Kingdom Come planning reunion with Lenny Wolf before James Kottak called back to Scorpions
Kingdom Come and former Scorpions drummer James Kottak was recently interviewed by Ruben Mosqueda for KNAC and spoke about Kingdom Come reuniting without band founder and lead vocalist Lenny Wolf for the band’s 30th year anniversary of the release of the group’s self-titled debut album.
In terms of how Kottak was able to strike a deal to use the Kingdom Come name without Wolf, the drummer stated (with slight edits):
“I started talking to Lenny as far back as 2008 about doing Kingdom Come again. Scorpions were winding down and I began to plan for what happened after the tour ended. So we released Sting In The Tail shortly thereafter, we announced a ‘farewell tour’ and we were going to go around the world and say goodbye to all our fans. And we did for a close to three years! [laughs] So fast forward a few years and Lenny, the rest of the guys and I get back together, we talk, we rehearse, we had dinner together, things are going great! Then I get a call from Scorpions’ management saying, “James, we know you’re doing Planet Rock, Kottak and Kingdom Come. Can you not do that? We have decided not to say farewell and Scorpions will be doing another album and tour.” The good news was that we went into the studio and we did Return To Forever and another three years of touring. My allegiance was to Scorpions and I pulled the plug on everything else that I was working on, including Kingdom Come. I wasn’t happy about that, but that’s how it goes. In that time, Lenny decided to retire from music and he’s living in Hamburg, Germany and enjoying life. We’re friends, we still talk and we’ll see each other again soon, I’m sure.”
With respect to how Kottak first joined Kingdom Come, he stated: “This was in ‘87. I had this agent that would pair musicians up with bands. She mentioned that Kingdom Come were looking for a drummer. I had moved to L.A. and she had asked me what work I had done recently. I mentioned that I had just done an album with Ronnie Montrose. I mentioned that there were songs on full rotation on KNAC! I auditioned and there was what appeared to be a parking lot full of drummers out there! [laughs] In the end Lenny [Wolf] and I really hit it off.
That’s how it got started, then we added guitarist Danny Stag and then bassist Johnny B. Frank. Derek Shulman from Polygram Records came out to see us play and he offered us a deal on the spot! Two months after that, we were in the studio in Vancouver [B.C.] with Bob Rock, who everyone knows from his work with Mötley Crüe and Metallica, but his first production job was Kingdom Come.”
You can read the rest of the interview with James Kottak at KNAC.