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Steppenwolf (band)

For other uses, see Steppenwolf (disambiguation).

Steppenwolf was an American rock band that was prominent from 1968 to 1972. The group was formed in late 1967 in Los Angeles by lead singer John Kay, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, and drummer Jerry Edmonton, all formerly of the Canadian band the Sparrows. Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited via notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores.

Steppenwolf
Steppenwolf in 1970 (L–R: Goldy McJohn, Jerry Edmonton, John Kay, Larry Byrom, George Biondo)
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active
  • 1967–1972
  • 1974–1976
  • 1980–2018
Labels
Associated acts
Websitesteppenwolf.com
Past members

Steppenwolf sold over 25 million records worldwide, released seven gold albums and one platinum album, and had 13 Billboard Hot 100 singles, of which seven were Top 40 hits, including three top 10 successes: "Born to Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride", and "Rock Me". Steppenwolf enjoyed worldwide success from 1968 to 1972, but clashing personalities led to the end of the core lineup. Today, John Kay is the only original member, having been the lead singer since 1967. The band was called John Kay & Steppenwolf from 1980 to 2018.

In 2016, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominated them for induction in 2017. Although they fell short of enough votes to qualify for induction that year, in 2018 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selected one of their biggest singles – 1968's "Born to Be Wild" – as one of the first five singles that shaped rock and roll to be inducted into the hall in its history.

Contents

The Sparrows

In 1965 John Kay joined the Sparrows, a popular Canadian band, and was followed by Goldy McJohn. The group eventually broke up.

Breakthrough, success, and decline (1967–1972)

In late 1967, Gabriel Mekler urged Kay to re-form the Sparrows and suggested the name change to Steppenwolf, inspired by Hermann Hesse's 1927 novel of that name. Steppenwolf's first two singles were "A Girl I Knew" and "Sookie Sookie". The band finally rocketed to worldwide fame after their third single, "Born to Be Wild", was released in 1968, as well as their version of Hoyt Axton's "The Pusher". Both of these tunes were used prominently in the 1969 counterculture cult film Easy Rider (both titles originally had been released on the band's debut album). In the movie, "The Pusher" accompanies a drug deal, and Peter Fonda stuffing dollar bills into his Stars and Stripes-clad fuel tank, after which "Born to Be Wild" is heard in the opening credits, with Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding their Harley choppers through the America of the late 1960s. The song, which has been closely associated with motorcycles ever since, introduced to rock lyrics the signature term "heavy metal" (though not about a kind of music, but about a motorcycle: "I like smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder, racin' with the wind..."). Written by Sparrow guitarist Dennis Edmonton, who had begun using the pen name Mars Bonfire and inspired by a billboard roadside advertisement Bonfire liked which depicted a motorcycle tearing through the billboard artwork, the song had already reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1968. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

In 1968, Steppenwolf played one of their biggest shows up to that time at the Fillmore East to rave reviews, sharing the bill with Buddy Rich and Children of God. On November 27, 1968, they played a concert with Iron Butterfly at the Baltimore Civic Center.

The group's following albums had several more hit singles, including "Magic Carpet Ride" (which reached number three) from The Second and "Rock Me" (with its bridge lasting 1:06, which reached number 10) from At Your Birthday Party. It also sold in excess of a million units. Monster, which questioned US Vietnam War policy, was the band's most political album. Following the Monster album from 1969, the following year, the band released Steppenwolf 7, which included the song "Snowblind Friend", another Hoyt Axton-penned song about the era and attitudes of drugs and associated problems. The band lineup for their live performances in the middle of 1970 was John Kay, Jerry Edmonton, Goldy McJohn, Larry Byrom, and George Biondo. This lineup was also unable to remain together, as Byrom became upset with McJohn over personal issues and quit the band in the early part of 1971.

