Montecito’s Resident Rocker Talks Humanitarian Work
Every 15 minutes, a majestic elephant is killed for its tusks. Rhinoceros are slaughtered so their horns can serve as alleged aphrodisiacs. Orangutans cling to increasingly deforested habitats in Sumatra and Borneo.
Steppenwolf frontman John Kay is outraged by this. The Montecito-based singer/songwriter, best known for legendary hits “Magic Carpet Ride” and the presciently titled “Born to Be Wild,” is passionately committed to helping people who, as he puts it, “have their fingers in the dike” of wildlife extinction. In 2004, along with partner and wife Jutta Maue Kay, Kay established the Maue Kay Foundation, which provides financial assistance to a collection of carefully curated organizations, many of which are dedicated to the eradication of human-wildlife conflict.
Kay’s music has always had an... read more
By Daniel Barbour
If you were alive to see "Easy Rider" on the big screen or were involved in hippie or biker culture back in the day, there's a decent chance you were there to see John Kay & Steppenwolf perform atChevy Court Monday night.
Primarily known for their classic rock biker anthem "Born To Be Wild," and their second single "Magic Carpet Ride," Steppenwolf are a band firmly planted in American pop cultural history. And those who saw them play tonight saw exactly why that is.
Many of the classic rock bands of the sixties and seventies have lost a bit of their luster as live performers and can be rather disappointing to watch nowadays. But this couldn't be further from the truth in regards to John Kay and Steppenwolf.
In terms of both musicianship and energy these guys are every ounce as great as they were in their prime, with no vocal cracks or flubbed guitar solos to speak of. Indeed if solos were what you were after this evening you were in for some good ones, as both keyboardist Michael Wilk and lead guitarist Danny Johnson ripped through a number of furious licks throughout the night.
Then, of course, there's frontman John Kay. Charismatic, funny, and as good a performer at 70 as anyone else in the business, Kay was a blast to watch. One particularly impressive moment was the intro to "Screaming Night Hog," which features a harmonized melody between Johnson on guitar and Kay on harmonica. Given how imprecise a lot of harmonica players are, this was pretty impressive... read more
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