The Scorpions appear to have distanced themselves from drummer James Kottak after his arrest and imprisonment in Dubai.
The 51-year-old has been jailed for a month in the United Arab Emirates after getting drunk, cursing Muslims, making an indecent gesture to a group of passengers and removing his pants at the city’s airport.
Now his colleagues say the incident was nothing to do with them directly – and they’ve named his replacement for a series of gigs in their home country of Germany.
A statement says: “Dear fans, when James Kottak arrived in Dubai on April 3, he ran into problems at immigration and got busted. Whatever happened is totally out of our control and we don’t know any details about it at this point. For the concerts in Germany, Johan Franzon, a Swedish drummer, will take James’ seat. Please understand, will we keep you posted.”
A report by UAE newspaper The National says Kottak drank five glasses of wine on a flight from Moscow to Dubai. The newspaper claims that once in the airport, American Kottak started swearing and talking about non-educated Muslims before flashing his middle finger finger at passengers. Police said he also lowered his trousers and cared his backside.
An airport employee is quoted as saying: “When he saw the Pakistani and Afghani passengers, he covered his nose and said that there was no way he will travel with them.”
Kottak told prosecutors: “I don’t remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger.” He also denied taking down his trousers. He said: “This is not true, I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back.”
As well as the one-month jail sentence, Kottak was fined £320 for drinking without a licence.