It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall just fell. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. And the soundtrack to the revolution is one of the best selling songs of all time, the metal ballad “Wind of Change,” by the Scorpions. Decades later, journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor: the song wasn’t written by the Scorpions. It was written by the CIA. This is his journey to find the truth. Wind of Change is an Original Series from Pineapple Street Studios, Crooked Media and Spotify.

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Introducing Dreamtown: The Story of Adelanto

June 07, 2023 0:33:29 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

Chapter 1: Bug’s Plan. It’s 2014. Adelanto is a bankrupt city in the California desert known for its massive detention centers and not much else. Then, a stranger comes to town with a wild idea to make Adelanto great again: Become the first city in Southern California to legalize commercial weed cultivation. Subscribe to Dreamtown to hear episode two right now, wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Bonus #3 - Scorpions Live from New York | Fundraiser For Ukraine

October 11, 2022 0:19:44 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

When Patrick Radden Keefe heard that the Scorpions were coming to town last month, he knew he had to go to the show. So he called his friend Michael, his source for the original CIA conspiracy theory, and they headed to UBS Arena on Long Island, microphones in hand. Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, the song Wind of Change has taken on new meaning -- and new lyrics, courtesy of lead-singer Klaus Meine. Patrick wanted to feel first hand how the powerful ballad of hope sounded in this new context of Russian aggression.  We're also raising funds for medical supplies in Ukraine and encourage you to join us in giving to United24. The link is here: This episode was recorded in late September. Given the recent attacks in Ukraine we especially encourage you to donate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Special Preview: "Rogues" by Patrick Radden Keefe

July 21, 2022 0:10:28 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

Patrick has a new book that's just out, Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks. It's twelve strange but true stories of skulduggery and intrigue. Listen to an exclusive excerpt from the audiobook, narrated by Patrick, about the flamboyant, un-catchable arms trafficker known as the Prince of Marbella. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

An Avocado Revolution | Introducing 544 Days

October 14, 2021 0:29:18 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

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Out Now: Bonus Episodes

July 06, 2020 0:01:30 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

Thanks for listening to Wind of Change. We’ve made two additional episodes of the show — a pair of stories that we couldn’t fit into the main season of the podcast, but are so wild we had to share them with you. Both episodes are only available exclusively on Spotify. The first one is available right now. It’s called "The Love Song of Joanna Stingray." And next Monday, July 13, we’ll drop another episode, called "Rocking Venezuela." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

8. Hello, Klaus

June 29, 2020 0:51:24 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

HANOVER, GERMANY, 2020: There is one last person Patrick needs to ask about “Wind of Change.” At a small hotel in sleepy Hanover, Germany, it is time to confront Klaus Meine about his biggest hit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

7. Rorschach

June 22, 2020 0:46:48 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

MOSCOW, RUSSIA, 2019: On a boat ride down the Moskva River, Patrick starts to fear that this entire podcast could itself be CIA propaganda. Or worse, Ksenia, his Russian fixer points out: propaganda by the successors to the KGB. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

6. The Doctor Is In

June 15, 2020 0:58:35 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1982: The Scorpions’ manager Doc McGhee has a secret past: he played a role in one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history, working with a smuggling ring that included CIA asset (and Panamanian dictator) Manuel Noriega. Nearly everyone went to prison. But Doc didn’t serve a day. Patrick heads to Naples, Florida, to find out why Doc threw a rock festival in Moscow instead of going to prison. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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5. I Follow The Moskva

June 08, 2020 0:42:52 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

MOSCOW, USSR, 1989: Klaus Meine, the lead singer of the Scorpions, has said for 30 years that the Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989 inspired him to write “Wind of Change.” Bon Jovi, booze, Ozzy Osbourne, cocaine, fireworks, fist fights, the KGB -- Patrick takes you step by step through the wildest music festival in Russian history. But something about the concert doesn’t add up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

4. The KGB Rock Club

June 01, 2020 0:47:09 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

LENINGRAD, USSR, 1988: Patrick finds another person who has told an eerily similar story about the Scorpions and the CIA. But he won’t answer emails, so Patrick travels to a GI Joe convention in Dayton, Ohio to try to make contact. Plus, a former CIA clandestine officer suggests there may be other musical acts still collaborating with the agency. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

3. America’s Secret Weapon

May 25, 2020 0:45:12 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

LAGOS, NIGERIA, 1961: One of America’s most beloved singers died without ever knowing that during the Cold War she had been used by the CIA. And a 40-year-old mystery resurfaces: when the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was picked to tour behind the Iron Curtain in 1977, was an undercover CIA officer planted among their entourage? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

2. You Call It An Operation, We Call It A Performance

May 18, 2020 0:47:08 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

KYIV, UKRAINE, 2019: Patrick flies to Ukraine and witnesses how fully the political message of “Wind of Change” still resonates with fans at a Scorpions show in Kyiv. Plus: what does the CIA say when you come right out and ask about the agency’s connection to the band? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

1. My Friend Michael

May 11, 2020 0:45:17 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

LANGLEY, VIRGINIA, 2011: The Scorpions’ song “Wind of Change” became the soundtrack to the end of the Cold War. But decades later, New Yorker investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor from a trusted source: the Scorpions didn’t write the song. The CIA did. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Wind of Change, coming May 11

April 25, 2020 0:03:39 0.0 MB Downloads: 0

A power ballad helped bring down the Soviet Union. Was it written by the CIA? Journalist Patrick Radden Keefe investigates the secret history of Cold War espionage and heavy metal. Wind Of Change is an Original Series from Pineapple Street Studios, Crooked Media and Spotify. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit