Later also in film Easy Rider. In days before Steppenwolf, singer John Kay was a dishwasher in the L.A. Troubadour club, where Hoyt Axton frequently performed. An early May 1967 live performance, when the band was still known as The Sparrow, appeared on Early Steppenwolf in '69.
Just like Hoyt's Snowblind Friend (see there), The Pusher warned against drug abuse. Still, both songs faced radio bans.