Steppenwolf doesn’t get its motor running as often as it used to.
Scheduling only a dozen or so shows a year better suits this classic rock group’s style after nearly a half century of performing.
“We’re on the road only a fraction of what we did during the old days,” says drummer Ron Hurst who has been with Steppenwolf since 1984.
They may have been “Born to be Wild,” but the band mates now prefer enjoying their personal lives to a life on the road, Hurst says.
This weekend, Steppenwolf brings one of those dozen annual shows to Wild Adventures Theme Park. The audience can expect the classic rock anthems “Born to be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride” as well as hits like “Rock Me” and “The Pusher,” all from the official band known now as John Kay and Steppenwolf. Kay is the only original member left from the 1967 Steppenwolf which took its name from the title of a mystical Hermann Hesse novel.
In a phone interview with The Times, Hurst says the band has dealt with other groups claiming to be Steppenwolf. Kay placed his name in the billing to emphasize that this Steppenwolf is the authentic group.
This group has also re-recorded all of the classic Steppenwolf hits through the years. Both the original and the newer recordings of “Born to be Wild” have been used in numerous movies, television shows, commercials and more.
Of the rock anthem, Hurst says, “It’s fun, definitely not tired of it, even though we have been playing it a long, long time.”
But Steppenwolf has never lost its enthusiasm for playing “Born to be Wild,” and the audience has never lost its enthusiasm for hearing the roaring rocker.
The song’s fan appreciation crosses various demographics and ages, from the expected aging bikers to toddlers, all of whom can still hear the song on a daily basis on classic rock radio as well as the soundtrack for numerous other productions.
“Every generation relates to that song,” Hurst says. “No matter how it was introduced to them, radio, commercial, movie, recently or years ago, everyone relates to it because that song is about them, no matter the age.”
It is also a song that normally comes near the end of each show, not only because “Born to be Wild” is Steppenwolf’s biggest hit and signature song, but because, with its rising intensity and increasing pace, Hurst asks, “where do you go energy-wise after that?”
John Kay and Steppenwolf performs.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13.
Where: Wild Adventures Theme Park, Old Clyattville Road
Admission: Concert is included in the park’s regular admission price and with passes. Reserved seating available for an additional $15. More information: Visit wildadventures.com