Manitoba Music Museum

The Manitoba Music Museum is a website dedicated to the Musicians of Manitoba.

 THE GUESS WHO
American Woman
Guess Who (Billboard Hot 100 Singles 1970)
0:00/5:08

 

  

    ^Bang-A-Rama, May 1966 Winnipeg Stadium

 

 

 JIM KALE with GARNET BASS and AMP/SPEAKER

 CHAD ALLEN

   "IGNOMINIOUS"

IN FEBRUARY OF 1967, BACHMAN, PETERSON, KALE AND YOURS TRULY HEADED OFF FOR ENGLAND TO "SEE IF WE COULD MAKE IT OVER THERE"...IF WE COULD FIND SUCCESS IN ENGLAND, THEN SURELY IT WOULD TRANSFER BACK HOME, OR SO WE THOUGHT...THE MANAGERIAL DETAILS FOR THE DEBACLE ARE NUMEROUS, COMPLICATED, AND BORING, SO THERE'S NO NEED TO NAME NAMES AND CONDITIONS AND SITUATIONS...BUT IN SHORT, THE WHOLE MESS FELL APART, ALMOST ON THE SAME DAY WE ARRIVED IN LONDON.

WE HAD BEEN SENT OFF FROM WINNIPEG WITH CHEERING CROWDS, FRONT PAGE COVERAGE IN BOTH THE FREE PRESS AND THE TRIBUNE, AS WELL AS RADIO AND PRESS COVERAGE EQUAL TO FEW IN THE HISTORY OF OUR HOME TOWN...

WE WERE OFF TO SHOW THE BEATLES HOW IT WAS DONE...PERIOD...AND THAT'S THE WAY WINNIPEG SENT US OFF THAT NIGHT...

"HEROES' FAREWELL"...

OH BROTHER...

WITHIN 48 HOURS OF ARRIVING IN THE SWINGING LONDON OF 1967, WE FOUND THAT WE HAD NO RECORD CONTRACT, NO TOUR, AND NO LIVE GIGS...JUST EXACTLY HOW WE FOUND OURSELVES IN THIS POSITION IS A BIT HAZY FOR ME, AS I TENDED (BY CHOICE) NOT TO BE TOO INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE GROUP'S AFFAIRS. I WAS CONTENT TO DO THE DREAMING, AND LEAVE THE BOOKS TO OTHER PEOPLE...THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THINGS ALWAYS BORED ME TO TEARS...WHEREAS, SOME OF THE OTHER GUYS WERE ABSOLUTELY FASCINATED WITH THE MONEY AND THE BOOKS...NO NAMES, PLEASE...IF IT LOOKS LIKE A DUCK, WALKS LIKE A DUCK, AND QUACKS, CHANCES ARE IT'S A DUCK...

SOMEHOW WE MANAGED TO WEASEL OUR WAY INTO RECORDING FOUR SONGS, IF TWO OF THEM WOULD BE "THEIR SONGS", MEANING THE CONTACTS WE STILL HAD AT KING RECORDS AND THEIR PUBLISHERS. IN OTHER WORDS, KING RECORDS WOULD FINANCE A SESSION FOR US, FOUR SONGS, IF TWO OF THE SONGS WE'D RECORD WOULD BE TWO ON WHICH THEY HELD THE PUBLISHING...SO FROM THEM WE GOT "MISS FELICITY GREY" AND "THIS TIME LONG AGO", BOTH DECENT SONGS...THE OTHER TWO THE GROUP DECIDED ON WERE NEIL YOUNG'S "FLYING ON THE GROUND IS WRONG" (which I heard Neil hated, saying that we'd "gummed" it up) AND A GREAT SONG OF RANDY'S CALLED "THERE'S NO GETTING AWAY FROM YOU"...THE GUYS (ESPECIALLY RANDY) ENCOURAGED ME TO DO MY "GENE PITNEY" ON NO GETTING AWAY, AND IF YOU LISTEN TO IT NOWADAYS, YOU CAN HEAR THAT I'M DOING A "SLIGHT GENE"...THE SESSION WAS OVER IN TWO SHORT DAYS AND THAT WAS THAT...OUR "GREAT CONQUERING OF ENGLAND" WAS OVER...IT TOOK SOME TIME TO RAISE THE MONEY TO GET US ALL HOME AGAIN...WHILE WE WERE STILL THERE, I TRIED TO FORGET ABOUT MY DUBIOUS FUTURE, AND DID MY DAMNEDEST TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN SWINGING SIXTIES LONDON...DRANK BROWN ALE, PLAYED SLOT MACHINES AND ATE STEAK AND KIDNEY PIE AT LITTLE STREET SHOPS NEAR PICADILLY CIRCUS... OUR PER DEIM WAS ONE POUND A DAY, WHICH AT THE TIME WAS ABOUT FIVE DOLLARS, SO WE WEREN'T LIVING THE LIFE OF SUCCESS...JUST ABOUT GETTING BY WAS MORE LIKE IT. NO MONEY FOR THE GREAT BRITISH CLOTHES AND BOOTS OF THE DAY...

NOTHING...

FORTUNATELY, HUGE CANS OF BROWN ALE WERE CHEAP AND I DRANK MY SHARE OF WATNEY'S AND COURAGE BRANDS...I WAS STILL 19 SO THIS WAS HIGHLY ILLEGAL...OH MY GOODNESS...

I WAS AT SOME CRAZY HOSTEL ONE NIGHT IN EARL'S COURT AND I WAS TOO DRUNK TO MAKE IT BACK TO OUR HOTEL WHICH WAS NEAR PICADILLY, SO I ENDED UP CRASHING ON ONE OF MANY MATTRESSES IN A HUGE ROOM...ALL OVER THE MATTRESSES COUPLES WERE SHTUPING AND DRINKING MADLY UNTIL WELL AFTER DAWN...I'D LED SUCH A SHELTERED LIFE UNDER THE STRICT RULES OF MY MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER BACK HOME IN THE PRAIRIES OF MANITOBA, THAT ALL THIS SEEMED PRETTY WILD TO ME...NOW THAT WE HAVE METAL DETECTORS IN MOVIE THEATRES AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, IT SEEMS TAME...BUT I WAS STILL VERY YOUNG AND NAIVE AND IT WAS A MUCH SQUARER, MORE PRUDISH WORLD BEFORE THE INTERNET WIPED AWAY ALL TABOOS...I GUESS I JUST WASN'T PREPARED TO BE IN A WHOLE ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE FUCKING WITHOUT A CARE IN THE WORLD...

AFTER ABOUT THREE WEEKS OF "SCRAPING BY" IN LONDON, WE RETURNED TO WINNIPEG, HEADS DOWN, TAILS WELL BETWEEN OUR LEGS...OUR DREAMS WERE SHATTERED AND OUR FUTURE WAS NOWHERE. THAT MORNING ON BANNERMAN, WHEN MY MOTHER WAS ASKING ME ABOUT ALL OF IT, I SANG HER "THIS TIME LONG AGO" AND "MISS FELICITY GREY" ON OUR OLD PIANO, TRYING TO PRETEND THAT ALL WAS WELL...ALL WAS NOT WELL...I HAD TEARS IN MY EYES WHILE I WAS SINGING TO MY MOM, LYING ABOUT HOW GREAT EVERYTHING WAS...

TRUTH BE TOLD, IT WAS ALMOST THE END OF THE BAND RIGHT THERE.

WE'D INCURRED SO MUCH DEBT FOR THE TRIP, NEW CLOTHES, AMPS, GUITARS, ETC. AND SHIPPED IT ALL OVER THERE...WE HAD ALMOST NO EARNING POWER ANYMORE, EVEN IN CANADA, AND WE OWED UNTOLD THOUSANDS...IT WASN'T GOOD...NO.......IT WASN'T GOOD...

THEN DURING THE LATE SUMMER OF 1967, CBC WINNIPEG TELEVISION WAS AUDITIONING FOR A NEW WEEKLY SERIES, AND THEY NEEDED A HOUSE BAND...WE'D ALREADY DONE SOME WEEKLY CBC RADIO THE YEAR BEFORE DURING THE WINTER, SO WE HAD A FEEL FOR THE WEEKLY GRIND...BUT TELEVISION REQUIRED AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT LEVEL OF COMMITMENT...AND PHYSICAL ENERGY...

