Growing up I was very lucky to be associated with a piece of rock & roll history. My dad's sister (my Aunt Marg) Margaret Millar married a man named Owen Mccrohan. They had two sons, Jerry and Dennis, and a daughter Margaret. Owen was in the music business and was a booking agent and nightclub owner (Jubilee Pavilion, Oshawa,Can). Jerry and Dennis grew up and had a band called Jack London and the Sparrow during high school. That band went on to become Steppenwolf, with the exit of Jack London and the entry of John Kay. Jerry was the drummer using the handle Jerry Edmonton and Dennis played guitar early on but then left the band and became more of an outside writer for Steppenwolf using the handle "Mars Bonfire". Dennis went on to write the all time classic "Born to Be Wild" and this has definitely become his claim to fame. I was too young in the early years of Steppenwolf to appreciate the meaning of the music business. Although Jerry  would play drums, with my Dad on piano, jamming Dave Brubeck and Sinatra hits in front of me. I was in diapers. My Aunt and Uncle finally took me to see Steppenwolf live years later in the early 70's at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada. It was the first rock show I had ever seen and it made me realize that there is nothing cooler than Rock & Roll. I'll never forget the smell of weed in the air when they busted into The Pusher. I didn't know what that smell was at the time, but it smelled good. After the original Steppenwolf broke up, Jerry went on to pursue other avenues such as photography and he kept playing as well. He started a band called Green Wheels. By this time I was in the Killer Dwarfs and started recording albums in L.A. Jerry lived there and started taking an interest in my career and was very supportive. He came over for dinner with the Dwarfs a few times when we were recording Dirty Weapons. I think he really liked the Dwarfs. Around 1991, Jerry and I were really starting to get close. He gave me his chrome 1961 Ludwig 5/14 snare that he toured and recorded with. He told me back in the 60's, you only had one snare. He said he only had two in all during the tours  of the 60's. That snare is in plastic put away in a safe spot. 


This is how unpredictable  life can be sometimes. Jerry was killed in a car accident outside Santa Barbara, Ca. where he lived on the eve of Thanksgiving 1993. I had just talked to him a week before about changing labels and what it's like when your band breaks up, because the Killer Dwarfs were on the verge of breaking up. He said, "Man, it's a bitch to start over!", and he was right. God bless him. He's sadly missed. On the positive..Goldy Goldster McJohn has been visiting the Time Capsule and has donated some rare pix I have added below. Visit the wild Hammond players site. Also check out the activities of Michael Monarch as well as John Kay and the present day version of Steppenwolf. 



Click on Pic's below for larger image!!!





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