Several changes in the group's personnel were made after the first few years. Moreve was fired from the group in 1968 for missing gigs after he became afraid to return to Los Angeles, convinced by his girlfriend that it was going to be leveled by an earthquake and fall into the sea. Rob Black briefly filled in for Moreve until former Sparrow bandmate Nick St. Nicholas came aboard in the latter months of 1968. Monarch quit the group in August 1969 as his relationship with Kay deteriorated. Larry Byrom, who had been in TIME with Nick St. Nicholas, ably replaced Monarch. Nick St. Nicholas was let go in mid-1970. He had supposedly appeared in nothing but rabbit ears and a jock strap at the Fillmore East in April 1970 – and his habit of wearing muumuus and kaftans on stage began to wear on Kay, whose penchant for leather vests and pants was more in line with the image he wanted for the band. George Biondo was then recruited, and guitarist Kent Henry replaced Byrom in early 1971. In November 1971, the band released For Ladies Only, with the lineup consisting of Kay, Henry, Biondo, McJohn, and Edmonton. The album was notable for several reasons, most notably the controversial LP inside cover art, the romantic, political, and social lyrical content, and the fact that it featured several of the group members on lead vocals.

Breakup (1972–1973)

The band broke up after a farewell concert in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day, 1972. Kay went on to a brief solo career, scoring a minor solo hit in 1972 with "I'm Movin' On" from his album Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes. Although it received generally high marks from most critics, the album sales were disappointing in the US. Kay released a second solo album in 1973 on the Dunhill label titled My Sportin' Life. This album sold less than his first solo album and was less gritty and more LA studio-polish in sound.

Following the first official breakup of Steppenwolf, and after the release of Kay's first solo album, a late summer and autumn 1972 tour in the US and Europe occurred, which featured Kay heading both the John Kay Band and Steppenwolf, at the top of the bill. Dunhill had released an album of a collection of Steppenwolf songs titled Rest in Peace. Thus, the tour was known as the RIP tour. The John Kay Band included Hugh Sullivan on keyboards and Whitey (Pentti) Glan on drums (both were contributors to John Kay's first solo album). Kent Henry on lead and slide guitar and George Biondo on bass joined Kay in both lineups. The Steppenwolf band lineup featured Goldy McJohn on keyboards and Jerry Edmonton on drums. This tour proved to be a fairly positive experience for all of the musicians and drew respectable crowd turnouts.

Following this tour, while Kay was recording his second solo album in 1973, McJohn and Edmonton continued to play and formed a band called Manbeast. Some of the material created in the Manbeast days showed up on the 1974 Steppenwolf reunion album, most notably "Gang War Blues", which was recorded as a demo with Edmonton singing slightly different lyrics.

Reunion (1974–1976)

Steppenwolf reformed in 1974 with its core lineup of Kay, Edmonton, and McJohn, along with longtime bassist Biondo and newcomer Bobby Cochran, Eddie Cochran's nephew, on lead guitar. The band signed with Mums Records in retaliation for what Kay perceived as a lack of support by Dunhill Records for his solo albums. Their first reunion album was Slow Flux, which included their last top 40 hit, "Straight Shootin' Woman". In February 1975, McJohn was dismissed for what Kay described as a decline in the quality of his performances, as well as erratic behavior. McJohn was replaced by Andy Chapin on Hour of the Wolf in 1975, though McJohn appeared in artwork for the single to Caroline. After the album peaked at number 155, Kay attempted to dissolve the band again, but the label, now having been absorbed by Epic Records, insisted Steppenwolf record one more album to satisfy their contractual obligations. The ensuing album, Skullduggery (1976), featuring Wayne Cook on keyboards, was released without a tour to support it, and by the early fall of 1976, Steppenwolf disbanded a second time. Kay appeared in a segment of the popular music TV show The Midnight Special to announce the end of Steppenwolf and also played a solo version of the song "Hey I'm Alright". This song appeared on Kay's third solo album All In Good Time, released on Mercury Records in 1978.

