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Steppenwolf is a Canadian-American rock band whose song "Born to Be Wild" appeared in the episodes "The Great McCarthy" and "Better Living Through Chemistry" of the show Miami Vice.


Steppenwolf was formed in 1967 by lead singer John Kay (born 1944), guitarist Michael Monarch (born 1950), bassist Rushton Moreve (1948-1981, killed in motorcycle accident), keyboardist Goldy McJohn (born 1945), and drummer Jerry Edmonton (1946-1993, killed in car accident) from the Canadian band The Sparrows. Their debut album as Steppenwolf produced their most famous song, "Born to Be Wild" (#2, Billboard Hot 100), which became an anthem of the motorcycle crowd after its' inclusion in the movie Easy Rider, and created a new type of music genre, "heavy metal" (referencing the line "heavy metal thunder"). Their next two albums created two more Top 10 singles, "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Rock Me", all in the late 1960s. Band changes and conflicts resulted in the breakup of the group in 1972, then reunited again in 1974 to record two more albums, and their final Top 40 single, "Straight Shootin' Woman", reached that mark in 1975 before once again Steppenwolf disbanded.

After some legal wrangling (including numerous Steppenwolf spinoffs) John Kay began performing again in 1980 as "John Kay and Steppenwolf" with an entirely new lineup, which also seen numerous changes over the years, but the group continues to tour today with Kay as the only remaining original member of Steppenwolf.