Last night, my wife and I had dinner with three other couples. I was high school classmates with all three of the guys, and we have attended countless concerts together – and have seen the Scorpions at least, oh, 395 times. Even before we had a chance to properly greet each other at one of the few decent non-chain restaurants in Janesville, Wis., my buddy Scott started making plans to see the Scorps on their farewell tour, which officially commences in Germany on May 7 and will take the band to five different continents "over the next few years." (The Scorps' final album, Sting in the Tail drops later this month.)
But then Scott mentioned possibly bringing along his son, who is in fourth grade and a classic-rock fan who apparently worships Journey and Def Leppard equally. Craig was the first to shake his head in disagreement, followed by Tim and then me. Sure, we would be sharing the sting with a younger generation – one that, God willing, will end up despising the Auto-Tune culture as much as we do.
On the other hand, though, this momentous occasion represents the end of an era – not only for the Scorps but for the four of us, who spent lazy summer days on Lake Tichigan playing air guitar to "The Zoo" in Scott's parents' boat, crazy spring nights camping outside Mainstream Records in Milwaukee in order to get crappy lawn-seat tickets for the first stop on 1988's Monsters of Rock tour and slow-dancing with our women to "Still Lovin' You" at my wedding reception after I finally convinced my bride Lisa that people would appreciate hearing something other than Marc Cohn's "True Companion" at a wedding. (We played that one, too.)
I would love for my buddies and I to take my 13-year-old daughter (when she grows out of her Justin Bieber phase, that is) and any of their kids to any other rock show. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that we need to attend this farewell tour on our own. The Scorpions are sacred.