IN ONE SENSE, THE CBC SAVED THE GUESS WHO. WE FAKED OUR WAY THROUGH THE AUDITION (AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE STORY) AND LANDED THE SLOT OF HOUSE BAND FOR THE SERIES CALLED "LET'S GO"...IT CAME FROM A DIFFERENT CANADIAN CITY EACH DAY MONDAY TO FRIDAY...OUR SLOT WAS THURSDAY...FIRST SEASON IT WAS CALLED "LET'S GO"...

WE DID SO WELL THAT FIRST YEAR, WE WERE ASKED BACK FOR A SECOND SEASON...THE SECOND SEASON THE SHOW WAS CALLED "WHERE IT'S AT"...

BACHMAN WAS ALREADY LEARNING ABOUT THINGS THE REST OF US STILL DIDN'T KNOW. HE WROTE A SHORT "THEME" FOR THE SHOW, AND GOT PAID EVERY WEEK FOR IT, SEPARATELY FROM THE OTHER THREE OF US...WHEN THE PACE GOT SO HECTIC WE NEEDED CHARTS FOR A LOT OF THE SONGS, RANDY AND I TOLD PRODUCER LARRY BROWN THAT WE'D DO THE CHARTS, AND WE DID, AND BOTH RANDY AND I GOT PAID SEPARATELY FROM THE OTHER GUYS FOR THAT...SO NOW I WAS LEARNING TOO...AND I WAS STILL ONLY 19. I WAS ALREADY DEVELOPING A BIT OF A KILLER INSTINCT, WHICH YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO SURVIVE IN SHOW BUSINESS. ANYONE WHO DOESN'T THINK SO SHOULD NEVER EVEN CONSIDER GETTING UP IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE OF ANY KIND. YOU'LL NEVER LAST WITHOUT IT...EVERYDAY OF THE WEEK COUNTLESS PERFORMERS GET CHEWED UP AND SPIT OUT BY A BUSINESS THAT DOESN'T FIND THEM TOUGH ENOUGH...

I OFTEN WONDER WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANY OF US IF WE HADN'T NAILED THAT CBC TELEVISION SHOW IN THE SIXTIES...FATE MOVES STRANGELY SOMETIMES. OUR SECOND SEASON OF WEEKLY TELEVISION, LARRY BROWN THE PRODUCER KNEW THAT RANDY AND I WERE WRITING OUR OWN SONGS. LARRY ENCOURAGED US TO DO A FEW OF THEM ON THE SHOW, AND ONE OF THE ONES WE DID WAS "THESE EYES". JACK RICHARDSON HAPPENED TO SEE THAT SHOW AND BELIEVED ENOUGH IN THE SONG TO FLY US TO NEW YORK TO RECORD "WHEATFIELD SOUL"...

YA NEVER KNOW WHAT'S AROUND THE CORNER...

 

PEACE TONIGHT...

BLC - 2012

  

  

 ^^^CKRC's Ron Legge-Cummings-Bachman-Peterson-Kale^^^

 

  

   

