Saturday, December 22, 2007

John Kay and Steppenwolf

I was looking at the Steppenwolf web site ( ) and was saddened to see that John Kay has appearantly decided to retire from music and to stop touring.

2007 was the last year of their big international tour and if you have seen Steppenwolf in recent years you likely knew that John Kay and the band seemed to be everywhere, worldwide, during most of the year. They were certainly popular during Bike Week and other big motorcycle events.

John writes on his web site that he and his wife intend to travel during 2008 and be part of a charitable foundation that they established some years ago.

Kay and the original lineup for Steppenwolf have a really entertaining history incidentally. Kay was born in 1944. His father and mother were German, and Kay's father was killed in the fighting on the Russian front a month before he was born. Kay's mother took the infant John Kay into what would become East Germany and was forced to flee 4 years later as the Communists took over.

Making his way to Canada, John was asked to sing for a new band, The Sparrows, that had included members of another local band called the Mynah Birds. Two of the Mynah Bird members that didn't make the cut to the new band were an AWOL US soldier named Ricky Matthews, who would later change his name to {drum roll here} Rick James, and an underappreciated musician in a non-singing, non-writing role named Neil Young. It's a small world indeed.

Here's wishing John Kay a well-deserved retirement and thanks for some really good memories. And I guess that the moral is that we need to get out there and see our musical giants that inspire us so. 'cause they ain't gonna be around forever.



1 comment:

Jollymon said...

Evenin' John.

What is your charitable foundation? What can we do to help?