The 1990 hit “Wind of Change” is one of the Scorpions’ most iconic songs—and it has over 247 million streams on Spotify to prove it. But what if the track wasn’t actually written by the German metal band? What if it were actually written by the CIA as Cold War propaganda?
After hearing that rumor a decade ago, New York Times bestselling author and investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe decided to seek out the truth. But what he uncovered was more than just the Scorpions’ mysterious ties. In fact, that was only the beginning. Patrick navigates everything—from spy missions to a maze full of government secrets—all on the new podcast Wind of Change.
Produced by Pineapple Street Studios, Crooked Media, and Spotify, the eight-part series follows Patrick’s 10-year investigation into the rumor. Through interviews with former CIA officers and musicians, on-the-ground-reporting, and more, he ultimately traces 70 years of the U.S. government’s meddling in music.
Some of the questions asked (and answered) include: How did Louis Armstrong help the U.S. government influence Africa during the Cold War? What was Doc McGhee, who aided in one of the U.S.’s largest drug busts, doing managing Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Scorpions? When Nina Simone played Lagos, Nigeria, in 1961, did she know that the organization that sponsored her trip was actually a front for the CIA?
And why did the Scorpions, whose lyrics were often suggestive and about partying, suddenly release a revolutionary political ballad?
Find out on Wind of Change.
Binge the entire eight-episode series available now on Spotify.