  • When is a pair not a pair? When it?s The Guess Who half of A Wild Pair. 
  • Released in the spring of 1968, the Wild Pair album coupled The Staccatos, a quintet from Ottawa, on Side A with Winnipeg?s favorite sons The Guess Who ? Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, and Garry Peterson - on Side B. What you have in your hands is half that pair, plus some intriguing rare bonus tracks.
  • While the group?s breakthrough album Wheatfield Soul with its stunning million-selling hit single These Eyes would launch The Guess Who as a group, along with the songwriting partnership of Bachman-Cummings, into the rock ?n? roll stratosphere the following year, A Wild Pair laid the all-important groundwork for that success. Frankly, the latter could not have happened without the former. Confirms veteran Canadian music journalist and Billboard correspondent Larry Leblanc, ?A Wild Pair, indeed, was a transition album for The Guess Who. Without it, and the confidence in their songwriting, there wouldn't have been Wheatfield Soul.? 
  • Just as Revolver had served notice of The Beatles? creativity and imagination blossoming beyond the limited confines of the standard pop song format thus setting the stage for the brilliantly innovative pastiche of the Sgt. Pepper album, A Wild Pair?s experimentation with orchestral instrumentation and arrangements coupled with burgeoning songwriting talent was the precursor to the polished professionalism of Wheatfield Soul.
  • And the catalyst for this transformation was, oddly enough, Coca-Cola. In the United States, pop stars pitching products had already proven to be a lucrative venture for Madison Avenue?s ad agencies ever eager to tap into the teen market. Canada was a whole different story, however. Did we have our own legitimate homegrown pop sensations worthy enough to hitch a corporate logo to? Canada barely had its own music industry let alone nationally-recognized stars. Toronto-based musician and jingle-writer Jack Richardson believed it was possible.
  • ?I actually got involved with The Guess Who when I was with McCann-Erickson, the advertising agency for Coca-Cola,? recalls Jack, on the start of what would become one of the most celebrated relationships in Canadian music history. ?We developed this youth radio campaign whereby we decided to use younger spokespeople for our product. We did a series of radio commercials using Canadian acts like JB and the Playboys, David Clayton Thomas, Robbie Lane and the Disciples. The jingles were based on the songs these artists were relatively well-known for and we ran them in 30, 60 and 90 second spots. The Guess Who was one of the acts we approached.? 
  • Already experienced hands at crafting jingles for the likes of Honda (Two-Wheel Freedom on a Honda) and, by the fall of 1967, established television stars on the Winnipeg edition of CBC-TV?s popular Let?s Go show, The Guess Who was an obvious choice for the ad campaign. They were Canada?s best-known group having cracked the American charts two years earlier with their hit Shakin? All Over. ?One of our dreams had been to do a Coke commercial,? notes guitarist and group leader Randy Bachman. ?Ray Charles had done one and we thought it was cool.? Jack brought The Guess Who to Toronto?s Hallmark Studios to cut radio jingles for Coke incorporating the soft drink?s signature slogan ?Things go better with Coke!? into two of the group?s biggest Canadian hits, Shakin? All Over and This Time Long Ago (the former included on this CD for the first time). 
  • ?The outcome of that,? recalls Jack, ?was that the agency recommended we put together a compilation album from the catalogues of these artists. I suggested it would be better to go with something original. The first one we did was with Bobby Curtola and it was so successful they decided to do it again. That became A Wild Pair with The Guess Who on one side and the Staccatos on the other.?
  • What attracted Jack to the Winnipeg band? ?The songs, they were good players, and I felt that Burton Cummings had a charismatic quality to him that seemed ready to explode,? he remembers. ?Having worked with them on the commercials and knowing that there were relatively few bands at that point in time that had any profile nationally across Canada, The Guess Who had that with the CBC television show and their previous records.? Confirms Larry Leblanc, ?There really wasn?t another group on a national level like The Guess Who. All the other bands across the country were regional. The Guess Who were big across Canada.?
  • The combination of Jack Richardson?s studio savvy, arranging experience and commercial ear coupled with the talent and determination of the four Winnipeggers proved fortuitous and, ultimately, successful far beyond the imaginations of any of them at that point. ?I had been in the music business since 1947,? recounts Jack, ?and had worked with a lot of international performers in a lot of different studios and had more experience, probably more than most in the country at that time. So coming together was a very compatible situation for both of us. We both had something to offer.?
  • In the meantime, The Guess Who continued in their role as resident band on Let?s Go covering the hits of the day as well as slipping in some of their favourite numbers from the flowering psychedelic scene. Among those were the Yardbirds? searing blues shuffle The Nazz Are Blue that boasts the most amazing single note sustained guitar solo in music history (ably covered by Randy with his new innovation the Herzog pre-amplifier, developed with Garnet Amplifier?s Gar Gillies) and Vanilla Fudge?s pounding treatment of The Supremes? hit You Keep Me Hangin? On, both handled meticulously by The Guess Who revealing once again the group?s uncanny ability to mimic the latest trends without missing a hook, lick or nuance. In the Winnipeg group?s hands The Beatles? evergreen Hey Jude receives sympathetic treatment as does British rivals The Rolling Stones? return to a rockin? sound with the driving Jumpin? Jack Flash. Years of playing cover tunes had served The Guess Who well. Boasts Randy, ?Not only did we play the songs perfectly, we sounded exactly like the records.? 
  • When the call came from Jack Richardson to provide suitable material for an entire album side, Randy and Burton jumped at the opportunity. ?This was the first time Burton and I had a serious assignment or goal for songwriting,? Randy enthuses. ?Up to then it had been just dabbling with no set goal or usage. So when we were asked to do the Wild Pair album, it was a challenge to ?go for our dreams? at being a Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, or Bacharach-David songwriting team. The plan was that both bands would record all original material. So we set to work every Saturday afternoon at Burton?s Mom?s house on Bannerman. It was a very prolific time for us both collaboratively and alone.? Although ostensibly still writing individually, the seeds of the Bachman-Cummings team were already sown that fall. Each writer presented his ideas ? whether fragments or completed songs - to the other for critique; from that the two began a fruitful collaboration.
  • ?The Wild Pair album gave Randy and Burton a project where they had to provide sufficient original material for,? attests Jack, ?as opposed to just writing for the sake of writing. It was left to me to pick the best material to make a potentially successful album not only for them but for our client.? Up for the challenge, the two budding songwriters submitted more than two dozen songs for Jack and his partner, arranger Ben McPeek, to consider. Of those, five were selected for the album while several others would ultimately appear a year or two later on Wheatfield Soul and Canned Wheat. The Wild Pair assignment had a profound impact on the two young musicians. Notes band mate Garry Peterson, ?The relationship Randy and Burton enjoyed was closer than with the rest of us because they wrote together. Burton learned to write songs with Randy. They had so many experiences together and were closer.?
  • Sessions convened at Toronto?s three-track Hallmark Studios in late 1967. ?I was pretty young then, eighteen or nineteen,? muses Burton, ?and I remember this feeling of being in the big time on those sessions.? Randy concurs. ?Studios were in their infancy in Canada. Winnipeg didn?t have any, so for us to go to a studio in Toronto was a big deal.? For the first time in the group?s lengthy recording career they would have the full gamut of musical resources at their disposal. Used to a ?get in, set up, record and get out in three hours? regimen, now they could take their time and experiment with a variety of instruments and accompaniment, and the results would be mind-blowing. ?There was a thirty-piece orchestra on that album,? boasts Burton, ?a lot of strings and horns. We even had the harp player from The Friendly Giant on the sessions.? Ben McPeek provided the orchestral arrangements. ?Ben was a very well-respected Toronto music arranger,? notes Randy, ?who had done symphonic pieces as well as commercials. He took our songs and added strings and horns.?
  • Burton recalls another feature that marked the sessions. ?I remember huge coolers of Coca-Cola on ice everywhere we looked in the studio. Tons and tons of Coke.?
  • Up first is Randy?s majestic I Need Your Company, described by him as ?my attempt at being Jimmy Webb using major seventh chords. Burton?s vocal on that was absolutely perfect and the orchestration was understated enough to compliment the song. The middle eight was me copying You?ve Lost That Lovin? Feeling.? Indeed, Burton renders his most sensitive vocal performance to that point in his recording career. The song closes out with his invocation to the sax man to play the song out as it kicks into a whole other gear in a jazzy fade showcasing drummer Garry Peterson?s versatility. 
  • Bachman-Cummings collaboration, is a whimsical number boasting the group?s signature vocal harmonies alongside a full brass section. Reminiscent of Spanky and Our Gang?s hits, Randy suggests, ?Burton and I were trying to write a Turtles kind of Happy Together song with that one.? Very Far From Near offers Burton?s own interpretation of British pop pioneers Cliff Richard and the Shadows? style of ballad featuring another example of his tremendous vocal abilities, with some subtle wah-wah guitar from Randy in the background. At the height of the group?s later success, Burton would come to be acknowledged far and wide as possessing the finest voice in rock music, a claim well-supported on A Wild Pair. In addition, if you listen to the choruses of each song you can clearly hear the voice of bass player Jim Kale whose harmonies were often at the core of the Guess Who?s hallmark vocal blend. 
  • The group?s earlier jingles work with Jack had introduced them to the cream of the Toronto session players, many of whom returned for the Wild Pair sessions. ?We got to work with the Toronto A team,? Randy recalls, ?the top players on the scene mostly from the jazz world like Guido Basso, Ed Bickert, Don Thompson, and Moe Kaufman.? Notes Garry Peterson, ?These guys were really heavy jazz cats, great players. At that time a lot of jazz players would look down their noses at rock ?n? roll players but they were really nice to us. We had a lot of fun hanging out with these guys in the studio. They were great guys.? One session player stood out above the others. ?We were introduced to Hagood Hardy,? remembers Burton, who along with Randy was moved to compose a song around the acclaimed piano/vibraphone player?s unusual moniker. ?The name Hagood Hardy was so unique. That was a name that wasn?t exactly Jim Smith. I thought it was cool and figured ?Let?s make up some gobbledy-gook lyrics using that name.?? Chuckles Randy, ?Burton and I each wrote a song around his name. Burton?s was better than mine, we both knew it, so we cut it for the album. I did some incredible Hendrix style guitar with my Herzog and wah-wah pedal but it was mixed out. I was disappointed they only left a little bit in the fade out. Heygoode Hardy was really over the top in terms of arrangement with wild trumpets everywhere.?
  • The closing track, Randy?s gorgeous Somewhere Up High, is his attempt to emulate the baroque-rock style of New York group The Left Banke. ?That song was my own Walk Away Renee with cellos,? he admits. Suggests Burton, ?Somewhere Up High had these beautiful string lines that were very reminiscent of George Martin and what he did with the Beatles.? Bathed in lush orchestration, the song offers a fitting conclusion not only to The Guess Who?s tracks but to the Wild Pair album itself.
  • A further key ingredient in the overall sonorous sound quality and impact of the album was the recruitment of an engineer from New York. ?Jack brought in a new young mixer,? recalls Randy, ?and we said, ?What's a mixer?? We had never worked with one before. We learned that he balances the sounds between the instruments. The guy turned out to be Phil Ramone who we met for the first time. That's why A Wild Pair sounds so darn good. The sound is incredible.? Though Ramone would go on to enjoy tremendous success with artists like Billy Joel, the Wild Pair sessions were memorable for him. ?Jack hired me and I thought it was kind of fun that the groups were doing a record as a giveaway for promotion,? he recalls. ?I think we did one band on one day, and the other the next. We only had so many hours.?
  • With sessions completed, The Guess Who returned to Winnipeg and resumed their weekly duties on Let?s Go. They had already debuted the five Wild Pair tracks on the show prior to the sessions, featuring orchestral arrangements provided by CBC music director Bob McMullin (heard here for the very first time on CD). Soon after, Coca-Cola began promoting the album in earnest across Canada. Not available in record stores, fans purchased A Wild Pair by mailing in twelve Coca-Cola bottle cap liners and a dollar. Within a matter of months the album had sold over 80,000 copies, a staggering sum for the fledgling Canadian music industry, largely without the benefit of radio support, notes Larry Leblanc. ?Radio played little of it, certainly in Toronto. There was little promotion of the package to Canadian radio programmers. The only promotion involved was advertising on TV and radio spots sponsored by Coke.? 
  • ?We couldn?t get a gold record for it because it wasn?t sold through retail outlets,? laments Randy, ?but it was one of the biggest selling albums in Canada up to that point.? Jack sites another positive outcome of the album?s triumph. ?The Wild Pair album was one of the reasons The Guess Who stayed together,? he suggests, ?because at that time they were on the verge of breaking up due to severe economic straits.? The group was still straining under the weight of a crippling debt from their ill-fated trip to Britain.
  • The unprecedented success of A Wild Pair was the first indication that a viable national Canadian music industry could, indeed, exist. ?That was quite a feat for the Canadian market,? stresses Jack. ?Back then it was really the birth of an industry in Canada.? It also rang bells with Jack and his partners. ?I felt there was a tremendous amount of talent in the group and that became the motivation behind us taking the flyer and forming Nimbus 9 Productions. We approached both the Staccatos and The Guess Who with the idea of coming with us as a production group. The Guess Who agreed and we bought out their Quality Records contract for $1000. The Staccatos chose to stay with Capitol Records, so it was one of those ?win one, lose one? situations. But I think we won the best one.? Phil Ramone agrees. ?Jack was totally enamoured with the fact that the band was so good,? he maintains. ?We all were. They were just incredible. Burton had his own vocal sound, a radio-friendly voice that you can pick out of the crowd, and made that sound become a part of his identity. He didn?t imitate anybody else.?
  • The impact of the album on The Guess Who?s climb to the top cannot be understated. ?Following the success of A Wild Pair,? recalls Randy, ?Jack informed us that he wanted to do an entire album with us and instructed Burton and I to write more songs. That was validation for us that we were songwriters. And we, in turn, had confidence in Jack. He saw something in us that no one else did, or would admit to, and was willing to put his money where he was mouth was. He was willing to gamble on the band and that really floored us.? Jack would mortgage his own house to finance sessions in New York later that year for Wheatfield Soul. ?To him, we were worth the risk,? he adds.
  • The first order of business was a single to capitalize on A Wild Pair?s success. The group returned to Hallmark Studios in Toronto to cut several tracks including the Bachman?Cummings compositions Of a Dropping Pin and When Friends Fall Out. ?When Friends Fall Out is a little masterpiece,? offers Randy, ?the beat, the solos, the bridge with all of us singing like the Strawberry Alarm Clock.? The track was backed by the rockin? Guess Who Blues, a number that recounts the group?s many ups and downs over the previous years and boasts some blistering Claptonesque guitar playing from Randy. Although both singles failed to make much headway on the Canadian charts, Jack believed the band needed an album to showcase their diverse sounds so sessions were booked at A&R Studios in New York in mid-September 1968. He then approached RCA in New York. 
  • ?Nimbus had a distribution deal with RCA in Canada,? relates Jack, ?and Of a Dropping Pin was the first single. Although it wasn?t a huge success, Andy Nagy at RCA in Montreal felt there was something there and called his head office in New York. I flew to New York to meet with Don Burkhimer at RCA based on the single Of a Dropping Pin. There was no mention of an album in the pipeline, we had just completed it. Don wasn?t aware of the album. I brought along an acetate of Wheatfield Soul and after our conversation, I asked him if he would mind listening to it and giving me his opinion. Don sat and listened to the entire record, which was very unusual for an A and R man, let me tell you, and when it was done he looked at me and said ?Jack, These Eyes is a smash hit.? I came back to Canada and told the boys that we were going with These Eyes as the single, that RCA felt the same way, and that we had a potential deal with them on that basis. That?s where it all started and Of a Dropping Pin was the entrĂ©e so to speak.?
  • ?As you can see by these tracks, we were still learning to write by emulating songs we loved,? surmises Randy. ?There was a transition after this where we became better at it and the next batch of songs we wrote was the These Eyes batch where the influences were left more behind. We now had confidence in our own ideas with only hints of other songs. But the magnitude of A Wild Pair on our evolution was immeasurable. The album was a further step up in terms of our level of sophistication. Burton and I honed our writing skills and it introduced us to Jack Richardson who gave our sound a whole new context.? The degree of songwriting maturity and arranging over a mere eighteen months, from Believe Me and If You Don?t Want Me to Somewhere Up High and Very Far From Near, represents an extraordinary creative quantum leap that would continue to blossom over the next two years. Clearly, Randy and Burton were now painting from a far richer, more colourful palette. 
  • ?Everything was incremental,? muses Randy, ?from His Girl, to the London This Time Long Ago sessions with Tony Hiller, to A Wild Pair with Jack Richardson. Working with producers who knew what they were doing was a huge step for us.?
  • The release of the Wild Pair tracks on CD draws the final curtain on The Guess Who?s early career. On the strength of these initial recordings with Jack Richardson, the group would sign to RCA Records in New York and never look back (a countrified take on Close Up The Honky Tonks is also included here for the first time, one of the rarest of Guess Who tracks and a joke recorded during the American Woman sessions to tease RCA executives). What followed A Wild Pair would forever alter the Canadian music landscape, as well as the lives of the four young men in The Guess Who. 
  • John Einarson is the author of American Woman: The Story Of The Guess Who and Randy Bachman: Takin? Care of Business co-written with Randy Bachman. 2012 

