Monday, March 14, 2016


I'd toyed with a tease, asking what the 'Wolf had to do with Mars, but I have way too much respect for my reader, hi, Mum, to insult you with that, the name of the writer of their classic hit being etched on the mind of every pop quiz aficionado. But did you know Mars Bonfire, for it was he, also released a later version, on his 1969 solo album, 'Faster Than the Speed of Life'?

Neither did I, nor that he had penned anything much else or worth. In truth, he hasn't, his pickings being decidedly slim, but, hell, if you had to only write one song, o would that it be this one, still a staple of any and every advertising agency needing a quick link to motor bikes, leather and rebellion.

Born to parents, Elmo and Annie Bonfire, both big fans of roman mythology, he was their youngest child, after elder sisters Venus and Juno, a fact that has never failed to astound me, were it true. Sadly and more prosaically, he was born Dennis McCrohan, already changing his name once to Dennis Edmonton as he and his brother formed the precursor band to 'Steppenwolf', before his more exotic nom de chanson came in. Gallingly, as 'The Sparrows' morphed into 'Steppenwolf', he had left, but his brother remained, on drums.

Luckily the anthemic nature of the song was way more successful than his career, to date the song appearing 102 times in films. (I trawled the list, somewhat desperately, seeking the sight of any of his other songs, there being but one reference, and that uncredited. How that must have hurt.)

And cover versions are equivalently plentiful, with at least 63. Time for a couple? Here are two of the quirkiest together with one just plain daft........

(Wilson Pickett, with secret added ingredient of Duane Allman, to give a touch of biker 'credibility', an irony given his later death thereby, in an accident)

(80s UK popstrel Kim, daughter of 50s rocker Marty, Wilde)

(Miss Piggy from the Muppets. With some bloke.)

Buy some Mars, make his day!

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