Arts and Entertainment

Band will get your motor runnin’

Keyboardist Goldy McJohn, original member of the band Steppenwolf.  - photo courtesy of
Keyboardist Goldy McJohn, original member of the band Steppenwolf.
— image credit: photo courtesy of

Steppenwolf has had a turbulent ride since its emergence in the 1960’s, with clashing personalities, multiple break-ups and four dozen band members.

However, the band that’s responsible for eight gold albums, and three iconic top-10 hits, including “Born to Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride,” has a new incarnation.

Original Steppenwolf keyboardist Goldy McJohn will present a tribute to Steppenwolf at Oak Harbor’s TOCGS (Two O’Clock Gathering Spot) Bar and Grill on Friday, July 3.

McJohn was with Steppenwolf until the group officially disbanded. Frontman John Kay stated he no longer wished to tour.

Guitarist Glen Bui later met McJohn at a record-release party for the band Yes.

“He indicated that he’d like to perform again and keep the legacy of Steppenwolf alive,” Bui said.

Today, McJohn is backed by five experienced musicians including Lloyd Poole, a drummer from the band Sugarloaf (“Green Eyed Lady”). The band has headlined arenas, fairs and casinos across the Northwest. Two of the musicians, Poole and Mike Keesal, are from Whidbey Island.

Friday’s concert will include an all-star line-up, with a set by Roger Fisher, the founding guitar player of Heart, and Hannah Weeks, a rising country rock musician.

TOCGS will begin selling tickets at 2 p.m., Friday until about 130 are sold. They will open their doors at 7 p.m. for the cover charge. Tickets are $6.

The Steppenwolf Experience will begin at 8:15 p.m. and the audience can expect all the greatest hits, some original songs and well-known classic rock songs.

Independent filmmaker Shawn Cain will be filming the event for his year-long documentary on Steppenwolf.

The band will play two full sets.

“We always start off playing ‘Magic Carpet Ride,’” Bui said. “It sets the mood for the night.”

TOCGS is located at 880 SE Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor.

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