Monday, December 24, 2007

Here I am ...

You remember the Scorpions, right? They had a few hits back in the '80s ... they rocked you like a hurricane, etc. Well, of all the songs they managed to crank none had the effect of "Wind of Change," which managed to capture the zeitgeist of nearly an entire continent following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Say what you will about the aesthetic qualities of the song but the folks in former communist countries have a genuine attachment to this power ballad, especially in Russia. Russians everywhere love this song regardless of what kind of music they prefer. There's really nothing to compare it to here in America.

The song was seen as a symbol for the hope and optimism many Russians felt following the dissolution of the Soviet Union so reading this is absolutely shocking:

It is a rock ballad inseparable in the popular consciousness from the collapse of the Communist bloc.

But when Klaus Meine, lead singer of the Scorpions, sang "Wind of Change" at the Kremlin Palace on Thursday night, listening front and center was the man who has called the Soviet breakup the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century."

President Vladimir Putin was among scores of former KGB and current Federal Security Service officers watching the German hard rock band perform for Security Services Day, which commemorates the Bolshevik founding of the secret police 90 years ago.

I really can't emphasize enough just how odd this is. It would be like Bob Dylan singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to Richard Nixon circa 1970.

By the way, Putin will be producing his own instructional judo DVD out now soon. That sure as hell beats beats the traditional boring old political memoir any day.

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