Rushton Moreve

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Rushton Moreve
Birth name John Russell Morgan
Born (1948-11-06)November 6, 1948
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died July 1, 1981(1981-07-01) (aged 32)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Acid rock
Hard rock
Psychedelic rock
Occupations Musician
Instruments Bass guitar
Years active 19671981
Labels Dunhill Records
MCA Records
Associated acts Steppenwolf
Notable instruments
Rickenbacker 4001

Rushton Moreve (born John Russell Morgan; November 6, 1948 – July 1, 1981) was an American bass guitarist best known for his work with the rock band Steppenwolf from 1967–68 and again in 1978. According to singer John Kay, Moreve was an intuitive bassist with a melodic style that brought a non-commercial sound to Steppenwolf, a technique exemplified on the hit he co-wrote with Kay, "Magic Carpet Ride".

Moreve's early influence was essential in creating the unique musical style for which Steppenwolf became famous. Moreve joined the band in 1967 and performed on their debut album, Steppenwolf, which was composed of covers and songs written by Kay. Moreve's influence was heavier on the follow-up, The Second, his final album with Steppenwolf. He split with the band in late 1968 when he refused to fly back to California, fearing it would sink into the Pacific Ocean. Moreve was killed in 1981 in a motorcycle accident.



Moreve joined the band in 1967, having responded to a "Bass Player Wanted" notice posted at Wallich's Music City at Vine and Sunset. One of Steppenwolf's most popular songs was "Magic Carpet Ride", a song that evolved out of something Moreve had been working on – a simple but catchy three-note bass line. While the band was recording its second album, Moreve played his song for the band and sang the lyrics, "I like my job, I like my baby."

The band liked it. The lead singer (John Kay) made a quick tape of Moreve's demo, took it home, wrote the rest of the music and some new lyrics. According to Kay, "Twenty minutes later the whole thing was finished."

Writing credits for "Magic Carpet Ride" were assigned to John Kay and Rushton Moreve. This was the only Steppenwolf song Moreve received credit for writing. It was released on the album Steppenwolf the Second.


According to keyboardist Goldy McJohn, Moreve was fired in 1968 after he refused to return to California for a weekend TV appearance:

Rushton and his old lady had packed up all their belongings and when we got to the Midwest gig they split. She (Animal Huxley, Aldous Huxley's granddaughter) told Rushton that there was going to be a huge earthquake and there would be no California when they came home. Rushton lost out to one of the biggest groups going.[1]

He was eventually replaced by former Sparrows bassist, Nick St. Nicholas. He was awarded his gold record for The Second when one of his producers recognized him on the street years later. In 1978, he performed with a new Steppenwolf lineup with ex-Steppenwolf guitarist Kent Henry, who played on the For Ladies Only album . This was a separate incarnation from the lineup with Nick St. Nicholas. Moreve eventually left this version of Steppenwolf when he and Henry had a major falling out.


Moreve died in 1981 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Santa Barbara, California. He was 32. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.


  1. ^ "Between Rushton and Nick". Retrieved 2007-12-04. 

Preceded by
Steppenwolf Bass Guitarist
Succeeded by
Nick St. Nicholas