My brother Jerry and I were living in Toronto and playing in a band called the Sparrows. In search of success, we all moved to San Francisco at the height of the psychedelic 60s. We were on drugs. We played with the Doors and Janis Joplin, but it didn’t really happen for us. So I left the band to focus on writing songs and – after taking more psychedelics – started calling myself Mars Bonfire.
I finally scraped together enough money to buy a used Ford Falcon and would drive into the mountains and deserts around LA. Those trips in the Falcon provided the inspiration for Born to Be Wild. I got the basic guitar riff quick, and the lyrics were written chronologically: “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway / Lookin’ for adventure, and whatever comes our way.”
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