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Steppenwolf .

Bath Festival

6-27-70.

Steppenwolf at Bath © Dee C

     steppenwolf were one of the most successful acts of the festival and they played at exactly the right time and to the right constituency - The Hells Angels. The band were a noted favorite of the bikers, so the Angels were situated right in front of stage , having been there since they had escorted Fairport Convention to the stage in the afternoon , driving their bikes - loaded with musicians- right through the middle of the crowd !


        
When the Wolf took to the stage it was quite late in the evening- although still light as it doesn't get dark until really late at that time of the year. They were just the band to keep the Angels contented, they scorched through most of their greatest songs - Born to Be Wild, The Pusher, Magic Carpet Ride, etc, to the delight of almost everyone present .

 

    This was an uncompromising set -a real no holds barred barnstormer, but then , that was the way Steppenwolf always played it at that point in their career when thay still had a lot of enthusiasm

Straight ahead rock and roll with balls. 
 

   
A newspaper of the day  reported  :
"The Angels were still lurking about. Unappeased by the sissy stuff , they wanted Haul Ass music . Steppenwolf !.John Kay and his skin tight leathers ,an Eagle embossed on his back . He mentioned the words EASY RIDER and the Angels screamed in glory..
Introducing a big Joe Williams cop" Screaming  Night Hog",he bent down towards the bikers up front and said, hey, here's one with that chopper sound ....He twisted his hand in an imaginary throttle grip. The Angels knew they had their guy"


        Of course , being a real wimp I stayed away from the near front, as one guy had already been chained in the face for presuming to ask the Angels to stop blocking his view, but Altamont it was not. British Angels were pretty amiable compared to the US version. Whatever, The Wolf were a real dynamite act at the time and gave excellent value , they had huge applause when they finished their set. 

         We have located two tapes of this show, one of which appeared on bootlegs many years ago and the other a different version ,which is of superior qality overall, but which is incomplete, only five tracks in all, these being - Sookie Sookie ,Hoochie Koochie Man , The Pusher ,Born To Be Wild and Magic Carpet Ride .Overall the quality is quite good.This version of the show was recorded on a reel to reel and has superior sound over the other , complete version .The copy of which we have heard has varied sound , with muddy patches and a tape flutter on the final minute or two of Monster and Tighten Up Your Wig, although when cleaned up with a digital sound program, a lot of its flaws have been rectified.

      This is presumably the version of the show which was featured on the original bootleg and the setlist of this was kindly provided by Steppenwolf collector Bill Weeks, who says his copy is a " very average audience tape"
Setlist. 

  • Sookie Sookie
  • Hoochie Koochie Man
  • Tighten Up Your Wig
  • Monster
  • Screaming Night Hog
  • From Here to There Eventually
  • Corrina Corrina
  • Hey Lawdy Mama
  • The Pusher
  • Born To Be Wild
  • Magic Carpet Ride

    70 minutes


     Listening to this again after all these years, it soon becomes evident just why this band had such a good live reputation, the band kicks ass seriously , with great bluesy guitar work, huge energy and of course ,the stirling vocals of John Kay. Next to Tuna and the Airplane this was probably the best hard rock set of the weekend.

If anyone has photos or audio available of this show please Contact us
                                                                        

 

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Ross Mortimore's streaming Quicktime movie of the crowd features clear images of the stage PA , Colosseum onstage and bikers with Canned Heat at Bath as a soundtrack provided courtesy of Bob C .

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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Bath Festival we have brought out a special commemorative set. Anyone interested can view it on http://www.rockmusic-offer.co.uk/

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