According to The National, SCORPIONS drummer James Kottak will spend a month in a Dubai, United Arab Emirates jail after he was convicted on Tuesday morning of insulting Islam.
The 51-year-old American musician had reportedly consumed five glasses of wine on an April 3 flight from Moscow to Dubai while travelling to Bahrain on a Gulf Air flight to perform two days later at the country's Formula One grand prix. After taking a wrong turn and entering the transit hall, Kottak "started swearing and talking about 'non-educated Muslims' before he flashed his middle finger at passengers," according to witnesses. Police said he also lowered his trousers and showed people his behind.
An officer said he heard Kottak saying "what is this disgusting smell" before the drummer insulted Islam. "I didn't see anything else but I heard him," the officer said. "I then informed my supervisor, who came and took the defendant away."
A 27-year-old client service employee at the airport added: "When he [Kottak] saw the Pakistani and Afghani passengers, he covered his nose and said that there was no way he will travel with them." He added that the drummer then started swearing repeatedly at the arrivals area of Terminal 2. "He wasn't talking to a person specifically but was talking in general," the client service employee said. "He was very nervous at the time and talking loudly."
A 25-year-old Jordanian passenger services agent said Kottak came over to her and "was shouting 'non-educated Muslims' then he went to the office of the head and flashed his middle finger at the passengers."
Kottak denied that he insulted Islam, telling prosecutors: "I don't remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger." He also denied taking down his trousers, saying: "This is not true — I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back" as a "spontaneous act." "There is no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not," he said.
"I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them," he added.
In addition to spending one month in jail, Kottak — who has been in custody since April 3 — was fined 2,000 dirhams (approximately $545) for drinking alcohol without a license.
Kottak's time spent in detention will be deducted from his sentence.
Because of his arrest, Kottak did not perform with his bandmates at the April 5 show at the 2014 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix and was replaced at the gig by Mark Cross (TAINTED NATION, FIREWIND, OUTLOUD, HELLOWEEN, METALLIUM).
In a 2005 interview, Kottak, who has been in the SCORPIONS since 1996, stated about his audition for the band: "I was always a SCORPIONS fan for the songs on the radio because in America they played them non-stop. I was never the guy that went out and bought their records but I always liked their songwriting and the songs and the whole vibe. Then I was in a band called KINGDOM COME in 1987-1990 and we opened for the SCORPIONS and I saw them and they were so professional on the Monsters Of Rock tour, [and] I was totally blown away. But I never went out and bought their albums, I never went out and bought any other albums either. I was a fan of all music — good or bad. It was on the radio so much, I didn't need to buy it. I spent all my money buying drums, drumsticks and cymbals. In the audition, I knew most of the SCORPIONS music from playing in cover bands. I'm from Louisville, Kentucky. That's how I earned my money in the early '80s — we played 'Still Loving You', 'Rock You Like a Hurricane', 'Big City Nights'. The flattering point with the SCORPIONS [was] when I did fly to Germany for the 'audition,' it wasn't so much an audition, more like, 'Let's get together and see how it feels.' So, I was very flattered about that because they did audition
SCORPIONS guitarist Matthias Jabs revealed in an interview with Classic Rock Revisited that his band is recording a cover version of RAINBOW's "Temple Of The King" for inclusion on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute album. The collection, which is being assembled by the singer's widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio, will also tentatively include contributions from METALLICA, ANTHRAX, JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford, MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy Kilmister, DEEP PURPLE's Ian Gillan, Alice Cooper, Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH), HALESTORM, Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW), Chris Jericho (FOZZY) and Dave Grohl (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS).
"I'm letting them pick what songs they wanna do in the way they wanna do it," Wendy told Artisan News in 2011.
The Dio tribute album will see Grohl covering BLACK SABBATH's "The Mob Rules", Halford contributing a version of RAINBOW's "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll" and HALESTORM delivering a rendition of DIO's "Straight Through The Heart".
"We reached out to Wendy Dio about wanting to be a part of the Dio tribute that's getting put together," METALLICA singer James Hetfield told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine. "We're very honored to be a part of that, and to be a part of a celebration of Ronnie's life and his great contribution, man."
In an interview with Guitar International, former ANTHRAX guitarist Rob Caggiano stated that the band's cover version of "Neon Knights" "came out pretty smoking."
Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own band DIO, died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.
SCORPIONS fans worldwide can click here to check out the exclusive worldwide premiere of the brand new live performance video for "Holiday" on USAToday.com. The never-before-seen (or heard) video is taken from the beautifully orchestrated stripped-down concerts that became the SCORPIONS' forthcoming CD/DVD and Blu-ray release, "MTV Unplugged", but does not appear on any configuration of the releases.
