Home Artists - L to Z Artists - S Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf

Canadian-American band Steppenwolf was formed by German-born guitarist and singer John Kay (real name, Joachim Fritz Krauledat) in 1967, playing a mixture of rock and blues heavily influenced by Chuck Berry (Kay wrote a song entitled Berry Rides Again).

The hog-loving macho rockers came to prominence in 1969 when their recording of Born To Be Wild was featured extensively in the box-office smash Easy Rider (1969) and became a big US hit. The song references “heavy metal thunder” in the second verse – widely recognised as the first time the phrase “heavy metal” appeared in a song.

They followed up with several more US hit singles: The PusherMagic Carpet RideRock MeMonster and Don’t Step On The Grass Sam. They also clocked up eight US Gold albums.

steppenwolf_023

Steppenwolf split in 1972 after a series of line-up changes, with Kay going solo, and Edmonton and McJohn forming their own group, called Manbeast. Yet two years later they re-formed for a series of concerts before going their own separate ways once again.

John Kay re-formed the group again in 1980 after huge publicity in America found several bogus groups exploiting the name Steppenwolf.

He explained the situation to a journalist at the time: “Various people who had been fired from the band over the years and were unable to make ends meet on their own talents, thought it was a good idea to use the name Steppenwolf – at one time there were three Steppenwolf’s touring the States at once – all cashing in on our success. So, I decided to re-form the original band to put them all out of business once and for all.”

How can anyone take a band seriously who has song-titles like Earschplittenloudenboomer and Hippo Stomp??

Drummer Jerry Edmonton was killed in a motor accident on 28 November 1993.

steppenwolf4

John Kay
Guitar, vocals
Michael Monarch

Guitar
Goldy McJohn

Keyboards
Rushton Moreve

Bass
Jerry Edmonton

Drums, vocals
George Biondo
Bass, vocals
Bobby Cochran
Guitar, vocals
Wayne Cook
Keyboards

Video