Rus Articles Journal

How the STEPPENWOLF group wrote down future anthem of bikers “Born To Be Wild“? To birthday of John Kaye of

of “Born To Be Wild“ is a roar of motorcycles, a rebellious time of the end of 1960 - x and the most famous song of STEPPENWOLF group which it is surely mentioned in any article about an origin of the term “heavy metal“.

Though STEPPENWOLF - group American, her creator was born in the German town of Tilsit on April 12, 1944 under the name of Joachim Fritz Kradledat. Not only that time and the birthplace was not the most successful for the German boy, so also his daddy fought in troops of Wehrmacht with promptly coming Soviet troops. The father Joachim will be killed soon, mother with the son will run away from Tilsit to Arnshtadt, and native Tilsit will turn into the city of Sovetsk of the Kaliningrad region.
However, and East Germany a family to be late was afraid, and in 1948 fled from the “pro-Soviet“ GDR to “pro-American“ Germany. There, listening to radio station of the American voyenbaza, the boy also conceived a liking to fate - N - to a beater.

To realize the fate - N - rollny dreams the guy became already in Canada where got over in 1958. There it brought together THE SPARROW group, and immediately replaced German imechko with an unpretentious pseudonym - John Kaye. In 1966 he replaced the residence again and moved with musicians to the USA, namely to California in which fate - life was just in full swing then.

There not only the structure of group, but also its name changed. Their new producer Gebriel Mekler told children that VOROBEY (SPARROW is so translated) - not really suitable name for group with tough guitar music, and STEPPENWOLF (“A steppe wolf“) suggested them to be named. Very much the producer liked a novel of the same name of. Hesse and in a hippansky party he then was very popular. “A steppe wolf“ did not read, but I approve“ - John Kaye told, and the updated group began to write down the first album.

The first two singles did not make success, but the third transferred them to the first category American fate at once - groups. Initially “Born To Be Wild“ - “Given rise to be wild (or to manumissions)“ - did not seem an unambiguous hit. A record - the company insisted on other song. As a result all agreed that will send a single with two songs on radio, and there let will decide what of songs is better. As we know, won “Born To Be Wild“, having occupied in 1968 2 - e the place in charts of the USA.

It acquired the final cult status after entered a soundtrack of the movie of 1969 of “Easy Rider“ (“The careless goer“) about two bikers who are traveling about across America is similar to free tramps. It is interesting that first in the movie wanted to use music of other group - CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH, and songs STEPPENWOLF were considered as temporary “working“ replacement. But, while things are being decided, songs STEPPENWOLF (“Born To Be Wild“ and “The Pusher“) so ideally “grew together“ with the movie what to replace them the hand was not raised.
as a result of “Born To Be Wild“ right there became a peculiar anthem vseya bikers, and John Kaye still executes it at biker festivals.

It is interesting that the author of this song - Dennis Edmonton - did not even consist in group. Though you will not call him the stranger - it had the brother to STEPPENWOLF drummer - Gerry, and even incidentally played THE SPARROW. Then, having taken the pseudonym Mars Bonfayr, it decided to be closed up by a songrayter. And, as you can see, did not lose - considering success of a song and quantity of covers on it, Mars ensured reliable financial feed.

He told about history of emergence of the hit so:
“I went along the boulevard of Hollywood and saw the poster at the Given Rise to Go window with the image of the motorcycle which as the volcano was thrown up from the earth in a flame. At that time I just bought the first car. So everything came together: an image of the motorcycle and those freedom and pleasure which I tested from possession of a car“. John Kaye told to

a few other version: “He wrote to
“Born To Be Wild“ because dreamed to earn on the American Motors Matador motorcycle. It would give it feeling of independence and freedom, here and inspired on writing of a song. But on motorcycles it was not turned. In the song about them it is also not sung, “Get your motor running“ is told there (“Cut the motor“). It could be anything. Actually he wrote about age-old entertainment of the American teenagers - to drive on the highway and to frighten normal drivers. The hit appeared very at the right time - around only and went on about independence, other way of life, about “alternative“, freedom from parental guardianship... generally, it corresponded to a rebellious spirit of youth“.

Also Kaye claims that in initial option the song reminded folk more - the ballad, and STEPPENWOLF turned it in the vigorous airtight fighter. Music of group in general differed in rigidity big for those times, and by right it is considered one of the first examples of hard style and “hev - metal“ (first these terms did not divide).

John Kaye:
“We with Gerry at the same time decided that the main thing in our music - a powerful rhythmic basis. “Vdar to them is stronger, explain that wanted - and move further“ - we were guided by such principle. At the same time texts of group were quite philosophical: here both influence folk - communities, and memories of the childhood spent in post-war Germany affected. I considered that heavy music is quite capable to give to people food for serious reflections“.

By the way about “heavy metal“. Many disputes go about the one who the first used expression of “heavy metal“. The palm is usually given to the writer William Burroughs, and STEPPENWOLF surely take the second place. And all thanks to one line from “Born To Be Wild“, namely - of “heavy metal thunder“ . Some “expert“ translated it as “a roar of heavy tools“ , and since then this “translation“ wanders from article in article. Though, having even taken the dictionary from the shelf, it becomes clear that it is about “a heavy metal thunder“ , to be exact about that sound which is made by an exhaust pipe.

Hey, start the
motor Rush on the highway
forward Look for adventures
What there would be no darling to
Yes, we will make this
we Will hug the world of love
we Will shoot from all guns of
I at once we will land it in

Ya air I like a smoke and lightnings
Peals of thunder of heavy
metal to Rush to feel competing in speed with the
I wind that I test
Yes, the darling, we will make this
Will hug the world of love
Will shoot of all guns of
I will land it in air

at once As true children of the nature
We are given rise to be free
We can highly climb up
We want to live forever

Are given rise to be free...

In spite of the fact that “Born To Be Wild“ became the most commercially successful (and in my opinion, and the best) for all career of STEPPENWOLF, the group made stable success up to self-dissolution in 1972. Day when Kaye declared disintegration of group - on February 14 - the mayor Los - Andzheles even declared in “the afternoon of STEPPENWOLF“ that it already speaks about much. Subsequently, as usual, the group periodically reunited and, in my opinion, acts still.

As for “Born To Be Wild“, it is not tired to be rehashed. And in the singer`s lips Kim Wilde (Kim Wild) the song got also a punning shade - “Given rise to be Wilde“.