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xml [LEMONS]



The ferry boat we took from Krabi to Ko Chang was a big modern boat, equally at home in the San Francisco Bay as in Thailand. (Although in San Francisco there would have been more Asians and fewer white people aboard.) Onboard were four TV sets, all of which were playing a DVD of a live concert by German uberrockers, The Scorpians.

Now, if you had asked me, I would have told you that the Scorps had disbanded sometime during the early years of grunge, mourning the long gone days of hair metal and power ballads. I assumed the dwindled into obscurity, rocking like a light breeze. Or a slightly overcast day with an outside chance of scattered showers.

I would have been wrong.

The Scorps are huge in Thailand. Massive. You hear them all over the place. On the bus. In the market. In bars and cafes. Thor (a guide in Khao Sok National Park) was way into them, as were his friends. At night they'd sit around listening to the same live album (which looked relatively recently recorded) that was playing on the boat. I've seen several young Thai men sporting Scorps T-shirts; all black, natch. Go figure.

Moreover, the Scorps are not just the German language version of Quiet Riot I remember from my youth. No, these are kinder, gentler Scorpians, more likely to whisper sweet nothings in your ear (and then run off to go do a line in the bathroom) than to sting. Gone is the hurricane rocking, replaced by the alt-PowerBallad.

Today they're more like the German language version of Spinal Tap. Old farts in new hair. Two drummers. Lead guitarist who switches instruments after every song, breaking out both the Flying V, and the double neck 6/12 string combo. Acoustic Flying V and double neck 6/12 string combo. Soul patches all around, boys. Don't skimp on the hair gel.

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