Very moving BBC Radio 4 documentary on Winds of Change how it came to be written, impact on people’s lives, interwoven with East Berlin and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and hopes of people in the Soviet Union.
The documentary meant a lot to me. I recall the Berlin Wall coming down, I was at Checkpoint Charlie in May, walked along a stretch of the Berlin Wall, on the wall opposite in East Berlin a graphic illustration of one daring escape, walked around what was once East Berlin.
At Potsdamer Platz a small section of the Berlin Wall remains.
Also Rudolf Schenker of Scorpions a friend.
Had me in tears.
A pity BBC did not play song in full, spine chilling.
For me chilling to walk along the Berlin Wall, to visit Checkpoint Charlie, though unfortunate Checkpoint Charlie has been turned into a tacky tourist attraction.
The Wall had not come down yet, but it was here, in Moscow, where you could feel everything coming. Gorbachev was bringing glasnost and perestroika! The world was changing. Somehow Klaus picked up on that vibe.
We wanted to get away from this German history. From the Holocaust, from our parents’ generation being at war with all the world. We wanted to be musicians and hopefully join the international family of music. That was one of the reasons for us to sing in English. To leave behind the German history that of course you couldn’t be proud of.
Inspiration for Winds of Change was a peace concert in Moscow, and Perestroika under Mikhail Gorbachev.
Scorpions played Winds of Change for Mikhail Gorbachev at the Royal Albert Hall in London in honour of his 80th birthday.
When the Berlin Wall fell, people across Europe had hope.
Now we have a thuggish state in Russia headed by Vladimir Putin, rise of Fascism across Europe, political show trials in Spain.
There remains a divided city in Europe, Nicosia is divided, the island is divided, following the Turkish invasion and occupation of 1974.
I visited Nicosia in June with a friend, following a meeting with Minster of Tourism (he could not make it and we had productive meeting with a senior official) we had a quick wander in Old Nicosia. Looking down Ledra Street it was surreal, to see a police checkpoint, but could pass though and continue down the street. Around the corner street barricaded off.