"New Steppenwolf" revival act (1976–1980)

After Kay disbanded Steppenwolf, former members Goldy McJohn and Nick St. Nicholas formed a "revival act" called "New Steppenwolf". McJohn did not last long, but St. Nicholas continued with the venture for several years. Various incarnations included, according to author Dave Thompson, a "revolving door of musicians" consisting of "jobbing players". Among those players were vocalist Tom Holland and drummer Steve Riley of future W.A.S.P. and L.A. Guns fame. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll described these bands as "unprofessional, bogus versions" of Steppenwolf. Although Kay and Edmonton had originally licensed the use of the "New Steppenwolf" name, they later sued for breach of the contract. St. Nicholas agreed in 1980 to cease use of the name, but legal disputes about promotional use of the Steppenwolf name continued until 2000.

John Kay and Steppenwolf (1980–2018)

Kay and Steppenwolf performing in Lillehammer, Norway, May 2007

Kay had a few meetings with David Pesnell about management, concert promotions, and producing a new album for the band. Pesnell wanted to produce an album featuring new songs on side A, by the reformed band Three Dog Night and with side B of the album featuring songs by Steppenwolf. The album's working name was "Back to Back", a play on each band having a side of the album and the fact the bands were back together again. Pesnell's concept was simple: each band should record four new songs, with a fifth song on each side featuring a medley of the band's past songs. This would give the Pesnell-produced album a double release of singles to support a concert tour featuring the two bands. Though both bands liked the concept of the album and tour, the arguments included who would be side A and side B and which of the two would headline the upcoming concert tour.

The reformed John Kay and Steppenwolf line-up featured John Kay, Michael Palmer (guitars, backing vocals), Steve Palmer (drums, backing vocals), Danny Ironstone (keyboards, backing vocals), and Kurtis Teel on bass. The Palmer brothers had played in a group called Tall Water and had also been involved with Kay in his solo career playing live gigs in the late 1970s. Teel was replaced by Chad Peery and Ironstone by Brett Tuggle by 1981, and the new grouping released Live in London overseas. Tuggle was then displaced by Michael Wilk and a new studio album, Wolftracks, was released in 1982 on the small Attic (Nautilus in the U.S.) record label. Wolftracks was one of the earliest digitally recorded albums in the industry. It was recorded live on a two-track Sony digital recording system. Bassist Welton Gite, who appeared on this album, left shortly after its completion and was replaced by Gary Link, formerly with Dokken. Another album, Paradox, followed in 1984.

In December 1984 the band as it was disbanded and Kay and Wilk decided to continue on in early 1985 with a pared-down quartet composed of Kay, Wilk, Wilk's friend Ron Hurst (drums, backing vocals), and Rocket Ritchotte (guitars, backing vocals). Wilk also handled bass duties from his sequencing computer keyboards from then on. This line-up released Rock N' Roll Rebels (1987) and Rise & Shine (1990); these were on the Qwil and I.R.S. Records imprints, respectively. Ritchotte had departed temporarily in 1989 to be replaced by Les Dudek and then Steve Fister, but then returned in 1990 for three more years. Fister (ex-Iron Butterfly) came back in late 1993, but turned guitar duties over to Danny Johnson (formerly of Derringer, Rod Stewart, and others) in 1996.

As the band was named after the novel Der Steppenwolf by German author Hermann Hesse, who was born in the Black Forest town of Calw, the city invited them to come over and play in the International Hermann-Hesse-Festival 2002, along with other bands inspired by Hesse, such as Anyone's Daughter. The concert drew considerable media coverage, with Kay's fluent German stunning those who did not know beforehand about his growing up in Germany – in fact, he was born Joachim Fritz Krauledat in Tilsit, East Prussia, Germany (now Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia).

The band performed what they then labeled their "Farewell Concert" on October 6, 2007, at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland, featuring Kay, keyboardist and programmer Michael Wilk, drummer Ron Hurst and guitarist Danny Johnson. However, the band, rejoined by bassist Gary Link, began touring again in June 2009.

Steppenwolf were nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, but were not inducted.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Steppenwolf among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire.