 

 

 

   Inside the American Woman album vinyl 33, there was a collage of pictures, very whitened up and washed out, underneath the lyrics to all the songs...all these pictures were submitted by the four of us...they were pictures of us and our four mothers...Randy, Garry, Jim, and I all brought lot of pictures, single pictures of our mothers or ourselves as tiny kids, and some pictures of each of us with our individual mothers. There was only one master print ever made for the superimposition. I have uncovered it and it's being reproduced. But when you see the master print, each individual picture is clear as day...no washout technique, and no lyrics superimposed...just the pictures...

-Burton Cummings 2012

  1972...FOUR DAYS IN THE MAKING...STARTED GETTING DRUM SOUNDS ON A MONDAY,  AND WE TURNED OVER THE MIXED MASTERS THAT FRIDAY...ONE OF MY FAVOURITE Guess Who  ALBUMS...KURT AND I REALLY "KNITTED" A FEW GOOD ONES ON HERE...HEARTBROKEN  BOPPER, GET YOUR RIBBONS ON, BACK TO THE CITY...AND I HAD ONE OF MY BETTER  SONGS HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME "GUNS, GUNS, GUNS"...

Burton Cummings-2011

   ROCKIN' REMEMBERED

well, rockin' was so fast it's a blur as far as the actual recording of the record. man, i wish that had been filmed, but there was no portable way of capturing career travels in 1972...lil does all of that now...the "life capturer"...
rockin' began about noon on a monday, as i recall, and on friday afternoon of that same week we turned over master mixes to rca...
four days, including final mixes...wow...i've heard of certain singers being thrilled at getting an entire verse of a final vocal in a week's time...el-a-tive-ray...
rockin' was the last one we did in chicago. up there on the 12th floor on north wacker drive right across from the opera house. we'd stay at the executive house by those twin marina towers, and walk along the river where capone's boys dumped things, turn left on wacker eventually and down the block to the studio...i always liked that walk...real chicago feel...
kurt and i wrote the songs for rockin' without even thinking about it...heartbroken bopper...kurt had the other guys playin' the lead riff with him, and leskiw's part too...but they were playing it on the off beats...syncopated...good riff, played stupidly, taking away from its own power...it was i who suggested to make it a caveman two and four, just play the riff and not be falsely fancy...the world knows we can probably play it in syncopation, but we don't have to do it to prove that...just let it rock...and we did...i had a specific guy in mind when i sang those words...a guy who had ditched high school even younger than i had, and went right to work in a car wash...his image in my mind's eye forged those words about the bopper who didn't quite "make it"...irony is, he's very successful now, later in life...you'd never believe the depths and heights and all that space in between...i remember having to ask our producer jack richardson about "summa cum laude". i remembered that it was a phrase denoting very high distinction and high praise, but i'd forgotten exactly what it was and how to say it correctly. we had to stop and look it up in an old book with real paper pages...it was 1972. we weren't able to google it. there were no computers...
so "summa cum laude" it became and everybody who really liked the song really liked that reference. ribbons was truly a split writing deal...kurt would sometimes get the guys goin' on chevrier before i even showed up. it wasn't that i was late all the time, it's just that kurt lived only about a hundred yards down the street from the studio. so he'd be there way more than the rest of us...i come in one day and they're doin' "get your ribbons on, honey, get your ribbons on..." that whole deal is goin' already. it's in c...i always liked the climb from c to f to ab to bb to c...so i told kurt i liked it and also told him it should go somewhere else...another key for the verses. so i came up with all that silly "vestibule" stuff...just rhythmics, that's all i was chasing...not writing the taming of the shrew...just rhythmics more than anything...and why the hell was the guy's girlfriend angela joining the football team anyway...? and what exactly was it that angela's parents were saying to him as he wiped his feet out in the vestibule...? i guess we'll never know....
the factory song...out in the back of our little world within walls on chevrier, there was a huge beet factory...i guess a refinery, not that i ever asked a hundred questions about it...it belched out this snow-white smoke for hours sometimes, and when the sky was manitoba prairie blue, as it is so often, the sight was beautiful...as horrendous as the actual event of the pollution was, it still had visual beauty, if you could divorce the thoughts of toxins from the visual. kurt had those nice guitar lines all worked out with leskiw...and i had that whole "sad eyes" and "green frame" and "islands" thing done way before this...but i'd never had anything really decent to go around those three verses...and kurt had worked out some of those nice harmonies on "smoke beet factory"...
and there it was...and one day kale says...hey man, how about callin' it smoke "big" factory...? and being the wannabee hippies we sorta were, kurt and i put his name under it. that's the only reason his name's there... for that one word. the song is really kurt's and mine...that's a true story. i still like the harmonies, the vocals. and for a brief few moments at the end, leskiw and i are actually playing nicely off each other...not bad piano feel on the end out...
arrividerci girl was something i almost made up on the spot at home...finished it off the night of a taped studio after-show jam in nashville around 1971, with kurt on drums...just tryna be fats domino. simple as that. it's in g, although i don't know if i could sing it like that in g today in 2011...
i actually do play a hint of the piano solo from arrividerci girl at the instrumental vamp at the beginning of american woman these days on stage. oh brother. actually i still like this cut, just the feel of it...
guns...well it's always been a favourite. probably the best bass jim kale ever played on any guess who record, and kurt and greg just meshed so nicely...kurt's garbage can alley way fuzz and greg's teardrop wah wah sluggin' it out against each other...it's one of the most superb moments on all of the rca guess who albums...
running bear...live off the floor. no overdubs. when we did it it was largely for fun, not really thinking it would kick off side two...when johnny preston's version hit the airwaves in winnipeg, i was 11. it was 1959 and running bear had rocketed to number one on the cky charts...that same winter i got to travel up north with our olympic rink hockey team to bissett, which is actually an entry point to nopiming provincial park. back then it seemed like the "far north" to me, but as i look on the map today, it's not really that far up there...and i had one of those cky top fifty lists with me in my coat pocket and i was showin' it to ken fedoruk on the bus and running bear was in the number one slot...so it was always special to me. jack, our producer, thought we were silly, but there was starting to be visits with the white lady and he couldn't really control the material or the writing anymore...not that he ever did, but let's just say, back in the days when randy and i were doing all the writing, we were probably more likely to take any kind of "direction" from jack, than kurt or i would ever have been...truthfully...

