:''This article is about the band. For other uses, see Steppenwolf.
thumb|250 px|right|Steppenwolf 'Gold' album cover
"Steppenwolf" was a 1960s and 1970s rock 'n' roll band, best known for the hits "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride". Due to the German background of the band's leader John Kay, they were named after the novel ''Steppenwolf'' by author Hermann Hesse.
At the age of 4, John Kay and his mother, after escaping from East Prussia, fled from Soviet occupied East Germany to West Germany (an event recounted in the song "Renegade" on the album ''Steppenwolf Seven'' and "The Wall" on the album ''Rise and Shines''), before moving to Canada in 1958.
Steppenwolf had its origins in a Toronto blues band called ''The Sparrow'', which was formed in 1964 and played coffeehouses in Yorkville. By 1967 they had settled in San Francisco, playing mix of blues rock, psychedelia and folk music. Producer Gabriel Mekler of the label Dunhill Records in Los Angeles, suggested to introduce more aggressive beats. With music that pioneered hard rock and heavy metal, they became Steppenwolf, and this band's original members were:
*John Kay, vocals, guitar, harmonica