On November 22, 2019, John Kay announced that the band's October 14, 2018 show was their last.

Original lineup

  • John Kay – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica (1967–1972, 1974–1976, 1980–2018)
  • Michael Monarch – lead guitar, backing vocals (1967–1969)
  • Rushton Moreve – bass guitar, backing vocals (1967–1968) (died 1981)
  • Jerry Edmonton – drums, backing vocals (1967–1972, 1974-1976) (died 1993)
  • Goldy McJohn – keyboards, backing vocals (1967-1972, 1974) (died 2017)

Final lineup

  • John Kay – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica (1967–1972, 1974–1976, 1980–2018)
  • Michael Wilk – keyboards, backing vocals (1982-2018)
  • Gary Link – bass, backing vocals (1982–2018)
  • Ron Hurst – drums, backing vocals (1984–2018)
  • Danny Johnson – lead guitar, backing vocals, mandolin (1996–2018)
Further information: Steppenwolf discography
Steppenwolf
John Kay & Steppenwolf
  1. "Steppenwolf | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  2. "Biography". Steppenwolf.com.
  3. Babacar M'Baye; Alexander Charles Oliver Hall (July 29, 2013). Crossing Traditions: American Popular Music in Local and Global Contexts. Scarecrow Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8108-8828-9.
  4. Martha Bayles (January 1994). Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music. University of Chicago Press. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-226-03959-6.
  5. Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 932–934. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  6. Val Haller (February 5, 2013). "If You Like Steppenwolf, Try the Black Keys". The New York Times.
  7. Dahl, Bill (April 12, 1944). "Steppenwolf (Steppenwolf album)". AllMusic. RetrievedNovember 5, 2011.
  8. "Steppenwolf Frontman John Kay on Rock Hall of Fame Nomination: 'It's a Surprise'". Billboard.com. RetrievedJune 7, 2021.
  9. "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts Songs for the First Time, Including 'Born to Be Wild' & 'Louie Louie'". Billboard.com. RetrievedJune 7, 2021.
  10. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. Simon & Schuster. 2001. ISBN 9780743201209.
  11. "John Kay & Steppenwolf | Welcome to The Official Website". Steppenwolf.com. RetrievedJuly 17, 2014.
  12. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 249. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  13. "Billboard". November 23, 1968. RetrievedAugust 24, 2015.
  14. Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1135. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  15. "Nick St. Nicholas". LA Music Awards.
  16. "The Evening Independent – Google News Archive Search". News.google.com.
  17. Thompson, Dave (2004). Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story. ECW Press. ISBN 9781550226188.
  18. Burr, Sherri (2012). Burr's Entertainment Law in a Nutshell. West Academic. pp. PT274. ISBN 9781628106435.
  19. "Hermann-Hesse-Stadt Calw". Calw.de. March 19, 2003. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. RetrievedNovember 5, 2011.
  20. "2009 Concert Tour". Steppenwolf.com.
  21. Média, Bell. "Canada's Steppenwolf Nominated For Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame". Iheartradio.ca.
  22. "Steppenwolf Frontman John Kay on Rock Hall of Fame Nomination: 'It's a Surprise'". Billboard.com.
  23. Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. RetrievedJune 28, 2019.
  24. "The End of an Era & A New Beginning'". Steppenwolf.com.