back to the city was another real co writing product. kurt had that whole first verse about "sailor and the soda sunlight"...chords, words, riffs, it was a great place to start. but i'd been kinda screamin' that "beware of lies" thing around 89 lansdowne for a while...both pieces were in a, so i just sang it once before his soda sunlight verse and he liked the way it fit. so there we were...i wrote the second verse of lyrics, mirroring the cadence and rhythms of his first verse.."tinker tailor sailor mailer"...i wanted my line to be taken as "mailer" meaning norman mailer the author, but i don't think anybody did...oh brother...who cares ? nashville sneakers. kurt and i both bought sneakers from this place in downtown nashville that sold shoes to hospital orderlies and nurses...kinda "extra supportive" stuff, which back in 1971 was not "all the rage"...our sneakers were dye-washed brown and beige, patches of colour like on a cow...
that's all it took to bring on those lyrics...i'd been fiddling with that chord progession, slipping the home key back and forth from c to g for a while in 89 lansdowne...just sang gobbledeegook rhythms about a blue cougar and washin' yer sneakers and leavin' 'em out in the sun to dry...wasn't exactly writing war and peace...
more interested in "feel" than anything else on that cut...still kinda like listening to "nashville sneakers" once in a blue moon....
herbert's a loser...it's mainly there because greg was kickin' up a fuss about not gettin' more of his songs on the record...geez...it never stops...everybody thinks they're george harrison...harrison would have been a strong leader in any other band...but with jl and pm there, come on...consider the reality...anyhow, "herbert's" is not a bad cut...and greg actually encouraged me to do a bit of harp playing there....personally, i think it's the best harp i've ever played on a studio cut...soaked the harp that day in luke warm water and played it through a very thin felt cloth...greg sings this quite cool...credit where credit is due....but the ending went on way too long...as my friend mort "the brove" broverman said to me the day after the big luxton school reunion..."well, it's never perfect"...and he's right...wise stuff, brove...
hi rockers i must admit was my idea...the piecing together of stuff, making it a little theatre piece. ma clean and i were constantly, and i mean constantly, listening to the firesign theatre, so i wanted to do more "fantasy" stuff all the time...i remember showing kurt "don't you want me" for the first time and he loved all that stuff about burning the crops and killing the sister, cause it was all innocent sounding melody and simple community club rock, but this musical voice was threatening all these outrageous things...jack and brian managed to overspill some echo to link the musical pieces and i out and out stole the ending vocal shenanigans from fats waller...rca had sent me several archival albums of fats waller and he ended one of his albums with that "bong a zing, rotten ditten doo doo dong ee dong, this is the end of the record..."
stole it immediately...
so there you have it. rockin' slightly remembered. many have asked about #10 and that's another thing entirely...we can revisit that another time.
be well, people...

 BURTON CUMMINGS 2014

 

 THE REMASTERED VERSION OF THIS WITH THE EXTRA CUTS IS PRETTY GOOD...IRONICALLY  THE "HAND ME DOWN WORLD" ON THIS VERSION WITH THE BONUS CUTS IS MUCH BETTER  THAN THE ACTUAL RADIO SINGLE WAS...WE NEVER NAILED HAND ME DOWN WORLD  WHEN WE WERE SCRAMBLING FOR A FOLLOW UP TO AMERICAN WOMAN...THE SONG WAS  SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE RECORD...OH BROTHER...Burton Cummings 2011

 

