Arts & Entertainment

Steppenwolf to Perform at Balloon Festival

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Credits: courtesy photo
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READINGTON, NJ - People attending the upcoming 34th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning now have their choices for taking a magic carpet ride: taking a hot air balloon ride in the sky or listening to John Kay and Steppenwolf.

The band (“Born to Be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Rock Me”) will headline the balloon festival’s popular live concert series with special guest Foghat in association with Q104.3 on Sunday, July 31.

Steppenwolf was one of the prominent rock bands in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, selling more than 25 million records worldwide, releasing eight gold albums and 12 Billboard Hot 100 singles including three Top 10 successes.

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Kay has certainly lived the life of a rock-and-roll rebel. After a perilous midnight escape from post-war East Germany as a child, he grew up on a steady diet of Armed Forces Radio and became inspired by the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. At age 13, he decided to make rock-and-roll his life.

“Considering I was only 13, legally blind, spoke the wrong language and was on the wrong side of the ocean, maybe I was a little optimistic,” he said.

Powered by Kay’s gritty vocals, the blues-based rock band rocketed to fame following the release of “Born to Be Wild,” which was featured in the opening credits of the 1969 counterculture cult film Easy Rider as Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper rode their Harley motorcycles through the America of the late 1960s.

“Magic Carpet Ride” reached No. 3 on the charts and would be one of their many songs licensed for use in dozens of motion pictures, television shows, and commercials including Apollo 13, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The King of Queens, Miller Genuine Draft, Dodge Viper and the Chevy SSR to video games such as NASCAR Thunder 2003 and Dance Dance Revolution Universe.

Foghat, another staple of classic rock radio with hits such as “Slow Ride,” “Fool For The City,” “Drivin’ Wheel,” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” opens the twin bill on July 31 at 2 p.m.

Formed in 1971 when Lonesome Dave Peverett and Roger Earl left the English rock band Savoy Brown, Foghat has earned eight gold records, one platinum record and one double-platinum record.

From the young kids who play Guitar Hero III to the “boomers” who bought Foghat’s first vinyl or 8-track, the band’s thunderous blend of blues, boogie and rock throughout their live performances show why the band is still going strong today --- all with founder Roger Earl in the drum seat.

Reserved VIP concert tickets include festival admission, reserved concert seating, prime viewing of the mass hot air balloon ascensions in the Blue Sky Club tent adjacent to the Balloon Launch Field, free VIP parking, catered food service options in the Blue Sky Club tent, and private air conditioned restrooms. Blue Sky Club tickets and general admission tickets, which both include festival admission and lawn seating to the concert, are also available.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. on the festival's website.

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