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Steppenwolf is a rock band that helped establish heavy metal music in the late 1960s along with bands like Blue Cheer and Iron Butterfly. The band was formed in 1967 in Los Angeles by vocalist John Kay, guitarist Michael Monarch, bassist Rushton Moreve, keyboardist Goldy McJohn and drummer Jerry Edmonton after the dissolution of its predecessor, The Sparrows.
The band has sold more than 25 million units worldwide, releasing 8 gold albums and 13 Hot 100 singles,including three top-10 hits in "Born to Be Wild" (it is in the lyrics of this song in which the term "heavy metal" is first heard in rock music, thus, according to some, attributing the term to songwriter Mars Bonfire), '"Magic Carpet Ride", and "Rock Me". Steppenwolf enjoyed worldwide success from 1968 to 1974, but clashing personalities led to the end of the core lineup. Today, frontman John Kay is the only original member left, having served as lead singer for almost all of the 40 years since 1967. Kay has stated that there will be no more Steppenwolf tours, but according to band manager Charlie Wolf, he has left open the possibility of doing "a half dozen shows in '09"