  • The Guess Who Live At Carnegie Hall! Well, that?s what this album was supposed to be titled, a live recording at New York?s legendary concert venue, the one and only time Canada?s greatest hit makers were booked to play that venerable institution. However fate intervened to deny them that honor and instead what we have is Live At The Paramount in Seattle. But the Guess Who?s misfortune ultimately turned in their favor. 
  • With the abrupt departure of founding guitarist Randy Bachman in May 1970 (as ?American Woman? hit #1), the remaining members of the group ? singer/keyboard player Burton Cummings, bass player Jim Kale, and drummer Garry Peterson, all from Winnipeg, Canada ? brought in two new recruits, Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw, also from Winnipeg, to man the vacant guitar slot. While follow-up albums and singles failed to emulate previous chart placings, the group remained a solid concert draw with a legion of loyal fans throughout the US and Canada. With a reputation for a kick ass live show the time seemed ripe for a live album. Plans were hatched to record their Carnegie Hall debut on March 29, 1972 midway through a tour in support of their recently released Rockin? album, a stripped down, back to basics rock ?n? roll record after the more experimental So Long, Bannatyne. But three dates into the tour, following a concert in Corpus Christi, Texas on March 17, Greg Leskiw jumped ship citing the rigors of the road. Rather than cancel the remainder of the tour, which included the much-anticipated Carnegie Hall appearance, the four members called close friend Donnie McDougall back in Winnipeg. A former member of respected Vancouver group Mother Tucker?s Yellow Duck currently toiling in Winnipeg beer parlors with The Vicious Circle, Donnie flew out to meet the Guess Who in Phoenix, Arizona the next day and promptly learned their entire set literally overnight. He made his debut the following evening. The band never missed a beat and proceeded en route to Carnegie Hall.
  • The night before that coveted engagement however, Burton Cummings, regarded by critics, fans and peers as one of the finest voices in rock ?n? roll, blew those golden tonsils partying a little too hearty. ?The next day he couldn?t even talk,? recalled lead guitarist Kurt Winter, in an interview before his untimely death in 1997. ?Everybody else wanted him to go onstage but I told him, ?Don?t blow your voice and your whole career on one gig. It?s not worth it. We?ll get another crack at Carnegie Hall,? though we never did.? Adds producer Jack Richardson, ?We had everything set up that day to record. It was expensive to cancel.? Burton remains contrite. ?I have never forgiven myself for robbing all five of us of that wonderful niche in an otherwise lousy business.? 
  • The group now set its sights on recording a two-night stand in Seattle at the end of the tour. ?Seattle was always good to us,? remembers road manager Jim Martin. ?We had played that market before, we had done three days at the Seattle Pop Festival a few years earlier, and the Paramount was such a neat venue. We played there earlier in the tour and had a lot of friends in that area. They loved the Guess Who.? With the recent mid-tour personnel shuffle, the extension allowed the five the opportunity to gel as a unit and rehearse three new songs in preparation for the Seattle engagement.
  • On Monday, May 22, producer Jack Richardson and engineer Brian Christian flew into Seattle where Wally Heider?s mobile recording facility waited to capture two magical nights at the elegant Paramount Theater. ?The concerts were sponsored by a local radio station so everyone got in free,? recalls Jack. ?The place was full to capacity both nights.? But once again the gods interceded to stymie the group. While the first night?s recording proceeded without a hitch capturing a spirited set, the second night proved to be a waste of tape. Bass player Jim Kale went off the rails scuttling the performance. ?They opened the curtains and Kale went ?clunk? right on his face,? Kurt Winter recalled. ?Jimmy discovered that Scotch and valium do not mix,? laughs Jack. Jim Martin ran out and placed a chair under him for the duration of the evening. ?Brian Christian and I were in the mobile truck and we could hear that Jimmy was three beats behind everybody else,? continues Jack. ?I remember sneaking down to the stage to turn his amp down so at least we could overdub the bass later but when I did he turned around and cranked it up again. Brian and I were laughing in the truck. At the end of the concert Garry Peterson was so pissed off he drove his drumsticks through his drum heads.? The band cut their set short to beat a hasty retreat. It would prove to be Jim?s swan song with the Guess Who. 
  • Despite all the tribulations, Live At The Paramount proved to be a far stronger representation of the group?s dynamic live show than the Carnegie Hall date would have been. ?It was a typical live date and you rely on the band to get it right,? attests Jack. ?There are no second takes when you?re recording live. The band had a high degree of energy that first night, a magic, and it was well recorded. It reveals how tight the band was having just added Donnie.?
  • Using only the first night performance, the group open with the Cummings-Winter composition ?Pain Train? featuring Kurt?s searing lead guitar work, and follow with a perennial concert favorite, the rollicking ?Albert Flasher?. Burton?s bluesy take on ?New Mother Nature,? excised from ?No Sugar Tonight? after Randy Bachman?s departure, boasts a guitar solo by newcomer Don McDougall. The first new number of the set, Burton and Kurt?s ?Runnin? Back To Saskatoon?, is a clever poke at prairie life and Kurt?s all-time favorite Guess Who number. Peterson?s tom toms and the twin lead guitar assault of ?Rain Dance? propel it along while ?These Eyes,? the group?s first million-seller, and Burton?s introspective solo ?Sour Suite? (46201, by the way, is the zip code for Indianapolis) slow the pace, revealing their delicate touch with a ballad. Don McDougall steps into the spotlight with ?Glace Bay Blues,? a rare acoustic gem written (though uncredited until now) with former Vicious Circle band mates Garry and Blair MacLean who hail from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. ?That concert was the first time ?Glace Bay Blues? was performed live,? states Jack Richardson. Kurt Winter had brought ?Hand Me Down World? with him from his previous group Brother and it became his debut single with the Guess Who. Here, the group offers a heavier, more driving arrangement.
  • The extended rendition of ?American Woman? is a tour de force and the centerpiece of the group?s live shows. Always a crowd-pleaser, the song had taken on a life of its own. ?It wasn?t a planned thing,? recalled Kurt. ?It just kept getting longer and longer and evolved. The crowd would go wacko.? Drummer Garry Peterson?s powerful drum solo in mid song reveals his amazing technique, notably on the tasty jazz interlude. Burton is in fine form whether spitting out the venomous lyrics, scat-singing or ably manning harmonica and flute. For their Paramount set, the group segue from ?American Woman? into a new number once again borne from an elongated on-stage jam. ?We?d done ?Truckin? Off Across The Sky? only once before that night,? maintained Kurt. ?It just came at the end of ?American Woman?. Burton started singing that line so I changed chords right away, we all looked at each other and followed.? The gospel-tinged anthem ?Share The Land? and ?No Time?, the single that broke the group?s soft rock run in 1970, close out a compelling set.
  • Released in August 1972, Live At The Paramount notched an impressive #39 in Billboard bettering their last two efforts and yielding a minor hit single with ?Runnin? Back To Saskatoon.? Rolling Stone magazine declared, ?Live At The Paramount proves once and for all that this band can rock? it has to rank as one of the most fun to listen to. Avid fans of the group will play this more than any other Guess Who album they own.? Emerging from a pivotal point in the group?s career, Live At The Paramount has stood the test of time to become one of the best-loved of the entire Guess Who catalog. ?I think that album came at a crossroads for the band,? offers Jack Richardson. ?They were going through some emotional changes and all the personnel shuffles were beginning.? 
  • Completely restored from the original Monday night performance source tapes, entirely remixed, digitally remastered and boasting six previously unreleased tracks, what you have here is truly the best of the Guess Who, live.
  • John Einarson, author of American Woman: The Story Of The Guess Who and Randy Bachman: Takin? Care Of Business





 

BEST OF US GUYS, VOL II...THIS CAME OUT IN LATE 1973, ON THE HEELS OF #10...THE ONLY PLACE AT THAT TIME WHERE ALBERT FLASHER AND BROKEN HAD APPEARED ON AN ALBUM AT ALL...Burton Cummings 2011

 

 Handwritten lyrics for These Eyes -courtesy Burton Cummings

 Randy actually started These Eyes by himself, apparently in Regina, so he says...he had that piano riff, and everyone always thought that was mine, but no...I was impressed that a guitar player would come up with a piano riff that cool...but he wanted to call the song These Arms and I thought These Eyes was better. And the only words he had were the first couple of lines. That fast part in the middle that keeps going up a whole step was mine...we wanted something dramatic for the center, so there it was. This is the only sheet of paper where these words were written down during the writing. We threw it together in about a half hour, once we sat down at my mom's piano on Bannerman...-Burton Cummings 2012

   ^^^^^^^^^^ Here is the original scribbling down of the lyrics to Laughing.

Randy and I actually threw the song together on our old highway bus, waiting for the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, but later that day or the next, we got together to finalize it and Randy told me to write down the words...and here's that piece of paper. I can see now that we didn't change very much...there's nothing crossed out and re-vamped...the song happened very quickly and effortlessly.

  

 ^^^^^^^^^^ THE VERY FIRST SCRIBBLINGS OF "NO TIME"..I SEE NOW THAT THE LYRICS CHANGED VERY LITTLE ON THE SUBSEQUENT RECORDINGS. SOMETIMES THE VERY FIRST INITIAL IDEA IS THE BEST WAY TO GO...SOMETIMES SONGS CAN GET RUINED BY "OVERWORKING" OR "OVER THINKING" THEM.. As time flies by, I'm more grateful than ever that I saved all this stuff...this is the original draft of NO TIME, scribbled down on Bannerman at my mother's old piano...Randy was there beside me on the piano bench... 
we were truly CO-WRITING THIS...and once again, as with LAUGHING, I see that we didn't change much later for the official recording. Once again, nothing is crossed out and rewritten.
....Burton Cummings 2012

 

  ^^^^^^^^^^^ VERY OLD PIECE OF PAPER I FOUND IN ONE OF MY BINDERS...IT'S BOTH RANDY BACHMAN'S AND MY WRITING, AND WE'RE WORKING ON THE VERY FIRST BASIC STAGES OF NO SUGAR TONIGHT...THERE AREN'T MANY OF THESE TIDBITS STILL AROUND WHICH SHOW BOTH RANDY'S AND MY HANDWRITING ON THE SAME PAGE...A FEW, BUT NOT MANY...-BURTON CUMMINGS 2012

NEW MOTHER NATURE 

 

 Handwritten Lyrics for Share The Land {originally called 479 College Ave.}

 Courtesy of Burton Cummings 

 

  Peterson, Kale, Leskiw, Cummings, Winter...Chicago 1970, RCA Studios. Recording the Share the  Land album... 

 

 ^^^^^^ Handwritten lyrics for Hand Me Down World ^^^^^

 Courtesy of Burton Cummings  

 ^^^^^^

 ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^THIS IS THE BASIC SCRIBBLE OF THE HANG ONTO YOUR LIFE LYRICS, APPROX JULY/AUG 1970.

