OT: The John Kay of Steppenwolf we never knew... amazing story.

supershifter2

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I watched parts 1 and 2 about an hour ago. Steppenwolf was my first album I got and that was in 1969. Steppenwolf was the first concert I went to and that was in 1969. Born to be wild was the first song I learned to play on the drums and that was in 1970. Born to be wild was the first song I sang like a singer and that was in 1969. I had a 1969 mustang in 1985. Lots of 69 stuff.
 
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REF

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Memories, memories, memories. I can still see my Steppenwolf poster while I played along to their albums.

Kay is a very articulate man. I didn't know that about him. Back then they were the epitome of sex, drugs, and rock & roll debauchery. Excess and more excess.

I watched pt 2 as well. That was made in 2003. 16 years later he's still truckin.'
 

JDA

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Great story..one of my alltime favorite bands..wow wore monster out
John Kay is bad tt bone Glad he's still alive
 

EvEnStEvEn

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My band opened for Kay & Steppenwolf in 1980.
Never heard many of their albums other than the hit singles.
Will watch, thanks.
 

Nacci

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Dave McGowan dedicated an entire chapter to Kay in his book “Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon”

Documenting interesting details about Kay through out. His father, Fritz Krauledat was a Oberwatchmeister in the Nazi army that was killed in Operation Barbarossa.

Kay’s Mother Elsbeth received word of his death while she was pregnant with Joachim/John. From this point on the two were on the run from the Russian counterattack.

They eventually ended up in Arnstadt (West Germany) where she married a former Nazi soldier, POW AND mason by trade Gerhard Kyczinski.

From this point Joachim seems to lead a somewhat charmed life, attending an exclusive private school with a perpetual waiting list, traveling back and forth across the East/West border unhindered to visit Gerhard’s parents and vacationing in Travermunde.

McGowan attributes Kay getting his first radio and listening to Little Richard on US Armed Forces radio as a genesis for what was to come.

In 1958 Gerhard, Elsbeth and Joachim relocated to Toronto by plane. This marks a series of examples that McGowan gives of Kay leading a inexplicably charmed life. Flying would have been significantly more expensive that going by boat and his research could not uncover a source of funding for these extravagances.

In 1963 Gerhard again moved his family to Buffalo NY where he started an “Import/Export business and the three moved into a stately house on Woodward street.

From this point the Family quickly moves again, this time to Los Angeles where Gerhard lands a job at the German Consulate as a chauffeur for the counsel General.

This is the trajectory that landed John Kay in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles at the dawn and epicenter of a musical revolution.

DC5D3E13-1F3B-4D91-9E7A-A4F007BE7739.jpeg
 

rhythmace

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I went to the University of Texas Homecoming in '68 and Steppenwolf was set up on the floor and I was dancing right in front of the band like it was a high school gig. Laugh! In '69 I played in a really good rock band in Lubbock and we did "Born to be Wild" and "Sookie Sookie." Both great drummer songs. I remember hearing "Magic Carpet Ride" and loving it immediately. V IV I but with a great rhythm. Some great history in this first part. Ace
 

kallen49

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I admit I was thrilled to hear “hey Laudy Mama” in Avengers Endgame, in the scene where Cap & Tony go back to an army base in the 1960’s and a young Stan Lee zooms by.
When I was 15 I would come home from high school and blast that tune from the old stereo...
 

BennyK

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Dave McGowan dedicated an entire chapter to Kay in his book “Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon”

Documenting interesting details about Kay through out. His father, Fritz Krauledat was a Oberwatchmeister in the Nazi army that was killed in Operation Barbarossa.

Kay’s Mother Elsbeth received word of his death while she was pregnant with Joachim/John. From this point on the two were on the run from the Russian counterattack.

They eventually ended up in Arnstadt (West Germany) where she married a former Nazi soldier, POW AND mason by trade Gerhard Kyczinski.

From this point Joachim seems to lead a somewhat charmed life, attending an exclusive private school with a perpetual waiting list, traveling back and forth across the East/West border unhindered to visit Gerhard’s parents and vacationing in Travermunde.

McGowan attributes Kay getting his first radio and listening to Little Richard on US Armed Forces radio as a genesis for what was to come.

In 1958 Gerhard, Elsbeth and Joachim relocated to Toronto by plane. This marks a series of examples that McGowan gives of Kay leading a inexplicably charmed life. Flying would have been significantly more expensive that going by boat and his research could not uncover a source of funding for these extravagances.

In 1963 Gerhard again moved his family to Buffalo NY where he started an “Import/Export business and the three moved into a stately house on Woodward street.

From this point the Family quickly moves again, this time to Los Angeles where Gerhard lands a job at the German Consulate as a chauffeur for the counsel General.