Steppenwolf (band)
Steppenwolf band Language Watch Edit For other uses see Steppenwolf disambiguation Steppenwolf was an American rock band that was prominent from 1968 to 1972 The group was formed in late 1967 1 2 in Los Angeles by lead singer John Kay keyboardist Goldy McJohn and drummer Jerry Edmonton all formerly of the Canadian band the Sparrows 5 Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited via notices placed in Los Angeles area record and musical instrument stores SteppenwolfSteppenwolf in 1970 L R Goldy McJohn Jerry Edmonton John Kay Larry Byrom George Biondo Background informationOriginLos Angeles California U S 1 2 GenresPsychedelic rockblues rock 3 acid rockhard rock 4 Years active1967 19721974 19761980 2018LabelsABC DunhillMumsEpicMCAAssociated actsThe Mynah BirdsThe SparrowsWorld Classic RockersWebsitesteppenwolf wbr comPast membersJohn Kay Jerry Edmonton Goldy McJohn Michael Monarch Rushton Moreve Nick St Nicholas Larry Byrom George Biondo Kent Henry Bobby Cochran Frankie Banali Andy Chapin Wayne Cook Michael Palmer Steve Palmer Danny Ironstone Kurtis Teel Chad Peery Brett Tuggle Welton Gite Rocket Ritchotte Les Dudek Steve Fister Michael Wilk Gary Link Ron Hurst Danny Johnson Steppenwolf sold over 25 million records worldwide 6 released seven gold albums and one platinum album and had 13 Billboard Hot 100 singles of which seven were Top 40 hits 7 including three top 10 successes Born to Be Wild Magic Carpet Ride and Rock Me Steppenwolf enjoyed worldwide success from 1968 to 1972 but clashing personalities led to the end of the core lineup Today John Kay is the only original member having been the lead singer since 1967 The band was called John Kay amp Steppenwolf from 1980 to 2018 In 2016 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominated them for induction in 2017 8 Although they fell short of enough votes to qualify for induction that year in 2018 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selected one of their biggest singles 1968 s Born to Be Wild as one of the first five singles that shaped rock and roll to be inducted into the hall in its history 9 Contents 1 History 1 1 The Sparrows 1 2 Breakthrough success and decline 1967 1972 1 3 Breakup 1972 1973 1 4 Reunion 1974 1976 1 5 New Steppenwolf revival act 1976 1980 1 6 John Kay and Steppenwolf 1980 2018 2 Band members 3 Discography 4 References 5 External linksHistory EditThe Sparrows Edit In 1965 John Kay joined the Sparrows a popular Canadian band and was followed by Goldy McJohn The group eventually broke up 10 Breakthrough success and decline 1967 1972 Edit In late 1967 Gabriel Mekler urged Kay to re form the Sparrows and suggested the name change to Steppenwolf inspired by Hermann Hesse s 1927 novel of that name 11 5 10 Steppenwolf s first two singles were A Girl I Knew and Sookie Sookie The band finally rocketed to worldwide fame after their third single Born to Be Wild was released in 1968 as well as their version of Hoyt Axton s The Pusher Both of these tunes were used prominently in the 1969 counterculture cult film Easy Rider both titles originally had been released on the band s debut album 5 In the movie The Pusher accompanies a drug deal and Peter Fonda stuffing dollar bills into his Stars and Stripes clad fuel tank after which Born to Be Wild is heard in the opening credits with Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding their Harley choppers through the America of the late 1960s The song which has been closely associated with motorcycles ever since introduced to rock lyrics the signature term heavy metal 5 though not about a kind of music but about a motorcycle I like smoke and lightning heavy metal thunder racin with the wind Written by Sparrow guitarist Dennis Edmonton who had begun using the pen name Mars Bonfire and inspired by a billboard roadside advertisement Bonfire liked which depicted a motorcycle tearing through the billboard artwork the song had already reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1968 5 It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc 12 In 1968 Steppenwolf played one of their biggest shows up to that time at the Fillmore East to rave reviews sharing the bill with Buddy Rich and Children of God 13 On November 27 1968 they played a concert with Iron Butterfly at the Baltimore Civic Center The group s following albums had several more hit singles including Magic Carpet Ride which reached number three from The Second and Rock Me with its bridge lasting 1 06 