John Kay

Born in East Prussia, Germany at the end of World War II, John Kay grew up trapped behind the iron curtain. His first distinct memory is a daring nighttime escape with his mother to West Germany; where later he was profoundly affected by the American rock 'n' roll he heard on U.S. Armed Forces Radio. In 1958, he immigrated to Canada and continued his love affair with music, performing as a folk and blues singer throughout North America. John eventually joined the rock band The Sparrow and played in Toronto’s Yorkville, San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury and, finally, LA’s Sunset Strip. There, in 1967, John formed Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf’s impressive discography includes the hits "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride,” songs that catapulted the band into international prominence. Other classics include powerful songs like “The Pusher,” “Snow Blind Friend” and “Monster.” The band’s masterful lyrics led Steppenwolf to earn the nickname, “The thinking man’s rock band.” As Steppenwolf’s vocalist and primary songwriter John’s been the band’s driving force, always ready to speak his mind, never willing to compromise the band’s music. In October 2019, after 50 years of performing, John Kay & Steppenwolf played their final concert. While John still plays occasional acoustic solo shows, he devotes most of his time on behalf of the Maue Kay Foundation, formed in 2004 by John and Jutta Maue-Kay, and its wildlife conservation and human rights projects.
From this Host

From Rock Star to Wildlife Advocate

From Rock Star to Wildlife Advocate is hosted by John Kay of Steppenwolf. You haven’t heard of Steppenwolf? Well, maybe the iconic songs, “Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride” and “The Pusher” ring a bell. John Kay is the vocalist and primary songwriter of Steppenwolf, one of the world’s foremost rock n’ roll bands. John Kay tells his personal story in his podcast, from the birth of Steppenwolf to how he became a champion of wildlife. Each episode features tales from John's life. He was born in East Prussia, which no longer exists. He shares anecdotes from the tribulations and triumphs of Steppenwolf. Also in the mix are travelogues of journeys to fascinating places, where defenders of wildlife risk their lives to protect our planet's living treasures. These heroes inspired John and Jutta Maue-Kay to create the Maue Kay Foundation, which now supports over a dozen non-governmental organizations and wildlife guardians around the world. So whether you’re a classic rock fan, an animal lover with a passion for wildlife or if you simply enjoy interesting stories, From Rock Star to Wildlife Advocate is your kind of podcast. A Maue Kay Foundation and Hot Pie Media original production.