A Closer Look At...Steppenwolf

This week Gigseen are bringing you another fantastic concert to enjoy at your own leisure. Our Gig of The Week featured concerts are completely FREE all week - all you have to do is register at Gigseen TV, sit back and relax as we bring you Steppenwolf.

Each week, A Closer Look At... is intended to help you find out a little more about the featured artist and their concert. Or, if you're already a die-hard fan, it's a chance to remind yourself of the talent and spectacle on offer! So if you're wondering why you should subscribe at Gigseen to watch this concert...here's a couple of reasons..

Seminal Rock band, Steppenwolf ensured a permanent spot in the pantheon of rock greats with their classic 1968 motorcycle anthem Born to Be Wild, which remains the definitive howl of disaffected biker rebels everywhere to this very day.

Born Joachim Krauledat in 1944, lead singer, John Kay, fronted the band with a threatening rasp to his vocals, sounding a mesmerising call to arms to the counterculture movement which subsequently sprouted rapidly across the nation. As a German immigrant, Kay began his professional music career in a Blues-based Toronto band named Sparrow. After Sparrow disbanded, Kay relocated to the West Coast and formed Steppenwolf, named after the Herman Hesse novel.

By the early 70's, Steppenwolf had run out of steam and eventually split up. Kay continued to record as a solo artist with other members putting together substitute versions of the band for touring purposes. Then, in 2004, Kay re-formed another version of Steppenwolf, performing both old and (some) new repertoire at shows.

Now, just for a bit of fun, ('cos that's how we roll at Gigseen) here's a few bits of Trivia for you. You never know, they may come in handy at your local pub quiz. Don't worry, no need to thank us!

  • Born To Be Wild, the band's most famous song, was immortalised on the soundtrack of Dennis Hopper's underground film classic, Easy Rider.
  • When Easy Rider was in production, Steppenwolf were simply a placeholder, since Crosby, Stills and Nash were wanted to do the soundtrack. It became clear that the song belonged in the movie, and it stayed.
  • The song's reference to Heavy Metal Thunder, was the first usage of the phrase, popularising the term - and genre - in it's early emergence.
  • William Burroughs is credited with coining the phrase, as he used it in his 1962 novel The Soft Machine, describing his character Uranian Willy as "The Heavy Metal Kid."
  • Born To Be Wild was written by Mars Bonfire, A.K.A. Dennis Edmonton. Although not a member of Steppenwolf, his brother Jerry was the band's drummer. Bonfire wrote a few other songs for Steppenwolf, including Ride With Me and Tenderness.
  • Mars Bonfire's song was originally intended to be a Folk ballad about life on the open road.
  • Many bands have covered Born To Be Wild, including U2, Blue Oyster Cult, MC Shan, and The Cult.

  • This concert, Live In Louisville features original Steppenwolf vocalist John Kay leading the band's modern-day lineup in a live concert recorded in Louisville, Kentucky, performing classic tunes such as Sookie Sookie, Magic Carpet Ride, The Pusher, Monster and many more.

    The full setlist is as follows:

    • Sookie Sookie
    • Rock and Roll Rebels
    • Rock Me
    • Im Movin On
    • Endless Commercial
    • Hey Lawdy Mama
    • Hold On (Never Give Up, Never Give In)
    • Ride With Me
    • Shes Got The Goods
    • Hoochie Coochie Man
    • Snowblind Friend
    • Monster
    • Magic Carpet Ride
    • Born To Be Wild
    • The Pusher