Published Aug 04, 2017Keyboard player Goldy McJohn — one of the founding members of Canadian classic rock heroes Steppenwolf — has died. McJohn (real name John Goadsby) passed away on Tuesday (August 1) of a heart attack, according to a newly posted farewell message on his Facebook page. He was 72.
"Our hearts weep as we announce the passing of Goldy McJohn, Founding Father of Steppenwolf," the post reads. "Goldy suffered a sudden and fatal heart attack the morning of August 1st, 2017. The family thanks all of those who have protected their privacy leading up to this announcement while they dealt with this unexpected loss."
Playing on such classic songs as "Born to be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride," McJohn was one of key Canadians behind Steppenwolf, along with lead singer John Kay and drummer Jerry Edmonton. The band first started their career in Toronto in the '60s, with McJohn serving as the band's keyboard player.
Steppenwolf's biggest success came with their 1969 self-titled debut album, which spawned the hits "Born to Be Wild" and "The Pusher" — two tracks that heavily featured McJohn's Hammond B3 keyboard skills. McJohn went on to play on a long series of Steppenwolf albums over the years, with following hit "Magic Carpet Ride" once again prominently featuring McJohn's keyboard wizardry.
Last year, Steppenwolf were nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the band ultimately did not make the final cut.
McJohn eventually settled in Washington, where he released a series of solo albums, as well as led bands such as Born to Be Wild and Magic Carpet Ride. As the Facebook post points out, he was also involved in the Stand Up for the Music organization.
You can see the full Facebook post below.
A funeral service has been scheduled for August 11 in Seattle.