It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall just fell. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. And the soundtrack to the revolution is one of the best selling songs of all time, the metal ballad “Wind of Change,” by the Scorpions.
Decades later, journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor: the song wasn’t written by the Scorpions. It was written by the CIA. This is his journey to find the truth.
Wind of Change is an Original Series from Pineapple Street Studios, Crooked Media and Spotify.
Out Now: Bonus Episodes
Thanks for listening to Wind of Change. We’ve made two additional episodes of the show — a pair of stories that we couldn’t fit into the main season of the podcast, but are so wild we had to share them with you. Both episodes are only available exclusively on Spotify.
The first one is available right now. It’s called "The Love Song of Joanna Stingray." And next Monday, July 13, we’ll drop another episode, called "Rocking Venezuela."
HANOVER, GERMANY, 2020: There is one last person Patrick needs to ask about “Wind of Change.” At a small hotel in sleepy Hanover, Germany, it is time to confront Klaus Meine about his biggest hit.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, 2019: On a boat ride down the Moskva River, Patrick starts to fear that this entire podcast could itself be CIA propaganda. Or worse, Ksenia, his Russian fixer points out: propaganda by the successors to the KGB.
The Doctor Is In
CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1982: The Scorpions’ manager Doc McGhee has a secret past: he played a role in one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history, working with a smuggling ring that included CIA asset (and Panamanian dictator) Manuel Noriega. Nearly everyone went to prison. But Doc didn’t serve a day. Patrick heads to Naples, Florida, to find out why Doc threw a rock festival in Moscow instead of going to prison.
I Follow The Moskva
MOSCOW, USSR, 1989: Klaus Meine, the lead singer of the Scorpions, has said for 30 years that the Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989 inspired him to write “Wind of Change.” Bon Jovi, booze, Ozzy Osbourne, cocaine, fireworks, fist fights, the KGB -- Patrick takes you step by step through the wildest music festival in Russian history. But something about the concert doesn’t add up.
The KGB Rock Club
LENINGRAD, USSR, 1988: Patrick finds another person who has told an eerily similar story about the Scorpions and the CIA. But he won’t answer emails, so Patrick travels to a GI Joe convention in Dayton, Ohio to try to make contact. Plus, a former CIA clandestine officer suggests there may be other musical acts still collaborating with the agency.
I am always on the lookout of a great podcast and that one is one definitely in my top 3 podcast I’ve heard in 2020.
Mindblowing and absolutely worth your time, even if very US-centric
Great podcast, so many facts I have had no idea about! The only thing that I found jarring was an occasional and funny very, very American-centric perspective. How come a song that was not well known in US could become a cult hit for millions of people in another part of the world and they even know the lyrics many years later?
Country music is huge only in your country, just saying...