Scorpions with Bon Jovi
Bands: Scorpions with Bon Jovi
Venue: The Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA
Date: April 1984
The Scorpions were really the first band that I remember getting obsessive about. And before you get to thinking that I had built a shrine to lead singer Klaus Meine or that I had wall to wall posters of lead guitarist Mathias Jabs adorning my room or that I owned drummer Herman Rarebell’s solo album, allow me to clarify what I mean by the word obsessive. Starting with Blackout and Love at First Sting, I began collecting every Scorpions album that existed. I picked up Animal Magnetism and Lovedrive (both the American version and the naughty and gummy original European release), as well as all the half dozen or so earlier albums. I was so into the band that my friend Roger Arbelbide bought me Lonesome Crow, the available as an import only debut album, for my birthday one year. And yes, I did, and still do, own Herman Ze German’s solo album.
So, needless to say, when I read in the Sunday Pink section (of the SF Chronicle) that the Scorpions were coming to town with some band called Bon Jovi, I was so going to that show.
All I knew about Bon Jovi at the time was what I vividly recall hearing some random caller to a local radio station say about how they should change their name to Bon Gerbil because the singer looked like a small rodent. All appearances aside, I was impressed enough by their short set to go out and purchase their debut album the very next day.
I remember the Scorpions played nearly every song that I wanted to hear that night. In fact, if you give their World Wide Live album a spin, you would have a very good idea of the quality of the show I witnessed.
As much as I enjoyed both bands that evening, the real action happened on the ride home. Since my mom had dropped Roger and I off at the Cow Palace earlier, Roger’s dad, Pascal, picked us up to drive us home. Apparently, Pascal had been hitting the wine a little bit hard that night because he drove us the ten miles or so home on the freeway at a slow and steady rate of twenty-five miles per hour. To make matters worse, he kept turning around to face me and ask me how it was that I was able to get good grades when Roger couldn’t. Over and over again. I will never forget saying, “I don’t know, sir,” repeatedly to his question as cars whizzed past us on the left.