Goldy McJohn


A classically trained pianist, McJohn has been credited as one of the pioneers who used a Hammond B-3 organ early on in heavy metal music.

In 1964, Canadian McJohn was a member of a band called The Mynah Birds, which included Rick James (later of “Super Freak” fame) Bruce Palmer (later to be the bassist of Buffalo Springfield). After McJohn left, another luminary, Neil Young, would join the band

In 1966, singer/sonwriter/vocalist John Kay formed a band called Sparrow with several Canadian musicians, including McJohn. The band moved to Califonia, renamed the group Steppenwolf, secured a recording contract and were on their way. McJohn was in Steppenwolf from 1967 to 1975, when he was fired by Kay

Like many rock musicians in the 60’s, McJohn found psychedlic drugs to be a nice diversion. He claims the organ part on “Magic Carpet Ride” comes in late because he was so out of it during the recording session!

McJohn takes a break around the 1:50 mark in his heyday with Steppenwolf