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Thread: RIP Goldy McJohn

  1. #1
    ff Fortissimo Sweet Pete's Avatar
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    RIP Goldy McJohn

    Goldy McJohn passed away Aug 1 of a sudden heart attack. May he rest in peace. Condolences to his wife Sonja and his children, and musicians and music fans everywhere.

    He will always be one of my main influences and was a true joy to converse with. Back in '68 when he introduced an E7#9 chord to rock and roll keyboards,
    he figured "why let Hendrix monopolize that chord".......

    Not being inducted into the R&R Hall Of Fame must have broken his heart. I told him 'next year' many times!
    After years of telling people "Goldy is dead"; John Kay can finally say it is a fact......
    Goldy laughingly referred to Kay as Manilli Wolfe because of live vocal 'backing tracks'.......at least Goldy could still play!
    Listen to the playing on Steppenwolf 7. Or with Humble Pie doing the Ray Charles classic "I Don't Need No Doctor"........its a long list of great tracks in the keys department.

    And could he ever drink strong coffee! Will miss the phone calls for sure. One of the greats!
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  2. #2
    pp Pianissimo Goff's Avatar
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    Godspeed Goldy. No matter the band hassles, you were respected for your part in the band by many of us!

    And according to Mixonline, American Recording Company on Sunset/Hollywood's Bill Cooper, they used a Lowrey with a broken speaker on the tracks for BTBW.
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    Last edited by Goff; 08-03-2017 at 11:30 PM.

  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo Sweet Pete's Avatar
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    Yeah Goff....this is a tough one.
    Saturday is a blues gig so I'll have the chance to blow off a lot of pent up steam and "Sooner Or Later Evertbody's Got To Go" is on the list.
    PGE with Paul Butterfield was a great band.
    Some players go on from their first sucess to share talent with others .
    My mentor and template and will always be one of his posse!

  4. #4
    pp Pianissimo Goff's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Pete View Post
    Yeah Goff....this is a tough one.
    Saturday is a blues gig so I'll have the chance to blow off a lot of pent up steam and "Sooner Or Later Evertbody's Got To Go" is on the list.
    PGE with Paul Butterfield was a great band.
    Some players go on from their first sucess to share talent with others .
    My mentor and template and will always be one of his posse!

    Sweet....Pete!

    I saw an encarnation of Steppenwolf at some club in LA in the 90's it was JK up front for sure but the stage was so dark I couldn't tell who was playing in the band. Don't even remember the name of the club, and no I was lucid. Friend and I, Steve Bidrowski, another SW fiend drummer from the San Diego band The Unknowns tried to catch the second show but we got caught hiding in the restroom...

    Anyway would you know if Goldy played with SW during that time?

    My fave album was Monster.

  5. #5
    ff Fortissimo Sweet Pete's Avatar
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    According to Goldy in 1974 John Kay fired the whole band, changed the name to John Kay and Steppenwolf.
    He then hired replacements and took the cash......
    Goldy also told me that the BTBW session started with the roadies dropping the Lowrey spinet off a loading dock.
    Add to that a blown up Leslie tweeter ,had his tech bypass the x-over and run the woofer full range.
    He also had a mentor.....Garth Hudson.
    Chest Fever had some mojo that a B3
    simply would not have created.
    I heard BTW on the local classic rock radio yesterday and shook my head when the announcer made no mention
    of his passing away Tuesday in Seattle.
    Oh well,it's only an iconic soundtrack that won a Grammy......

  6. #6
    pp Pianissimo Goff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Pete View Post
    According to Goldy in 1974 John Kay fired the whole band, changed the name to John Kay and Steppenwolf.
    He then hired replacements and took the cash......
    Goldy also told me that the BTBW session started with the roadies dropping the Lowrey spinet off a loading dock.
    Add to that a blown up Leslie tweeter ,had his tech bypass the x-over and run the woofer full range.
    He also had a mentor.....Garth Hudson.
    Chest Fever had some mojo that a B3
    simply would not have created.
    I heard BTW on the local classic rock radio yesterday and shook my head when the announcer made no mention
    of his passing away Tuesday in Seattle.
    Oh well,it's only an iconic soundtrack that won a Grammy......
    Yeah now that you mention it that's how the club show in LA was billed "John Kay AND Steppenwolf."

    Even if not privy to the goings on amongst the original Steppenwolf, imo, they added their 2 cents to the hits that were, in their own way, reponsible for what we heard and appreciated. Not unless the deal was all who played on the tracks were seen as sessionists, I would hope they get compensated each time those songs get airplay at least if the original band didn't tour. I would think it unlikely that one guy in the band or maybe an arranger wrote out charts for all the parts and the players just played the notes with no input other than a phrasing style.
    Whomever was in the studio on those tracks added their soul to those songs. Can't dismiss that.

    Mike Monarch's guitar knell on the intro of BTBW was catchy as all get out or Larry Byrom 's guitar parts on Monster were/are iconic to me.

    This sort of reminds me of Mountain and organist Steve Knight who got razzled by West even though Leslie is my favorite guitarist and that period of Mountain was as good as it got, Steve still added parts that spoke to many a listener, and to an organist Knight put some tasty parts that made the whole thing gel to Mountain fans.

    So Goldy may have latched on to the Lowrey, through Garth?

    AFIK, Goldy's tone, chords, solos, his use of rotor on their breakout songs had much to do with melding the already organ focused sound of the 60's that was all over the place and drew listeners as well as musos to the band. It wasn't just about the songs, it was also how they were interpreted by the musicians on the original tracks.

  7. #7
    ff Fortissimo Sweet Pete's Avatar
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    The scene in Toronto back before they moved to New York and LA.....featured bands the likes of The Hawks,The Bossmen and The Mynah Birds.....who had Neil Young and Rick James and John Goadsby AKA Goldy.....McJohn was a stage name.
    Another pioneer of the jazz/rock scene
    was Tony Collicut who played piano on Brainwashed..
    Mandala Soul Crusade was another cult status opening the door to funk rock pre James Gang or Mountain....
    The Band
    Steppenwolf,
    David Clayton Thomas
    James Gang
    Toronto did more than hold their own......

  8. #8
    pp Pianissimo Goff's Avatar
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    Would you know who of the original members is in this video? It's listed as 1976 Midnight Special

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZS3_G6BAE4

  9. #9
    ff Fortissimo Sweet Pete's Avatar
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    In that video the only non original member I recognize is Larry Byrom.
    Goldy got to play that B3 for less than a month before he was replaced.
    He never did get a decent settlement over his disputes with Kay.
    That video was at the end of the original band members era .......so my time line of 1974 was off by 15 months or so.....
    As for the audio mix......you can hear way more guitar than keys so Goldy was no longer as important to the sound in the opinion of Kay......big mistake IMO.

  10. #10
    pp Pianissimo Goff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Pete View Post
    you can hear way more guitar than keys so Goldy was no longer as important to the sound in the opinion of Kay......big mistake IMO.
    I agree. The organ added so much to the songs. There's always this ongoing tug of war on "organ or no organ.." I can't understand it. It's just music... not a roost for the cock of the walk.

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