which reached number 10 from At Your Birthday Party 5 It also sold in excess of a million units 12 Monster which questioned US Vietnam War policy was the band s most political album Following the Monster album from 1969 the following year the band released Steppenwolf 7 which included the song Snowblind Friend another Hoyt Axton penned song about the era and attitudes of drugs and associated problems 14 The band lineup for their live performances in the middle of 1970 was John Kay Jerry Edmonton Goldy McJohn Larry Byrom and George Biondo This lineup was also unable to remain together as Byrom became upset with McJohn over personal issues and quit the band in the early part of 1971 Several changes in the group s personnel were made after the first few years 5 Moreve was fired from the group in 1968 for missing gigs after he became afraid to return to Los Angeles convinced by his girlfriend that it was going to be leveled by an earthquake and fall into the sea Rob Black briefly filled in for Moreve until former Sparrow bandmate Nick St Nicholas came aboard in the latter months of 1968 Monarch quit the group in August 1969 as his relationship with Kay deteriorated Larry Byrom who had been in TIME with Nick St Nicholas ably replaced Monarch 14 Nick St Nicholas was let go in mid 1970 He had supposedly appeared in nothing but rabbit ears and a jock strap at the Fillmore East in April 1970 15 and his habit of wearing muumuus and kaftans on stage began to wear on Kay whose penchant for leather vests and pants was more in line with the image he wanted for the band George Biondo was then recruited and guitarist Kent Henry replaced Byrom in early 1971 5 In November 1971 the band released For Ladies Only with the lineup consisting of Kay Henry Biondo McJohn and Edmonton The album was notable for several reasons most notably the controversial LP inside cover art the romantic political and social lyrical content and the fact that it featured several of the group members on lead vocals Breakup 1972 1973 Edit The band broke up after a farewell concert in Los Angeles on Valentine s Day 1972 14 Kay went on to a brief solo career scoring a minor solo hit in 1972 with I m Movin On from his album Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes Although it received generally high marks from most critics the album sales were disappointing in the US 5 Kay released a second solo album in 1973 on the Dunhill label titled My Sportin Life This album sold less than his first solo album and was less gritty and more LA studio polish in sound Following the first official breakup of Steppenwolf and after the release of Kay s first solo album a late summer and autumn 1972 tour in the US and Europe occurred which featured Kay heading both the John Kay Band and Steppenwolf at the top of the bill Dunhill had released an album of a collection of Steppenwolf songs titled Rest in Peace Thus the tour was known as the RIP tour 16 The John Kay Band included Hugh Sullivan on keyboards and Whitey Pentti Glan on drums both were contributors to John Kay s first solo album Kent Henry on lead and slide guitar and George Biondo on bass joined Kay in both lineups The Steppenwolf band lineup featured Goldy McJohn on keyboards and Jerry Edmonton on drums This tour proved to be a fairly positive experience for all of the musicians and drew respectable crowd turnouts Following this tour while Kay was recording his second solo album in 1973 McJohn and Edmonton continued to play and formed a band called Manbeast Some of the material created in the Manbeast days showed up on the 1974 Steppenwolf reunion album most notably Gang War Blues which was recorded as a demo with Edmonton singing slightly different lyrics Reunion 1974 1976 Edit Steppenwolf reformed in 1974 with its core lineup of Kay Edmonton and McJohn along with longtime bassist Biondo and newcomer Bobby Cochran Eddie Cochran s nephew on lead guitar 5 The band signed with Mums Records in retaliation for what Kay perceived as a lack of support by Dunhill Records for his solo albums Their first reunion album was Slow Flux which included their last top 40 hit Straight Shootin Woman 5 In February 1975 McJohn was dismissed for what Kay described as a decline in the quality of his performances as well as erratic behavior McJohn was replaced by Andy Chapin on Hour of the Wolf in 1975 though McJohn appeared in artwork for the single to Caroline After the album peaked at number 155 Kay attempted to dissolve the band again but the label