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     Kay, John (12th April 1944-Present)

    He is a singer-songwriter and guitaris born Joachim Fritz Krauledat in Tilsit of the then East Prussia, Germany (now Sovetsk, Russia).  In the winter of 1945 his mother took him and fled to Arnstadt in East Germany during the Evacuation of East Prussia.  Two years later she was forced to flee again and this time they made it to Hanover, West Germany.   He grew up listening to the Armed Forces Broadcasting Service and this is where he heard much of the popular music of the day.  In 1958 his family emigrated to Canada and he helped teach himself English by listening to the songs and DJs on the radio.  Seven years later in 1965 he became a member of Sparrow who had some minor success.  By 1967 he was in California and with some of the ex-members of The Sparrows he formed the rock group Steppenwolf.  He was, and still is, recognisable by the sunglasses he wore constantly due to light sensitivity and eye defects, which have him classed as being legally blind.  Soon they would fine themselves gaining international recognition and become known for pioneering heavy metal music with their hits that included "Born To Be Wild", "The Pusher", "Rock Me", "Monster" and "Magic Carpet Ride".   He has remained as the frontman for Steppenwolf during their official disbandment in 1972, the farewell tour in 1974, several reformations of the band and after 40 years in the business the band is still recording new material.  Alongside his busy life with the band, he has also maintained his own career as a solo artist and performed and recorded in that capacity from the latter half of the 1970s.  In the 1990s he was seen appearing as a guest musician at two concerts held by Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band.  He has appeared on many recordings during his 40 year career including his own All In Good Time, My Sportin' Life and Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes, Heretics and Privateers as well as At Your Birthday Party, For Ladies Only, Hour of the Wolf, Rock & Roll Rebels, Skullduggery, Slow Flux, Steppenwolf, Steppenwolf Live, Steppenwolf 7 and Steppenwolf the Second  by Steppenwolf and On the Strength by Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five.  Recognised for his contribution to music and his career beginning in Toronto, he was inducted into the Canada Walk of Fame in 2004.  He has been given the compliment of being named by Neil Young as his influence in the way he plays the guitar and published his life in music in his autobiography Magic Carpet Ride.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.steppenwolf.com/s/w/bio.html
    2. http://www.steppenwolf.com/
    3. http://www.wirthentertainment.com/John%20Kay%20steppenwolf.htm
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kay_(musician)
    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steppenwolf_(band)
    6. http://www.headpins.net/ccr/roster/steppenwolf.shtml
    7. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:g9fixqw5ldke
    8. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1154408/bio
    9. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1154408/
    10. http://www.buffettnews.com/resources/coralreeferband/?bid=302

     

    Here he is performing "Magic Carpet Ride" with Steppenwolf...

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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