HERMAN RAREBELL Interview Page 2
By Bob Nalbandian
SW: Let's go back to when you first joined the Scorpions. On older albums like "Taken By Force" and "Love Drive" you actually wrote many lyrics, which was unusual for a drummer at the time. The lyrics you wrote to songs like "He's A Woman, She's A Man" and "Another Piece Of Meat" were somewhat groundbreaking - this was back in the late '70s and I can't recall many bands writing such blatant sexual-oriented lyrics - this was before Van Halen and all the '80s metal bands that later capitalized on writing sex-inspired lyrics. You had songwriters like Bon Scott and Robert Plant before you with many sexual innuendos in their lyrics, but nothing as blatant as some of your lyrics back then!
HR: "Another Piece Of Meat" I wrote in England, I lived in England for over 6 years, in fact I met the Scorpions in 1977 when they played the Marquee Club in London. They were looking for a drummer and I auditioned with the band the very next day and got the gig. On our first visit to Japan I saw a big Kickboxing fight, and that inspired me to write the song "Another Piece Of Meat". It originally was not about a woman, it was about how the fighters are treated there, they become just another piece of meat. But it has a double-meaning, it's also about this girl who took me back to her room and she said to me, "I'll f**k your brains out, for me, you're just another piece of meat." The song "He's A Woman, She's A Man" was written about a situation that occurred in Paris. We saw a real transvestite, which appeared to be a great-looking woman but we later found out it was a man. She, or actually he, told us before we wanted to take he/she away. Those songs were inspired from the road and I guess in those days it was a little bit harder to get away with sexual lyrics. In those days it was quite revolutionary, but nowadays if you use the word "f**k" nobody even thinks about it twice. It has become part of our daily language.
SW: Also revolutionary were some of the Scorpions album covers, done by Hypgnosis, many of which were banned here in the U.S. When "Love Drive" first came out here, they had to put red wrapping around the album to hide the cover artwork [which I consider the greatest album cover ever! The label eventually changed the cover but the original cover is now available on CD] and the original artwork for "Virgin Killer" was never available here in the states [only as a Japanese import]. Those album covers were very hardcore for the late '70s! Did you have a lot of influence on that artwork?
HR: Yes. In my days living in England I became close friends with some of the people from the designing company Hipgnosis, one of the designers was a guy named Storm, you probably seen many of his covers, from the Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here"...and this is something we wanted to have with the Scorpions. I remember talking to Storm with Klaus Meine, we just had the departure of our long-time guitarist Uli Roth and were working on a new album, we told Storm we wanted an album cover that was highly sophisticated, classic, but at the same time shocking. And he came up with this great cover for "Love Drive," with the chewing gum. And it became cover of the year for Playboy Magazine in 1979. As you know, the American record company couldn't release it in the normal packaging so they had to put red vinyl wrapping to hide it.
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