Did Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf Influence The Who's Live At Leeds?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Gersh, Nov 27, 2016.

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  1. Gersh

    Gersh Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The other day, a friend said, did you ever notice how the rhythm and meter of Born To Be Wild (1968) sound like parts of Live At Leeds (1970), especially Magic Bus, Shaking All Over, and the jam extension of My Generation?

    I never thought about it before, but I think he's right. The rhythm guitar sound in particular, with John following. Obviously Pete always played big chords but there is a particular rhythmic sound on LAL that does sound a lot like Born To Be Wild.

    Comments?

    (Who did the rhythm guitar work on Born To Be Wild, was it Kay himself?)
     
  2. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    I doubt Townshend or The Who were directly influenced by "Born To Be Wild". The Who were very busy touring and writing Tommy when the song was a hit. I can hear similarities on the chordal guitar slashes, but nothing more.
     
    DK Pete likes this.
  3. zen

    zen Forum Resident

    Could be. Everyone had a transistor radio.
     
  4. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    Townshend was already playing like he does on "Leeds" at least a year before. Check out 4-5/6-68 Fillmore for example.
     
    lightbulb likes this.
  5. Gersh

    Gersh Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I know that Fillmore show, it's not like Leeds at all IMO.
     
  6. If anything Townshend's lead playing shows a very Hendrixian bent.

    If we are talking rhythm sound, I guess one could check out if similar amps, fuzzes and/or pick ups are in play. BUt it would be hard to just limit it to just Steppenwolf and The Who, as many bands were playing Gibsons, Marshalls and with and without fuzzes. Townshend has always been a pretty distinctive rhythm player so it is just as plausible that he influenced Kay and Monarch on their rhythm/sound.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  7. egebamyasi

    egebamyasi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    Rock ‘n’ roll is happening in America like it always did. We love it here. The Byrds, Steppenwolf, Booker T., Moby Grape, that’s rock ‘n’ roll.
    Pete 1968
     
  8. keifspoon

    keifspoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Would you say your guitar work on the Live At Leeds album was as good as anything you had done to that point?

    Pete Townshend: There was some nice stuff there. I don’t know what possessed me to actually start to play like that. I suppose it just must have been the influence of Hendrix.
     
  9. Gersh

    Gersh Forum Resident Thread Starter


    Right, but there is a particular rolling metre in Born To Be Wild that you hear in LAL too. At that Fillmore '68 it wasn't the same, it was super-loud and very punk like actually but not "that sound"...
     
  10. Gersh

    Gersh Forum Resident Thread Starter

    He meant the single note playing.
     
  11. Gersh

    Gersh Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Great quote. See how he mentions Steppenwolf...? The rest were important too, but why a Canadian band that was hardly a worldbeater? Because he dug that sound Kay got on that record, I'm convinced. It takes nothing away from The Who to acknowledge their influences.

    One of the main ones in '68 he could have mentioned was My Green Tambourine. Remind you of anything...?

     
  12. keifspoon

    keifspoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Hendrix was a bigger influence on Pete than anything Steppenwolf was doing. If anything, Steppenwolf was influenced by The Who. As someone pointed out earlier, The Who were doing LAL type shows since 1968.
     
  13. Gersh

    Gersh Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Except that they weren't, as the sound changed quite a bit. Listen to the jam of My Generation or the long instrumental part of Shakin All Over at the Fillmore show mentioned and compare it to Leeds. It sounds very different. I'm not saying Steppenwolf created the live Who sound and obviously John Kay would have heard and probably seen the Who before he recorded Born To Be Wild. I'm just saying I think that song has a tonal influence on parts of Leeds.
     
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