Steppenwolf singer John Kay celebrates his 75th birthday today (April 12th). The song “Born to Be Wild” was huge, it peaked at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100. But at first the record company didn’t think it was a hit and didn’t want it as an A-side — but the band pushed for it. Steppenwolf singer John Kay says their record company didn’t hear it.
“It was the third single released off the album, and the record company didn’t think it was a hit. So they said, ‘You can put that on the B-side, but this other tune here is the hit.’ Everybody was yelling and screaming and finally a compromise was reached. ‘Let’s put the songs back-to-back. We will not designate either side as being either A or B. We’ll put it out and we will let radio decide what they want to play.’ Within a couple of weeks, ‘Born to Be Wild’ was the one that 9 out of 10 stations went on.”