Should John Kay play "forgive and forget" with Goldy McJohn?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Les26, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Les26

    Les26 Active Member

    A question for you Steppenwolf fans out there (or anyone else that knows this story); as you know many years ago original keyboardist Goldy McJohn and second bassist in the band Nick St. Nicholas signed away their royalty rights in order to use the band name "Steppenwolf". Obviously without John Kay in the group as lead signer those bands went nowhere. From what I have heard Nick had a lot more to do with the whole thing then Goldy did, but my question is how do you feel at this point in time about John letting it go and letting Goldy have his royalties back? I know a deal is a deal, and he signed the papers way back when, but even though it is none of my business as a fan it kind of hurts that Goldy is struggling financially, and his sound was an EXTREMELY important part of the Steppenwolf sound, it almost seems like he should get something? Again, it's none of my business, but what do you other fans feel about it?

    Nick plays in "World Class Rockers" with original Steppenwolf guitarist Michael Monarch so he seems to be doing alright, at least better than Goldy is doing.....
     
  2. Voynich

    Voynich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Alboran Sea
    If they weren't coerced or misled in anyway when they signed that contract, I'd say it's a done deal and they should have used a bit of foresight at the time. Too little too late, in other words.
     
  3. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    They should have known better. John is/was a smart guy.
     
  4. RockWizard

    RockWizard Forum Resident

    I remember the fallout back in the 80's. I used to go to a hair stylist who was a musician. He tells me - hey, we're doing a gig tonight and we're opening for Steppenwolf. I asked him...the REAL Steppenwolf? He said yeah. I said....I find it weird that band is playing a dump bar in Fat City.

    I went. His band played and left the stage. Strange thing - "Steppenwolf" came out and used THEIR equipment! I look on the stage and lock in on the keyboardist and bass player. I told a friend - put a beard on the keyboardist and check out the earring on the bass player - Goldy and Nick. My friend thought I was nuts.

    A few days later, John Kay and Steppenwolf came to do a club show. I went. Before the show started, John made an announcement: I need to clear something up for you people. Many of you have seen bands claiming to be Steppenwolf. The necessary measures have been taken. THIS is the real deal. I was floored. Weird way to see most of a classic lineup.

    Like DrAftershave said, John is a smart guy and keen businessman. Nobody forced them to sell their rights. Guess they didn't have the hindsight to see what sales would do once CD's came out. Sign your rights away, you have no legal right to use a "brand" name. Friends are friends, but....BUSINESS is BUSINESS.
     
  5. krlpuretone

    krlpuretone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Grantham, NH
    Was unaware there is a controversy.

    Underrated band, for sure.
     
  6. steve722

    steve722 Member

    John Kay told me in an interview years ago that it was an agreement that was signed and is now completely out of his hands. I do know that several years ago, during a Wolf Pack convention, John gave Goldy a pretty large chunk of cash, mainly to get his teeth fixed. However, Goldy still trashes John on his website every chance he gets.
     
  7. Tjazz

    Tjazz Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I like John Kay and his music. I've heard his side of the story. Never really heard any other side. He sounded like a reasonable guy.

    The debate is always what's fair? What's enough? Did Steppenwolf royalties amount to enough? One side might say it's alot and the other might say not. Did Gordy waste away his money?
     
  8. Les26

    Les26 Active Member


    In Kay's book they talked about how they would play clubs right after the "other" bands played there and were told of the "horror stories" of how bad it was. The other bands had at times and various lineups which included Goldy, Nick, Kent Henry and even original bassist Rushton Moreve, but that didn't last long as alledgedly he and Kent Henry couldn't get along.
     
  9. Les26

    Les26 Active Member

    Well.....he did say on the VH1 documentary "I was the guy who paid three-quarters of a million dollars in lawyers fees to stay out on the road".

    I hear what you guys are saying and the legalaties and all, I just feel badly for the guy. He was such a huge part of that great band it just doesn't seem right to have to know that the guy is struggling to make ends meet....Mike Monarch on that same show said "when CD'S came out there was a whole lot of money to be made, and those guys definitely lost out on a lot of money".

    I'm not saying who's right and who's wrong-I just feel for the guy....:shake:
     
  10. tuttle

    tuttle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    We don't know what is right. We don't know how much money he was paid at various points. He may have been generously paid, but spent, mis-managed and wasted his riches.

    Unfortunately that happens with lots of rock stars and athletes who get very rich, then have nothing a few years later because of their own poor financial management and just plain stupid spending.
     
  11. Les26

    Les26 Active Member


    Yes very true....on that VH1 special when they talked about when the fame hit he said "it meant a lot more money and a lot of Porsches in my driveway" so he did have some of the "spoils" at one time.
     

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