 

 HANDWRITTEN LYRICS FOR BROKEN {The Best Of The Better}

   WORD IDEAS FOR "BROKEN", QUICKLY SCRIBBLED DOWN WHILE KURT WAS PLAYING GUITAR RIFFS AND CHORDS FOR A "BED"...FUNNY, NOW I SEE THAT THE WORDS DIDN'T CHANGE MUCH FROM THE VERY FIRST JOT-DOWN...Burton Cummings 2012

 HANDWRITTEN LYRICS FOR ALBERT FLASHER

  I finished Albert Flasher while still in Honolulu with my "brains kicked in"...must be true, it says so right there in the margin in my own handwriting. I'd written the name ALBERT FLASHER down on a tiny piece of paper in Los Angeles. When we got to Hawaii, I found it again and scribbled down these words. I'd been using that piano lick as a "warm up" for my fingers for at least a year (much like Ed Norton on the Honeymooners would "warm up" with "Swanee River") before I ever thought of using it in a song...finally, after the "Hawaiian altercation" I was motivated to finish it, or at least to try...this is the only place I ever wrote down the lyrics for "Albert"...glad I got rid of "MIT MOT MAJOR" and "FOON CREAM TAKER"... BURTON CUMMINGS 2012

 Handwritten Lyrics for Do You Miss Me Darling

 Courtesy  of Burton Cummings

 It says April 11, '73 so that means I scribbled this down on Handsart Ave. This is the original entry, yellowed with age, but I personally still like

-Burton Cummings-2011

 First stages of "Runnin' Back to Saskatoon", scribbled down in New York airport, waiting for flight to Paris. Feb 13, 1972. No "home grown/Hong Kong" part yet, and it's not called "Saskatoon". Kurt's nickname was "LAERTIS" and that was shortened to "LAERT"...and I thought of it as "Laert's Guitar Lick"...just rambled on about gas stations and libraries and hospitals and stuff... -BURTON CUMMINGS 2011

 

 Life In The Bloodstream handwritten. It says March 27, (1971 ?) Florida so I guess that's where I scribbled this, but I made up most of those words in Nashville one night in a studio jam with Kurt on drums.

   

 SOUR SUITE 

 

Long before the Road Food album was recorded, I was working on a song with silly lyrics called "Animals"...it ended up being part of "Attilla's Blues", after we added stuff that some of the other guys came up with. We mashed some pieces together, and I think it was Wallace that suggested we call it "Attilla's Blues" because it was a "song for the masses"...not quite sure what that means today, forty years later...

  

   SARDI'S ON WEST 44TH, MAY 1970, APPROXIMATELY 1 A.M. A STRANGE, SOMEWHAT SAD NIGHT. WE HAD JUST PLAYED OUR LAST SHOW WITH BACHMAN AT FILLMORE EAST. THE AFTER PARTY WAS FOR RCA MORE THAN IT WAS FOR US, AS WE'D SOLD MILLIONS OF RECORDS AND LINED THEIR COFFERS FOR A BIT...I THINK WE HAD ALREADY MADE THE PHONE CALLS TO KURT WINTER AND GREG LESKIW BY THE TIME THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN. ABOUT TWO WEEKS LATER, WE WERE REHEARSING SOMEWHERE IN ST. JAMES WITH KURT AND GREG, PREPARING FOR "SHARE THE LAND"...Burton Cummings 2012

 

  

  

     

On July 14 1970, Winnipeg's Guess Who (Burton Cummings, Garry Peterson, Jim Kale, Greg Leskiw and Kurt Winter) played at a private event at the International Inn (now the Victoria Inn) for Prince Charles and Princess Anne on the occasion of Manitoba's centennial celebrations.

Along with the royal siblings, two hundred and seventy-five young people from schools, universities and communities throughout the province were handpicked to attend a dinner and dance at the International Inn?s Hollow Mug dinner theatre. Besides the Guess Who, Monty Levine and his orchestra and the Mug?s repertory singers The Internationals also performed. 

Under the headline ?Guess Who?ll Be There?, the Winnipeg Free Press reported the event. ?Prince Charles and Princess Anne, both bona fide members of the under-30 club, will attend a jam session of one of the top commercial rock groups here tonight. Winnipeg?s The Guess Who, creators of Canada?s first-ever number one world hit, American Woman, will give their first royal performance as the Prince and Princess turn on to the contemporary sound of 
heavy rock music.? Indeed, Guess Who singer Burton Cummings gushed about their impending concert. ?Mr. Cummings said the group would like to sing American Woman because the song is identified with the musicians and their success. But he added, ?Some people consider it political. We won?t do it if we?re asked not to.? Mr. Cummings said the musicians were ?really digging the fact we?ll be playing for the Queen. We?ve always wanted to play for the Queen.? When informed that Prince Charles and Princess Anne would be in attendance but not Queen Elizabeth, he said, ?Ah well, I?m a big Commonwealth fan, that doesn?t matter?.?

The following day, the newspaper interviewed several youth who were in attendance. Nineteen year old Loree Shinoff was seated next to Charles at the head table and noted that he talked continuously throughout the evening. ?He said he was looking forward to their trip to Washington Thursday but feared insinuations of a relationship between himself and ?the Nixon girl?,? she revealed. ?His charges said he just loves to dance but felt he couldn?t dance to the kind of music the Guess Who played.? Marcia Lester, also nineteen, noted that Princess Anne ?appeared to enjoy the dinner and the entertainment but felt the Guess Who?s last number, American Woman, and monologue ran a bit too long.? At the end of their set, Guess Who bassist Jim Kale announced to the royals, ?We'll see you in Washington.?

Three days later, on July 17th the Guess Who again played for the Prince and Princess at a reception at the White House. More on that on the 17th.

John Einarson-2016 

 ^^^^^^^ Johhny Cash Show appearance ^^^^^^^

   

    

  ^ASSINNIBOINE PARK, Autumn 1972. Standing...Bill Wallace, Gary Peterson...
Sitting...Donnie McDougall, Kurt Winter, Burton Cummings

 

  

 

Photographer: Debooy
Heading: Music-General 1949-1978
Caption: Guess Who and  Mayor Steven Juba

 

Call Num: PC 89-255-005neg

Date: September 13, 1973

 

  

