The story of Steppenwolf is really a story about the leader of this band, John Kay. John was the driving force behind the band. They band came on the scene in 1968 and disbanded in 1972, but in that short time they created some of the most memorable tunes in rock history, such as:
- Born to Be Wild
- The Pusher
- Magic Carpet Ride
- Hey Lawdy Mama
- It’s Never Too Late
- Rock Me
- Sookie Sookie
- Snowblind Friend
- For Ladies Only
In the early 80’s John Kay had to go to court to protect the name Steppenwolf, after he found out it was being used by some of his former band members. He also put a band back together as ‘John Kay and Steppenwolf’ and began touring again. And he was welcomed back by legions of fans!
John Kay was born in Germany in 1944 and came to North America in 1958.
The name Steppenwolf was taken from a novel of the same name, written by Herman Hesse.
The lyrics to The Pusher and Snowblind Friend were written by Hoyt Axton. The lyrics to Snowblind Friend are shown below.
Words and music by Hoyt Axton
You say it was this morning when you last saw your good friend. Lyin’ on the pavement with a misery on his brain.
Stoned on some new potion he found upon the wall of some unholy bathroom in some ungodly hall
He only had a dollar to live on ’til next Monday. But he spent it on some comfort for his mind. Did you say you think he’s blind?
Someone should call his parents, a sister or a brother and they’ll come to take him back home on a bus. But he’ll always be a problem to his poor and puzzled mother. Yeah he’ll always be another one of us.
He said he wanted Heaven but prayin’ was too slow. So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow. Did you say you saw your good friend flyin’ low?
Flyin’ low. Dyin’ slow.
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