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. Though he didn't speak English at the time, the music's primal energy touched something deep in him, instilling both a driving ideal of personal freedom and an abiding interest in American culture. In 1958 he immigrated to Canada and continued his love affair with music, performing as a folk and blues singer throughout North America before joining the rock band The Sparrow which became part of the scene happening in Toronto’s Yorkville, later, San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury and finally LA’s Sunset Strip. There in 1967 Kay formed Steppenwolf, which quickly became one of the world’s foremost rock n’ roll bands releasing such standards as "Born to Be Wild," "Magic Carpet Ride”, songs which catapulted the band into international prominence and which today stand amongst Rock's most indelible anthems. Other classics include powerful songs like “The Pusher” and “Snow Blind Friend” In addition, because of the lyrical content of songs such as “Monster” Steppenwolf has long been considered “The thinking man’s Rock Band”
Since the group’s humble beginning in a garage on Fountain Avenue in Hollywood, John has led and continues to lead the band, now in its sixth decade. As Steppenwolf’s vocalist and primary song writer, he’s been the band’s driving force, guiding it through personnel changes, the good times as well as some rough times, always ready to speak his mind, never willing to compromise the band’s music.
Because John now spends more time working on the Maue Kay Foundation’s Wild Life conservation and human rights projects, JOHN KAY & STEPPENWOLF only perform on a selective basis, approximately 10 to 12 concerts per year. In this way the “Wolf Pack” still has an opportunity to see their favorite band and - through the foundation’s efforts - John is able to support the causes he deeply cares about.
MAUE KAY FOUNDATION
The Maue Kay Foundation a non profit 501(c) (3) charitable foundation formed in 2004 by John Kay and Jutta Maue Kay supports individuals and organizations engaged in the protection of WILDLIFE THE ENVIRONMENT and HUMAN RIGHTS
In recent years, whether at home in North America or through travels in other parts of the world, we've increasingly come in contact with people whose efforts to protect Wildlife, the Natural Environment and Human Rights* are an inspiration to us. Providing financial assistance for their various projects is the primary mission of the Maue Kay Foundation. However we also hope to enlist additional support for their exemplary work, through the information, images and video clips, featured on our various project pages. Each page contains a link to the organization in question, in case you wish to obtain additional information, including how to make direct contributions.
Visit the Maue Kay Foundation