Friday, June 15, 2007

Steppenwolf Steps Into “Tuesday in the Park” Lineup!

John Kay & Co. Take A “Magic Carpet Ride” into Artpark June 26!

(Lewiston, NY) The first month of Artpark’s 2007 “First Niagara Tuesday in the Park” free outdoor concert series goes out with a bang as John Kay & Steppenwolf, the band immortalized by timeless classics such as “Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “The Pusher” and “Rock Me,” headline the June 26 installment. Lewiston resident Maria Aurigema will serve as the opening act for the event, which begins at 6:30pm and, as always, includes a plethora of hands-on art workshops for children.

Steppenwolf’s self-titled debut came out in 1968 in the middle of “flower power” and is one of the most important records in rock-and-roll history. Backed by the instant classic "Born to Be Wild," the overall psychedelic sound blended with a hard-driving beat to instantly make Steppenwolf the spokesmen for North America's attitude during the late ‘60s and mid ‘70s. Their popularity grew steadily as “Born to be Wild” was aggrandized as the backdrop to the Dennis Hopper cult-classic Easy Rider.

The band's career momentum and musical progression continued with such best-selling albums as Steppenwolf The Second (which yielded the Top-five classic "Magic Carpet Ride"), At Your Birthday Party (which spawned "Rock Me"), the ambitiously conceptual Monster (whose politically provocative title track became a surprise hit) Steppenwolf Live (which featured the studio single "Hey Lawdy Mama"), Steppenwolf 7 and For Ladies Only.

Steppenwolf broke up in 1971 following the release of For Ladies Only, and Kay went on to a successful solo career. The band reformed in 1974 with the album Slow Flux, which produced several minor hits, notably "Straight Shooting Woman," then disbanded again in 1976.

When Kay learned that two of his former bandmates were unimpressively touring with the "Steppenwolf" moniker in 1978 and tarnishing the legacy he’d spent nearly a decade building, he took action. Kay and Steppenwolf co-founder Jerry Edmonton (who by then had retired from music in favor of a career in photography) took steps to establish their legal claim to the band name.

In 1980, Kay launched an all-new lineup, now billed as John Kay and Steppenwolf, in an effort to rebuild his group's good name. The latest incarnation, featuring Kay (vocals/harmonica), Michael Wilk (keyboards/bass), Ron Hurst (drums) and Danny Johnson (guitar), has spent the past several years working a punishing touring regimen, playing everywhere possible to re-establish Steppenwolf's reputation as a class act.

The “First Niagara Tuesday in the Park” concert series is also sponsored by Certo Brothers Distributing Company, Sevenson Environmental Services, Modern Corporations, Hard Rock Café – Niagara Falls (USA), S&S Lawn Services, Tim Horton’s, Pine Pharmacy and DiMino’s Lewiston Tops. Children’s art activities are sponsored by the New York Power Authority.

Artpark’s Outdoor Amphitheater can be accessed via the Upper Park’s Portage Road entrance off of Center Street or through South Fourth Street nearest the venue’s Mainstage Theater.

Carry-ins (food and beverages) are prohibited at all of Artpark’s free concert events.

For more information, access the Artpark website at or call the Artpark Box Office at (716) 754-4375.
The Earl W. Brydges Artpark is being operated by Artpark & Company, Inc. for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation under a license agreement.###

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