicians. Touring America was just fantastic. It was paradise for a young man. There was no AIDS then. We got laid every night and we got drunk all the time. They were crazy times. It was what every German boy dreams of when he hears about America. It was like being in a candy store as a child and being told that all the candy is yours. It was a fantastic time. Every time I think back to it I get a big smile on my face."

On recording "Blackout":

"We felt we had to come out with a better album than 'Animal Magnetism' because we knew we had a lot of fans in America and now we wanted to give them the goodies. We knew the album had to go platinum. . . We rented a big, big villa [in Southern France]. We had a recording mobile. All of our instruments were in the living room and Dieter Dirks was out in the mobile recording us. It was fantastic to record in the South of France. You had the atmosphere of the beautiful old villa. You had the normal South of France of life during the day. You could go play sports or go to the swimming pool and there was the wonderful French food. We recorded all the basic tracks there. We recorded all the drums, the rhythm guitars and the bass guitars. Some of the songs were already written but some parts were written there on the spot. Many nights I would sit in the garden at night and write lyrics."

"I was very happy with the songs. When I heard 'Blackout' for the first time, I thought that is was going to really go over in America. In those days, the combination of good music and good lyrics would mean you would have a hit. We had the inspiration to do that. We picked up right from the 'Animal Magnetism' tour and we went right into the studio with all that energy. In our minds we were still in America playing."

On "Blackout"'s commercial success:

"Mercury Records was totally behind us and they believed in us. They wanted us to keep making albums. They wanted us to grow and do better each time out. 'Lovedrive' went gold. 'Animal Magnetism' went gold and then 'Blackout' was the first one to go platinum. Schenker/ Meine/ Rarebell was a great songwriting team. You can see that from how many successful albums we had. After I left the band, they didn't have any more hits."

Read the entire interview at Classic Rock Revisited.

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