Goldy McJohn (born John Raymond Goadsby on May 2, 1945) is a keyboard player best known as the original keyboardist for the group Steppenwolf. Originally a classically trained pianist, he was a pioneer in the early use of the electronic organ in rock music. He is also an avid golfer.
inspired by the novel by cult author Herman Hesse. The band's exemplary debut album included "Born To Be Wild" which reached number 2 in the US charts. This rebellious anthem was written by Dennis Edmonton (aka Mars Bonfire), guitarist in Sparrow and brother of drummer Jerry. It was featured in the famous opening sequence of the movie Easy Rider, and has since acquired classic status (the song achieved its highest UK chart position, number 18, when it was re-released in February 1999). Steppenwolf actively cultivated a menacing, hard rock image, and successive collections mixed this heavy style with blues. "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Rock Me" were also US Top 10 singles yet the group deflected the criticism attracted by such temporal success by addressing contemporary issues such as politics, drugs and racial prejudice. Newcomers Larry Byrom (guitar) and Nick St. Nicholas (b. 28 September 1943, Hamburg, Germany; bass), former members of Time, were featured on Monster, Steppenwolf's most cohesive set. A concept album based on Kay's jaundiced view of contemporary (1970) America, it was a benchmark in the fortunes of the group. Continued personnel changes undermined their stability, and later versions of the band seemed content to further a spurious biker image, rather than enlarge on earlier achievements.
In 1964, he played with local band, Little John & The Friars before moving on later that year to become a member of the Mynah Birds, which also included Rick James, Bruce Palmer and (after McJohn left) Neil Young. In March 1965, he briefly joined The Diplomats before joining The Sparrows in September of that year. John Kay asked him if he could be known as "Goldy" while riding the bus to Willowdale. Goldy felt "Goldy Goadsby" wouldn't be right, so in honor of his mother, Dorothy (nee) McIntyre, Goldy added the "Mc" to his legal first name, creating his stage name. The band (with various changes) went on to become Steppenwolf and he remained with the group from 1967 to 1974 when he was fired by Kay.
During Steppenwolf's hiatus in the early 1970s, he and Steppenwolf drummer Jerry Edmonton formed Manbeast with Rod Prince and Roy Cox of Bubble Puppy, during which time the band penned at least one song that would appear on Steppenwolf's 1974 release, Slow Flux, Goldy's last with the band. He later joined Steve Marriott(Humble Pie) on keyboards for a tour.
Recently Goldy has started to rekindle his performing career with two bands. A new band is now in the formation and rehearsal process. Hopes for a 2011 Tour remain high.