This is the trajectory that landed John Kay in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles at the dawn and epicenter of a musical revolution.

View attachment 412751
Children of survivors grow up under a very dark cloud . Add to this the struggle of cultural orientation in a new country and you may find youngsters desperate to fit in, denying their heritage if necessary . Germans carry the sins of their fathers and grandfathers don't they ? Kay would've jumped on the 60's peace and love anti- war bandwagon with a focused determination .

Herman Hesse , author of Steppenwolf, a thoroughly indoctrinated pacifist who, after being kicked out of the Reich,spent the rest of his life in Switzerland suffering from severe depression and telling us all about it through literary endeavors . His books displayed next to Bagadvita(sp.), Furry Freak Bros Rubin and Hoffman and other " deep " stuff , parked on home made shelves somewhere above the stereo , either side of the tie dyed curtains .

Was Kay's step father,possibly through Stasi extortion , a sleeper in the employ of the newly minted People's Republic of East Germany , who of course were on the Kremlin leash . From Gestapo to Stasi is as easy as changing uniforms . Not all German nationals with questionable war records were industrialists or scientists .

Suggested reading :

Gunter Grass ... ' Far Afield '

Heinrich Gerlach ... ' The Forsaken Army '

John Le Carre ... ' Smiley's People '

and some of the better films -

Bridge of Spies

The Company ( from Litell's novel )
 
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Nacci

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Children of survivors grow up under a very dark cloud . Add to this the struggle of cultural orientation in a new country and you'll usually find youngsters desperate to fit in, denying their heritage if necessary . Germans carry the sins of their fathers and grandfathers , so Kay would've jumped on the 60's peace and love anti- war bandwagon with a focused determination .

Herman Hesse , author of Steppenwolf, was a thoroughly indoctrinated pacifist who, after being kicked out of the Reich,spent the rest of his life in Switzerland suffering from severe depression and telling us all about it through his literary endeavors , his books on full display along with Bagadvita(sp), Furry Freak Bros Rubin and Hoffman and other " deep " stuff . Usually parked on home made shelves somewhere above the stereo , either side of the tie dyed curtains ... but i digress .

Of course the big question that you are asking is , was Kay's step father,either through coercion or otherwise in the employ of Stasi , perhaps supported by the anonymous diaspora of fugitive nazi functionaries , not all of who re settled in Argentina . Two sides of the same coin .
I would not classify these Nazis as fugitives. Operation Paperclip documents released during the Church committee hearings revealed that thousands of high ranking Nazis were brought to this country post WWII and integrated into the CIA, NASA and Medical and educational institutions across the US, that is an admitted fact. Hell, our entire space program was headed by a relocated Nazi scientist Werner Von Braun and almost his entire staff.

McGowan's premise for "Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon" is that the Hippie movement was orchestrated by US intelligence to first co-opt then thoroughly discredit what was a legitimate and well organized anti war movement operating out of key educational institutions in the country.

This operation, according to McGowan began in the Laurel Canyon section of Los Angeles. It is taken in this context; Operation Paperclip and the Hippie movement Trojan Horse, that he is assessing John Kay. He compares Kay later in the book to a slew of right leaning, authoritarian, prone to violence individuals that somehow became synonymous with the peace and love movement, such as Arthur Lee of Love, Steven Still, who claimed to have served in Vietnam before our presence there became official, John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas and most notably Frank Zappa.

One interesting tale McGowan uses to illustrate this, let's say synergy between what appears to be two divergent camps is that of Leftist Socialist Folk singer Phil Ochs. Ochs was easily one of the most prolific and recognizable anti war folk singers of the 1960's.

Ochs was born in El Paso Texas in 1940 to a father who was assigned to Military Hospitals during the war. Ochs father was then dispatched to the European theatre in 1943 only to be medically discharged, sent back to the States and institutionalized in various mental hospitals where he underwent every manner of psychiatric treatment imaginable at the time. Ochs stated when his father returned home he was but a phantom.

Still, in 1956, Phil joined Staunton Military Academy, graduated, then enrolled in Ohio State University but dropped out just weeks prior to graduating to pursue a career in music. Ohio State University, like MIT has long been both a training and recruiting ground for the CIA.

Anyway upon graduating, Ochs got himself some plastic surgery, altered his appearance and hit the Folk music scene until ultimately becoming the face of the Folk Anti War movement.

In 1975 Ochs public personal drastically changed, he adopted the name John Butler Train, proclaimed himself a CIA operative, and began presenting himself as a belligerent Right Wing thug, stating in an interview that "on the first day of summer 1975 Phil Ochs was murdered in the Chelsea Hotel by John Train, for the good of society, public and secrets".
 
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