Due in North America on January 21, 2014 via Sony International, material for SCORPIONS' "MTV Unplugged" is taken from the band's first-ever "MTV Unplugged" show and features new acoustic versions of best-loved classic hits, as well as five brand new songs. "MTV Unplugged" will be available in two formats — a standard CD and a deluxe version featuring CD + DVD. "MTV Unplugged" will be released in 50 countries, a testament to the German band's iconic status worldwide.
Recorded and filmed just a few months ago on September 11 and September 12 of last year, "MTV Unplugged" was culled from two dynamic acoustic sets at the Lycabettus Theatre in Athens, Greece. The spectacular open-air theatre, situated 300 meters above the city, was an impressive backdrop for the first-ever open-air show in the history of "MTV Unplugged" (the theatre also shares a birth year with the SCORPIONS themselves, having been built in 1965, the same year the SCORPIONS formed). Of the choice to film/record "MTV Unplugged" at the Lycabettus Theatre, SCORPIONS' singer/guitarist Klaus Meine commented, "We have fabulous fans all over the world, but the Greeks are absolute die-hards fans."
SCORPIONS is Klaus Meine (vocals/guitar), Rudolf Schenker (guitars/vocals), Matthias Jabs (guitars), Pawel Maciwoda (bass) and James Kottak (drums); additional musical support on "MTV Unplugged" includes contributions from Swedish musicians and producers Mikael Nord Andersson (guitars, mandolin, lap steel, vocals) and Martin Hansen (guitars, harmonica, vocals). The duo is also responsible for the arrangements on "MTV Unplugged".
"MTV Unplugged" track listing:
01. Sting In The Tail
02. Can't Live Without You
03. The Best Is Yet To Come
04. Dancing With The Moonlight (new song)
05. Delicate Dance - new song
06. Love Is The Answer (new song)
07. Follow Your Heart (new song)
08. Send Me An Angel
09. Where The River Flows
10. Rock You Like A Hurricane
12. Still Loving You
13. Big City Nights
14. Wind Of Change
15. No One Like You
01. Sting In The Tail
02. Can't Live Without You
03. Pictured Life
04. Speedy's Coming
05. Born To Touch Your Feelings
06. The Best Is Yet To Come
07. Dancing With The Moonlight (new song)
08. In Trance
09. When You Came Into My Life
10. Delicate Dance - new song
11. Love Is The Answer (new song)
12. Follow Your Heart (new song)
13. Send Me An Angel
14. Where The River Flows
15. Passion Rules The Game
16. Rock You Like A Hurricane
17. Hit Between The Eyes
19. Rock N' Roll Band (new song)
21. Still Loving You
22. Big City Nights
23. Wind Of Change
24. No One Like You
25. When The Smoke Is Going Down
SCORPIONS are still in the midst of their epic farewell world tour; the tour has been going on for more than three years now. To the delight of their fans there is no end in sight, as to date the band has only played 23 out of the 38 countries planned on the itinerary.
SCORPIONS is one of the most successful international hard rock bands of all time, selling upwards of 75 million records worldwide and playing more than 5,000 concerts in 80+ countries globally. Formed in Germany in 1965, the band has come to be known for its colossal radio and MTV hits "Rock You Like A Hurricane", "No One Like You" and "Wind Of Change", as well as their status as international rock ambassadors. VH1 ranked the SCORPIONS as the #46 Artist on the "Greatest Artists Of Hard Rock" special, while "Rock You Like A Hurricane" came in at #18 on VH1's "Greatest Hard Rock Songs". The band recently received a star on the Hollywood RockWalk in Los Angeles. To date, SCORPIONS have released 18 studio albums and 5 live records.
Audio Fidelity will release an SACD (Super Audio CD) version of SCORPIONS's classic 1982 album "Blackout" later in the year.
"Blackout" is SCORPIONS' eighth studio album, released in 1982 on EMI and Mercury.
After losing his voice during the writing of the album, SCORPIONS lead vocalist Klaus Meine had to undergo surgery on his vocal cords and it was uncertain whether he would be able to record it. Demos of the material were recorded with Don Dokken as vocalist; however none of those recordings are featured on the album.
Rudolf Schenker could not choose between his guitar solos on "China White", so the U.S. and European releases differed in this small detail.
A self-portrait of artist Gottfried Helnwein is featured on the cover of the album. Rudolf Schenker portrays this character in the "No One Like You" music video. Shirts with this album artwork on them are amongst the most popular SCORPIONS t-shirts.
The RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) certified "Blackout" gold on June 24, 1982 and platinum on March 8, 1984.