Steppenwolf (band)

Steppenwolf in 1970 (L–R: Goldy McJohn, Jerry Edmonton, John Kay, Larry Byrom, George Biondo)
Steppenwolf in 1970 (L–R: Goldy McJohn, Jerry Edmonton, John Kay, Larry Byrom, George Biondo)
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.[1][2]
Years active
  • 1967–1972
  • 1974–1976
  • 1980–2018
Past members

Steppenwolf was an American-Canadian 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.

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 & Steppenwolf from 1980 to 2018. In Canada, they had four top 10 songs, 12 top 40, and 14 in the top 100.[1]

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]

  1. ^ a b "Steppenwolf | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  2. ^ a b "Biography".
  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. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  8. ^ "Steppenwolf Frontman John Kay on Rock Hall of Fame Nomination: 'It's a Surprise'". Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  9. ^ "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts Songs for the First Time, Including 'Born to Be Wild' & 'Louie Louie'". Retrieved June 7, 2021.

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