The Daily Cut: Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild”

Steppenwolf: “Born to Be Wild”

ALBUM: Steppenwolf

YEAR: 1968

WRITER: Mars Bonfire (a.k.a. Dennis Edmonton, born Dennis McCrohan)

Peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Born to Be Wild” was written by Mars Bonfire, the brother of Steppenwolf drummer Jerry Edmonton and a former bandmate of both his brother and Steppenwolf singer John Kay in a group called The Sparrow. Kay tells how they got the song from him and how they needed to change it to make it into what it became.  “When The Sparrow broke up, Dennis went off on his own to do a solo album, and on it he had ‘Born to Be Wild.’ I have no idea what the inspiration was, but I do know that his version was a ballad. And Jerry, his brother, brought the album to us, because we were rehearsing in my garage trying to get some new material together. And Jerry said, ‘Listen, I know this is kind of puny-sounding, but we could do this in a rock style.’”

Former Steppenwolf guitarist Michael Monarch, who played on “Born to Be Wild,” celebrates his 65th birthday today (July 5th).


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