Music Groups - John Kay (musician)
John Kay (born Joachim Fritz Krauledat, 12 April 1944, Tilsit then Germany, today Russia) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist known as the frontman of Steppenwolf. Kay has lived since 1990 in Franklin, Tennessee.
In the Evacuation of East Prussia in early 1945, in harsh winter conditions, his mother first had to flee with the baby boy from the advancing Soviet troops. In 1948, the two also fled from Arnstadt in the East German Soviet occupation zone to resettle in Hanover, West Germany (as recounted in his song "Renegade" on the album Steppenwolf Seven). Located in the British occupation zone, teen aged Joachim, suffering from eyesight problems, listened to music broadcast by the British Forces Broadcasting Service before his family moved to Canada in 1958.
He joined a blues rock and folk music group known as The Sparrows in 1965, which had moderate success in Canada before moving to California, augmenting its line-up and changing its name to Steppenwolf in 1967. With music that pioneered hard rock and heavy metal, Kay's Steppenwolf had international success with songs such as "Born to Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride", "Monster", "The Pusher", and "Rock Me". This was multiplied by the use of "Born to Be Wild" and "The Pusher" in the 1969 movie Easy Rider.
Kay recorded both as a solo artist and with Steppenwolf during the late 1970s, and wrapped up Steppenwolf's 40th year of touring with what was to be a final gig in October 2007. However, Kay and Steppenwolf were scheduled to appear July 24, 2010, at the three-day HullabaLOU music festival in Louisville, Ky.
In 2004 he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame, in recognition of his early years as a Canadian citizen and the beginnings of his musical career in Toronto. Kay was present at the induction ceremony in Toronto, and reiterated his strong affection for Canada.
Kay suffers from increased sensitivity to light, so he wears his trademark sunglasses. He also has congenital achromatopsia, complete colorblindness, a defect of the eyes which causes legal blindness. Despite this condition, he is an avid videographer.
Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kay_(musician)
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