Steppenwolf Newcastle Mayfair 6th October 1972

Steppenwolf Newcastle Mayfair 6th October 1972
steppenwolflive“Born to be Wild” was a big song in the early ’70s. We’d seen Easy Rider, with Peter Fonda riding his Harley to the song, and Slade would close their set with their version of the song. Everywhere we went it was played. So a chance to see the legendary American masters of biker rock and heavy metal thunder, Steppenwolf, in Newcastle Mayfair ballroom wasn’t to be passed on. The Mayfair was packed; I got myself a spot close to the stage and waited for what seemed like hours (and probably was) for the band to take the stage; bands came on late at the Mayfair, probably around 11pm, and the venue was open until 2am. There were a lot of songs which were unfamiliar to me, but I recognised the doomy anti-drug anthem (God Damn) “The Pusher”, and “Magic Carpet Ride” with its great swirling organ intro and which was a minor UK singles chart hit in the late ’60s. The encore was of course “Born to be Wild” and the Mayfair crowd did exactly that; went wild and crazy. Front man John Kay looked super cool; all in black leather with dark shades. Steppenwolf performed “Born to be Wild” on the Old Grey Whistle Test during their visit to England; you can see it here: I just watched it and it brought back great memories of the Mayfair gig.
A Steppenwolf setlist in 1972 would be something like this: Sookie Sookie; Ride With Me; Foggy Mental Breakdown; Tighten Up Your Wig; Ball Crusher; Shackles and Chains; Monster / Suicide / America; The Pusher
Encore: Magic Carpet Ride; Born to Be Wild; Hoochie Coochie Man
Line-up at the time: John Kay (vocals); Kent Henry (guitar); George Biondo (bass); Goldy McJohn (keyboards) and Jerry Edmonton (drums).
Steppenwolf split in 1972, but reformed in the mid-’70s. Marie and I saw the reformed band when the returned to the Mayfair in, I think, 1975.
“Like a true nature’s child, We were born, born to be wild, We can climb so high, I never wanna die.
Born to be wild, Born to be wild”
(Born to be Wild, Steppenwolf, 1968)

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by David Buxton on September 23, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    I had the pleasure of seeing this concert, if my memory serves me well they didn’t actually get on stage until about 01.00hrs due to delay in flying up from London. Brilliant gig think I got home about 5 am . Great memories!


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