now having been absorbed by Epic Records insisted Steppenwolf record one more album to satisfy their contractual obligations The ensuing album Skullduggery 1976 featuring Wayne Cook on keyboards was released without a tour to support it and by the early fall of 1976 Steppenwolf disbanded a second time Kay appeared in a segment of the popular music TV show The Midnight Special to announce the end of Steppenwolf and also played a solo version of the song Hey I m Alright This song appeared on Kay s third solo album All In Good Time released on Mercury Records in 1978 5 New Steppenwolf revival act 1976 1980 Edit After Kay disbanded Steppenwolf former members Goldy McJohn and Nick St Nicholas formed a revival act called New Steppenwolf McJohn did not last long but St Nicholas continued with the venture for several years Various incarnations included according to author Dave Thompson a revolving door of musicians consisting of jobbing players 17 Among those players were vocalist Tom Holland and drummer Steve Riley of future W A S P and L A Guns fame The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock amp Roll described these bands as unprofessional bogus versions of Steppenwolf 10 Although Kay and Edmonton had originally licensed the use of the New Steppenwolf name they later sued for breach of the contract St Nicholas agreed in 1980 to cease use of the name but legal disputes about promotional use of the Steppenwolf name continued until 2000 18 John Kay and Steppenwolf 1980 2018 Edit Kay and Steppenwolf performing in Lillehammer Norway May 2007 Kay had a few meetings with David Pesnell about management concert promotions and producing a new album for the band Pesnell wanted to produce an album featuring new songs on side A by the reformed band Three Dog Night and with side B of the album featuring songs by Steppenwolf The album s working name was Back to Back a play on each band having a side of the album and the fact the bands were back together again Pesnell s concept was simple each band should record four new songs with a fifth song on each side featuring a medley of the band s past songs This would give the Pesnell produced album a double release of singles to support a concert tour featuring the two bands Though both bands liked the concept of the album and tour the arguments included who would be side A and side B and which of the two would headline the upcoming concert tour The reformed John Kay and Steppenwolf line up featured John Kay Michael Palmer guitars backing vocals Steve Palmer drums backing vocals Danny Ironstone keyboards backing vocals and Kurtis Teel on bass The Palmer brothers had played in a group called Tall Water and had also been involved with Kay in his solo career playing live gigs in the late 1970s Teel was replaced by Chad Peery and Ironstone by Brett Tuggle by 1981 and the new grouping released Live in London overseas Tuggle was then displaced by Michael Wilk and a new studio album Wolftracks was released in 1982 on the small Attic Nautilus in the U S record label Wolftracks was one of the earliest digitally recorded albums in the industry It was recorded live on a two track Sony digital recording system Bassist Welton Gite who appeared on this album left shortly after its completion and was replaced by Gary Link formerly with Dokken Another album Paradox followed in 1984 In December 1984 the band as it was disbanded and Kay and Wilk decided to continue on in early 1985 with a pared down quartet composed of Kay Wilk Wilk s friend Ron Hurst drums backing vocals and Rocket Ritchotte guitars backing vocals Wilk also handled bass duties from his sequencing computer keyboards from then on This line up released Rock N Roll Rebels 1987 and Rise amp Shine 1990 these were on the Qwil and I R S Records imprints respectively Ritchotte had departed temporarily in 1989 to be replaced by Les Dudek and then Steve Fister but then returned in 1990 for three more years Fister ex Iron Butterfly came back in late 1993 but turned guitar duties over to Danny Johnson formerly of Derringer Rod Stewart and others in 1996 As the band was named after the novel Der Steppenwolf by German author Hermann Hesse who was born in the Black Forest town of Calw the city invited them to come over and play in the International Hermann Hesse Festival 2002 19 along with other bands inspired by Hesse such as Anyone s Daughter The concert drew considerable media coverage with Kay s fluent German stunning those who did not know beforehand