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July 11, 1972 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-07-11

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Page Two


Tuesday, July, 11, 197/2

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday, July 11, 1972

Summer Clearance Sale
Monday, July 10-Saturday, July 16
20%-50% off

Steppenwolf's Kay strikes out

Associated Press Writer
John Kay, lead singer w i t h
Steppenwolf, is on- his own as
a solo siger, with a new LP
"Forgotten Songs and Unsung
Heroes," and Steppenwolf is no
The LP, on Dunhill, is No. 67
on the best-selling album chart
of June 10, and climbing.
It's a back-to-he-roots album,
with 'Many a Mile" by Patrick
Sky, "You Win Again" by Hank
Williams, "Bold Marauder" by
Richard Farina, "Walkin' Blues"
by Robert Johnson, "I'm Mov-
in' On" by Hank Snow and four
songs by John Kay.
"My songs weren't right f ar
Steppenwolf," Kay says. "I nev-
er bothered trying to convince
them that we should record

them. Now, on future albums,
I'm not tied to anything. I've
got old and new on this album.
It will establish there is a var-
iety of things possible from me.
"Steppenwolf did 'Snowblind
Friend' and 'Renegade' in an
attempt to show the acdience
we could do that stuff as well.
The critics though we ought to
pursue it further but the aud-
ience kept yelling for the same
hard rock songs.
"We had the commitment of
saying we had to have at least
half an album of hard rock. I
don't want to be caught in a
situation like that again. It
would remove part of the enjoy-
ment which comes from b e i n g
freed to say, 'I dig your song.
I'm going to sing it because
I like it.'"

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Steppenwolf had a lot of gold.
A just-released LP, "R e s t in
Peace," is the 10th. The gold
ones include "Born To Be Wild,'
"Steppenwolf," "Steppenwolf the
Second," "Live Steppenwolf,"
"Monster," "Steppenwolf Gold"
and "Steppenwolf 7" and t h e
single, "Magic Carpet Ride."
But money, fame and gold
records aren't enough to keep
a group together if personality
conflicts develop or the inspira-
tion runs out. In the case of
Steppenwolf, Kay says, it w a s
the latter.
"It's great to have money but
if the initial reason for getting
into the business disappears and
the enjoyment of performing dis-
appears, no money is going to
replace that for you.
"We had been together a long
time, three of us since 1965 in
Sparrow." (Sparrow started in
Toronto, dissolved in 1967 and
three of its members became
the core of Steppenwolf in 1968).
"It's a long time to be with the
same people all the time and not
run out of ideas. One guy builds
on another guy's ideas, back
and forth. You can exhaust that.
"Was I the image of t h e
group? I was the leader and lead
singer and wrote most of the
material. I was the focal point.
I represented the image. There
was nothing wrong with the
image - we were an animalistic
looking kind of band and rarely
backed down from any scrap.
That wasn't all there was to us.
'Snowblind Friend' was com-
pletely opposite to 'Born To Be
Wild.' But in the long run that
image, mood wise and musi-
cally, confined us."
Kay, who says he couldn't ask
the rest of Steppenwolf suddenly
o become backup musicians for.
him, kept with him the t w o
newest members of the group,
George Biondo and Kent Henry,
and acquired Hugh O'Sulliv'n
and Penti Glan from Bush.
Hay was brnachim Kraul
dat in Tist, Eat Prossa. e
sys, "I was raised wi German
and Russian folk music. Eth-
nically speaking, my father was
Lithuanian. My mother's ances-
tor's were French Huguenats
who moved to Germany during
their persecutions. A lot of 11th-
am sincae from India at the
time of Genghis Khan and Attila
in press gangs. At the age of 11
I looked Indian, with olive skin,
almond-haped eyes and pitch
black hair."
In 1958 Kay, his mother and
an aunt emigrated to Canada
and settled in Toronto. His fatt-
er was killed in World War II.
He Anglicized his name to John
Kay and learned English from
disc jockeys - where he also
heard some songs that are now
on his first solo album.
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fessonal schools
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