Their first steps on the road were more like a crawl. The group started out in a Hanover basement studio in 1971 when [Rudolf Schenker] persuaded his brother Michael and [Klaus Meine] to leave their band Copernicus and form the Scorpions. Michael left, later going on to UFO and a successful solo career. After several other changes, the band settled with its current lineup: Meine, Schenker, Herman Rarebell (drums), Francis Buchholz (bass) and Matthias Jabs (rhythm guitar).
The Scorpions decided that if the doors weren't open for them, they would tear them down. They toured incessantly throughout Europe and Asia in the early and middle 1970s, knocking and rocking louder and harder until they eventually forged a metal alliance with a rock-hungry crowd in Japan. A live album from a successful Far East tour, "Tokyo Tapes" (1978), brought greater acclaim and intrigued an American audience. Finally, in 1979, America opened its doors and ears to the Scorpions and the band toured behind established acts such as Ted Nugent and Journey.
For the Scorpions, selling a lot of albums is less important than playing to a lot of people. While Meine admits that it's nice to have a huge radio hit, such as the unexpected success of their ballad "Still Loving You," he says the fans who come to their shows are the most important part of the Scorpions' rock 'n' roll machine. They've even written at least two songs about their audiences, "Can't Live Without You" and "We Let It Rock ... You Let It Roll."
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