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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bjabass, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. bjabass


    Jan 10, 2011
    Mountain South
    Just went to Youtube for a link to an old Steppenwolf song and spent some time on memory lane. It occurred to me that I got a high percentage of my bass licks off their bass player and don't even know his name. 'Desperation' was a school for me at age 13.

    All people think of is 'Born to be Wild' and 'the Pusher' but I liked the 'b' side and AOR stuff like 'Renegade', 'Monster', 'Rock Me', and 'Snowblind Friend'.

    Not known for their virtuosity but were a very musical band just the same.
  2. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Agreed. Steppenwolf did a lot of interesting and ambitious stuff. Worth seeking out.
  3. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    one of the most notable "biker" bands...
    We used to have a joke about the RUBs (Rich Urban Bikers) listening to "Born to be Wild" while sitting on their bikes, in a garage, with a fan blowing wind in their faces...

    Wow, I feel old now
  4. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    Nick St Nicholas on most of the early stuff. He was a friend of my wife before I met her. She always had a thing for bass players.
  5. Like most, I've heard the famous tunes a lot in the background, and never noticed the bass. But now, when I actively listen to them, there is some very tasty + melodic bass playing there. There seems to have been 3 different bassists during their important recording years.

    List of Steppenwolf band members - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Re: "Born To Be Wild", yeah that was recorded before the 'overdubbing to click track' method was the standard way to record rock. Those tempos sure do move around. Sounds good.
  6. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    :D Magic Carpet Ride (second album) features bassist Rushton Moreve. There's a page about him on Wiki,
    however, don't bother with the Steppenwolf page on that site. It only lists one musician with the group-
    before the 80's (John Kay). :rollno:
  7. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    I used to listen to them all the time. Still think of "Born To Be Wild" every time I hear a bike rev up! One of my bands has "Who Needs Ya" on our to-learn list.
  8. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Nick St Nicholas - great guy! (and humble!) Loved his energy and melodic sense!
  9. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    Nothin' says the 60's to me like some of the big Steppenwolf hits ... great band.
  10. They really pawed way for the 'big rock band' sound.
  11. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I just forgot to mention them on the "bands you've seen" thread. I saw the early eighties version, in a bar called the Cabooze, with a guy who screamed, "PLAY THE PUSHER" for most of the show, until they did, and then he just screamed and howled. He drank a lot.

    They were fantastic.
  12. Here's a little something to let the wind out of the sails of bass-playing Steppenwolf fans: John Kay didn't feel the need to employ a "real" bass player from 1984 through 2009. They midi'd up the bass parts instead. :spit: I'm told they went back to using a live bassist, but I haven't seen them live since 2009.

    FWIW, I was a great fan of Steppenwolf back in the day. I remember seeing them, all playing Ric's.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    When I was in college around 30 years ago, I had a classmate who was a complete superfan of John Kay. Had all of JK's recorded works. Maybe a book or two as well, as I recall. I got the impression that he thought of JK in the same way that many Doors fans think of Jim Morrison - as a creative visionary of a sort... :meh:

    Some 10 years later, I happen to have seen John Kay perform with one of the variations of Steppenwolf at a rock 'n' roll club in Winston-Salem, NC. The band was actually OK. But when JK came out, he assumed complete control of that stage - and everything that happened on it.

    I've been to a LOT of rock shows in my life - before and since that night. Never have I seen a more charismatic performer than John Kay: it was truly a mesmerizing experience. The guy simply oozed with charisma, poise, self-confidence - and stagecraft. Just wow... :eek:

  14. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    Got that song on the MP3 player I use on longer bike trips... Sometimes it is difficult to hear it, and not bring the RPMs up on the bike... The song just needs a bike engine to accompany it
  15. bjabass


    Jan 10, 2011
    Mountain South
    I also noticed the tuning of the guitars on some songs is a bit 'edgy'...

    Thats the stuff a producer would catch and fix I suppose, and I also suppose John Kay produced the early stuff himself. You have to ask yourself if some of it was intentional.

    Listening to 'Snowblind Friend' from SW 7 and noted the use of steel guitar and sitar on that track, unusual instruments to put together and pretty avant garde for a 'biker band' back then.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    And that's one reason the music of the 60's and 70's is so much fun to listen to. It is NOT over-produced, over-corrected, over-massaged and multitracked like most of today's music.

    It's real music, played by guys who didn't have technology tricks to fix every mistake.
  17. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    This x 1000.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Cannot recall where I read this-
    "Sookie Sookie" was Steppenwolf's 1st radio "hit"...and, at the time, a lot of listeners assumed they were a black R&B band. I guess the album finally was released & that was that.
  19. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    right on, not tuning wise...:bassist:
  20. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    can't remember what thread but JimmyM had a great link to them with the bass player, Nick i think, rocking an ampeg bass thru the ampeg SBT head with the powered spaekers like the acoustics.

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