about his growing up in Germany in fact he was born Joachim Fritz Krauledat in Tilsit East Prussia Germany now Sovetsk Kaliningrad Oblast Russia The band performed what they then labeled their Farewell Concert on October 6 2007 at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen Maryland featuring Kay keyboardist and programmer Michael Wilk drummer Ron Hurst and guitarist Danny Johnson However the band rejoined by bassist Gary Link began touring again in June 2009 20 Steppenwolf were nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 but were not inducted 21 22 On June 25 2019 The New York Times Magazine listed Steppenwolf among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire 23 On November 22 2019 John Kay announced that the band s October 14 2018 show was their last 24 Band members EditMain article List of Steppenwolf members Original lineup John Kay lead vocals rhythm guitar harmonica 1967 1972 1974 1976 1980 2018 Michael Monarch lead guitar backing vocals 1967 1969 Rushton Moreve bass guitar backing vocals 1967 1968 died 1981 Jerry Edmonton drums backing vocals 1967 1972 1974 1976 died 1993 Goldy McJohn keyboards backing vocals 1967 1972 1974 died 2017 Final lineup John Kay lead vocals rhythm guitar harmonica 1967 1972 1974 1976 1980 2018 Michael Wilk keyboards backing vocals 1982 2018 Gary Link bass backing vocals 1982 2018 Ron Hurst drums backing vocals 1984 2018 Danny Johnson lead guitar backing vocals mandolin 1996 2018 Discography EditFurther information Steppenwolf discography SteppenwolfSteppenwolf 1968 The Second 1968 At Your Birthday Party 1969 Monster 1969 Steppenwolf Live 1970 Steppenwolf 7 1970 For Ladies Only 1971 Slow Flux 1974 Hour of the Wolf 1975 Skullduggery 1976 John Kay amp SteppenwolfWolftracks 1982 Paradox 1984 Rock amp Roll Rebels 1987 Rise amp Shine 1990 References Edit a b Steppenwolf Biography Albums Streaming Links AllMusic a b Biography Steppenwolf com Babacar M Baye Alexander Charles Oliver Hall July 29 2013 Crossing Traditions American Popular Music in Local and Global Contexts Scarecrow Press p 132 ISBN 978 0 8108 8828 9 Martha Bayles January 1994 Hole in Our Soul The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music University of Chicago Press p 246 ISBN 978 0 226 03959 6 a b c d e f g h i j k l Strong Martin C 2000 The Great Rock Discography 5th ed Edinburgh Mojo Books pp 932 934 ISBN 1 84195 017 3 Val Haller February 5 2013 If You Like Steppenwolf Try the Black Keys The New York Times Dahl Bill April 12 1944 Steppenwolf Steppenwolf album AllMusic Retrieved November 5 2011 Steppenwolf Frontman John Kay on Rock Hall of Fame Nomination It s a Surprise Billboard com Retrieved June 7 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts Songs for the First Time Including Born to Be Wild amp Louie Louie Billboard com Retrieved June 7 2021 a b c The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock amp Roll Simon amp Schuster 2001 ISBN 9780743201209 John Kay amp Steppenwolf Welcome to The Official Website Steppenwolf com Retrieved July 17 2014 a b Murrells Joseph 1978 The Book of Golden Discs 2nd ed London Barrie and Jenkins Ltd p 249 ISBN 0 214 20512 6 Billboard November 23 1968 Retrieved August 24 2015 a b c Colin Larkin ed 1997 The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music Concise ed Virgin Books p 1135 ISBN 1 85227 745 9 Nick St Nicholas LA Music Awards The Evening Independent Google News Archive Search News google com Thompson Dave 2004 Smoke on the Water The Deep Purple Story ECW Press ISBN 9781550226188 Burr Sherri 2012 Burr s Entertainment Law in a Nutshell West Academic pp PT274 ISBN 9781628106435 Hermann Hesse Stadt Calw Calw de March 19 2003 Archived from the original on September 28 2011 Retrieved November 5 2011 2009 Concert Tour Steppenwolf com Media Bell Canada s Steppenwolf Nominated For Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Iheartradio ca Steppenwolf Frontman John Kay on Rock Hall of Fame Nomination It s a Surprise Billboard com Rosen Jody June 25 2019 Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire The New York Times Retrieved June 28 2019 The End of an Era amp A New Beginning Steppenwolf com External links EditOfficial website of John Kay and Steppenwolf Official website of Michael Monarch Official website of Bobby Cochran Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Steppenwolf band amp oldid 1053972287, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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