Mars Bonfire

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Mars Bonfire
Birth nameDennis Eugene McCrohan
Also known asDennis Edmonton
Born (1943-04-21) 21 April 1943 (age 76)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Associated actsSteppenwolf, The Sparrows

Dennis Edmonton (born Dennis Eugene McCrohan, 21 April 1943), also known by the stage name Mars Bonfire, is a Canadian rock musician and songwriter, best known for writing the hit song "Born to Be Wild" for Steppenwolf.[1]


Born Dennis Eugene McCrohan, he and his brother Jerry changed their surnames to Edmonton in the early 1960s. The brothers were part of a band called The Sparrows which later evolved into Steppenwolf. Another member of The Sparrows was Bruce Palmer, who later became a member of Buffalo Springfield.

Bonfire embarked on a solo career while his brother Jerry became the drummer for Steppenwolf. After leaving the band, he often collaborated with Kim Fowley, co-writing and recording on the recordings of Fowley and artists associated with Fowley.

On 22 June 2015, Bonfire was awarded the Cultural Impact Award by SOCAN at the 2015 SOCAN Awards in Toronto for the song "Born to be Wild".[2]

Personal life[edit]

Bonfire was a prolific hiker in Southern California for many years. He has completed the Hundred Peaks Section list 25 times.[3] He was noted by the Los Angeles Times for his "affability and flexibility" as a hike leader.[4]

He currently resides in western Nevada with his wife.


Songs by Mars Bonfire recorded by Steppenwolf include:



  1. ^ "Mars Bonfire Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Twenty-Fifth List Completion - Hundred Peaks Section
  4. ^ Reynolds, Christopher (28 September 2004). "Been There. Done That. Once Again". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Bonfire, Mars (1968). "Mars Bonfire". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  6. ^ Bonfire, Mars (1969). "Faster Than the Speed of Life". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2013.

External links[edit]