10 episodes

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.

Wind of Change Pineapple Street Studios / Crooked Media / Spotify

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 3.9K Ratings

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.

    My Friend Michael

    My Friend Michael

    LANGLEY, VIRGINIA, 2011:
    The Scorpions’ song “Wind of Change” became the soundtrack to the end of the Cold War. But decades later, New Yorker investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor from a trusted source: the Scorpions didn’t write the song. The CIA did.
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    • 45 min
    You Call It An Operation, We Call It A Performance

    You Call It An Operation, We Call It A Performance

    KYIV, UKRAINE, 2019: Patrick flies to Ukraine and witnesses how fully the political message of “Wind of Change” still resonates with fans at a Scorpions show in Kyiv. Plus: what does the CIA say when you come right out and ask about the agency’s connection to the band?
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    • 47 min
    America’s Secret Weapon

    America’s Secret Weapon

    LAGOS, NIGERIA, 1961: One of America’s most beloved singers died without ever knowing that during the Cold War she had been used by the CIA. And a 40-year-old mystery resurfaces: when the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was picked to tour behind the Iron Curtain in 1977, was an undercover CIA officer planted among their entourage?
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    • 45 min
    The KGB Rock Club

    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.
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    • 47 min
    I Follow The Moskva

    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.
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    • 42 min
    The Doctor Is In

    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.
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    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
3.9K Ratings

3.9K Ratings

chimplife ,

Love this

I thought this pod was amazing! Super interesting and I've been searching for one like it, but cant find any as good. Thanks so much!

I_don_even_lyk_apple ,

Riveting zeitgeist… shamefully bad journalism

Michael and Patrick, who drive this podcast, opt to take an unscrupulous “all or nothing” approach to the claim motivating the investigation. They dodge around the simplest answers, discounting degrees of separation and “telephone game” in a way that suggests the podcast’s producers are breathing down their backs. After all, if they don’t, how will the producers fill the runtime and connect to all the cool research into espionage? This is a riveting podcast saved by the sweetness of Eastern-Bloc metal-heads and the wit of CIA spooks and their collaborators. Episode two’s opening alone is a tearjerker. It is dragged down by by the men trying to bridge the two. Editing may be at fault for making Patrick seem so bad; all of his threads turn into dead ends, hearsay, or half-remembered notions. In showcasing them, the podcast highlights the moment he taints his witnesses. He’s not some amateur, so his time is valuable; they needed some return-of-investment for this series of nothing-burgers. Michael, on the other hand, comes across as a blusterer, a big talker so used to being at the right place at the right time that he’s unqualified to judge coincidence. He drags his easily-influenced reporter-friend into a rabbit-hole cultivated by his baseless self-assurance. I just hope people don’t take this as a journalistic bellweather. This isn’t what good investigation looks like. Good investigation involves doubt and skepticism, but this podcast uses it at every wrong juncture. It lives on casting aspersions on the notion that West-German rockers, no matter how flamboyant, would actually write about something that deeply affects them. Performers are people too!

postwaste ,

It gets weirder and weirder.

Convoluted, entertaining story. Half conspiracy theory, half investigative journalism. I don’t know what I believe.

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