We chose this song not for the 5 minute 43 second version that came out on their debut album Steppenwolf but for a earlier recording that was produced from a live performance at the Matrix Club in San Francisco. This was back when they were still playing as The Sparrows. What we really like about this 21 minute version of The Pusher, is the 14 minute, improvised Psychedelic jam session at the beginning of the song that recalls what the music scene was like back in the early days of the Haight-Ashbury scene. Plus the fact that it sounds like some early jam sessions that can found of a very famous British band (Pink Floyd) back before they made it big or what the The Doors were doing down in L.A with our favorite classic Doors song The End.
Written by the late folk singer Hoyt Axton after a friend of his died of a drug overdose. Steppenwolf took the song to new heights. Being featured in the classic movie Easy Rider doesn’t hurt much either. Once the band breaks out of the the highly “high” improvising there is no doubt that they have broken into The Pusher, The raw sound that comes from the unedited show gives the tune a tough, hard edge, grinding sound that brings out the true meaning of the song. John Kay’s singing gives us the tough. The guitar playing of John and Mars Bonfire give us the hard edge. With the help of Goldy McJohn on organ, Nick St. Nicholas on bass and the late Jerry Edmonton on drums we get the grind.
“God damn, The Pusher
God damn, I say The Pusher
I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man”
Video courtesy of #Steppenwolf