  CHUM Charts: The Guess Who - song list with charting dates and positions



Guess Who, The


Albert Flasher


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, April 24, 1971

26

Saturday, May 01, 1971

19

Saturday, May 08, 1971

12

Saturday, May 15, 1971

9

Saturday, May 22, 1971

5

Saturday, May 29, 1971

5

Saturday, June 05, 1971

19

Saturday, June 12, 1971

22

Saturday, June 19, 1971

28

American Woman


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, March 21, 1970

30

Saturday, March 28, 1970

23

Saturday, April 04, 1970

14

Saturday, April 11, 1970

5

Saturday, April 18, 1970

2

Saturday, April 25, 1970

1

Saturday, May 02, 1970

1

Saturday, May 09, 1970

6

Saturday, May 16, 1970

11

Saturday, May 23, 1970

14

Saturday, May 30, 1970

26

And She's Mine


Chart Date

Position

Monday, November 14, 1966

41

Monday, November 21, 1966

38

Monday, November 28, 1966

33

Clap For The Wolfman


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, July 20, 1974

27

Saturday, July 27, 1974

22

Saturday, August 03, 1974

16

Saturday, August 10, 1974

10

Saturday, August 17, 1974

9

Saturday, August 24, 1974

7

Saturday, August 31, 1974

5

Saturday, September 07, 1974

5

Saturday, September 14, 1974

3

Saturday, September 21, 1974

3

Saturday, September 28, 1974

5

Saturday, October 05, 1974

12

Saturday, October 12, 1974

27

Dancin' Fool


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, December 21, 1974

30

Saturday, December 28, 1974

28

Saturday, January 04, 1975

23

Saturday, January 11, 1975

19

Saturday, January 18, 1975

18

Saturday, January 25, 1975

15

Saturday, February 01, 1975

14

Saturday, February 08, 1975

13

Saturday, February 15, 1975

13

Saturday, February 22, 1975

17

Saturday, March 01, 1975

28

Follow Your Daughter Home


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, January 27, 1973

28

Saturday, February 03, 1973

22

Saturday, February 10, 1973

20

Saturday, February 17, 1973

16

Saturday, February 24, 1973

14

Saturday, March 03, 1973

12

Saturday, March 10, 1973

12

Saturday, March 17, 1973

12

Saturday, March 24, 1973

18

Saturday, March 31, 1973

21

Glamour Boy


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, June 16, 1973

27

Saturday, June 23, 1973

24

Saturday, June 30, 1973

22

Saturday, July 07, 1973

20

Saturday, July 14, 1973

16

Saturday, July 21, 1973

14

Saturday, August 04, 1973

12

Saturday, August 11, 1973

11

Saturday, August 18, 1973

22

Saturday, August 25, 1973

24

Hand Me Down World


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, July 11, 1970

27

Saturday, July 18, 1970

22

Saturday, July 25, 1970

10

Saturday, August 01, 1970

7

Saturday, August 08, 1970

3

Saturday, August 15, 1970

3

Saturday, August 22, 1970

12

Saturday, August 29, 1970

22

Hey Ho What You Do To Me


Chart Date

Position

Monday, August 30, 1965

44

Monday, September 06, 1965

42

Monday, September 13, 1965

39

Monday, September 20, 1965

33

Monday, September 27, 1965

34

Laughing


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, July 12, 1969

25

Saturday, July 19, 1969

22

Saturday, July 26, 1969

19

Saturday, August 02, 1969

17

Saturday, August 09, 1969

11

Saturday, August 16, 1969

9

Saturday, August 23, 1969

9

Saturday, August 30, 1969

9

Saturday, September 06, 1969

12

Saturday, September 13, 1969

26

No Sugar Tonight


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, March 28, 1970

23

Saturday, April 04, 1970

14

Saturday, April 11, 1970

5

Saturday, April 18, 1970

2

Saturday, April 25, 1970

1

Saturday, May 02, 1970

1

Saturday, May 09, 1970

6

Saturday, May 16, 1970

11

Saturday, May 23, 1970

14

Saturday, May 30, 1970

26

No Time


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, December 06, 1969

27

Saturday, December 13, 1969

19

Saturday, December 20, 1969

14

Saturday, December 27, 1969

11

Saturday, January 03, 1970

10

Saturday, January 10, 1970

9

Saturday, January 17, 1970

19

Orly


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, April 28, 1973

30

Saturday, May 05, 1973

25

Saturday, May 12, 1973

21

Saturday, May 19, 1973

19

Saturday, May 26, 1973

19

Rain Dance


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, August 07, 1971

28

Saturday, August 14, 1971

18

Saturday, August 21, 1971

16

Saturday, August 28, 1971

14

Saturday, September 04, 1971

10

Saturday, September 11, 1971

8

Saturday, September 18, 1971

6

Saturday, September 25, 1971

3

Saturday, October 02, 1971

5

Saturday, October 09, 1971

21

Running Back To Saskatoon


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, September 23, 1972

29

Saturday, September 30, 1972

17

Saturday, October 07, 1972

13

Saturday, October 14, 1972

11

Saturday, October 21, 1972

9

Saturday, October 28, 1972

6

Saturday, November 04, 1972

5

Saturday, November 11, 1972

5

Saturday, November 18, 1972

7

Saturday, November 25, 1972

9

Saturday, December 02, 1972

22

Saturday, December 09, 1972

25

Saturday, December 16, 1972

27

Shakin' All Over


Chart Date

Position

Monday, February 22, 1965

49

Monday, March 01, 1965

47

Monday, March 08, 1965

36

Monday, March 15, 1965

22

Monday, March 22, 1965

17

Monday, March 29, 1965

14

Monday, April 05, 1965

10

Monday, April 12, 1965

8

Monday, April 19, 1965

4

Monday, April 26, 1965

4

Monday, May 03, 1965

6

Monday, May 10, 1965

7

Monday, May 17, 1965

9

Monday, May 24, 1965

11

Monday, May 31, 1965

16

Monday, June 07, 1965

24

Share The Land


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, October 17, 1970

26

Saturday, October 24, 1970

21

Saturday, October 31, 1970

16

Saturday, November 07, 1970

11

Saturday, November 14, 1970

5

Saturday, November 21, 1970

4

Saturday, November 28, 1970

3

Saturday, December 05, 1970

14

Sour Suite


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, October 30, 1971

30

Saturday, November 06, 1971

24

Saturday, November 13, 1971

17

Saturday, November 20, 1971

13

Saturday, November 27, 1971

9

Saturday, December 04, 1971

7

Saturday, December 11, 1971

7

Saturday, December 18, 1971

18

Saturday, December 25, 1971

25

Star Baby


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, February 16, 1974

30

Saturday, February 23, 1974

21

Saturday, March 02, 1974

19

Saturday, March 09, 1974

16

Saturday, March 16, 1974

14

Saturday, March 23, 1974

18

Saturday, March 30, 1974

23

These Eyes


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, January 11, 1969

30

Saturday, January 18, 1969

21

Saturday, January 25, 1969

15

Saturday, February 01, 1969

6

Saturday, February 08, 1969

4

Saturday, February 15, 1969

1

Saturday, February 22, 1969

3

Friday, February 28, 1969

11

Tossin' And Turnin'


Chart Date

Position

Monday, May 17, 1965

48

Monday, May 24, 1965

43

Monday, May 31, 1965

40

Monday, June 07, 1965

35

Monday, June 14, 1965

41

Undun


Chart Date

Position

Saturday, October 11, 1969

26

Saturday, October 18, 1969

15

Saturday, October 25, 1969

11

Saturday, November 01, 1969

5

Saturday, November 08, 1969

4

Saturday, November 15, 1969

3

Saturday, November 22, 1969

14

Saturday, November 29, 1969

28

 

 

 

 Singles

as CHAD ALLAN AND THE REFLECTIONS
1962 Tribute To Buddy Holly/Back And Forth (Canadian-American) CA-802
1963 I Just Didn't Have The Heart/Back And Forth (Canadian-American) CA-802
1963 Shy Guy/Baby's Got A Brand New Beau (Quality) 1559X
1964 Stop Teasing Me/A Shot of Rhythm 'N' Blues (Quality) 1644X 

with BOB ASHLEY AND THE REFLECTIONS
1963 Inside Out/Made In England (REO/Quality) 8735 

as GUESS WHO? [aka CHAD ALLAN AND THE EXPRESSIONS]
1965 Shakin All Over/'Till We Kissed (Quality) 1691X
1965 Tossin' and Turnin'/I Want You To Love Me (Quality) 1724X
1965 Hey Ho, What You Do To Me/Goodnight, Goodnight (Quality) 1752X
1965 Hurtin' Each Other/Baby's Birthday (Quality) 1778X
1966 Believe Me/Baby Feeling (Quality) 1797X 
1966 Clock On The Wall/One Day (Quality) 1815X 
1966 And She's Mine/All Right (Quality) 1832X 

as THE GUESS WHO
1967 His Girl/It's My Pride (Quality) 1863X
1967 This Time Long Ago/There's No Getting Away From You (Quality) 1874X
1967 Pretty Blue Eyes/Pretty Blue Eyes (Quality) 1876X
1967 Flying On The Ground Is Wrong/If You Don't Want Me (Quality) 1890X
1967 This Time Long Ago/Flying On The Ground Is Wrong (Quality)
1967 Miss Felicity Grey/Flying On The Ground Is Wrong (Fontana - UK) TF-861
1967 Hurting Each Other/I'll Keep Coming Back (Quality) 1778X
1968 When Friends Fall Out/Guess Who Blues (Nimbus 9) NN-9002
1968 Of A Dropping Pin/Mr Nothin' (Nimbus 9) NN-9004
1969 Maple Fudge/Of A Dropping Pin (Nimbus 9) NNS-9007
1969 These Eyes/Lightfoot (Nimbus 9) 74-0102
1969 Laughing/Undun (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0195
1969 No Time/Proper Stranger (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0300
1970 American Woman/No Sugar Tonight (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0325
1970 Hand Me Down World/Runnin' Down The Street (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0367
1970 Share The Land/Bus Rider (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0388
1971 Hang On To Your Life/Do You Miss Me Darlin' (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0414
1971 Albert Flasher/Broken (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0458
1971 Rain Dance/One Divided (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0522
1972 Sour Suite/Life In The Bloodstream (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0578
1972 Heartbroken Bopper/Arrivederci Girl (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0659
1972 Guns, Guns, Guns/Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0708
1972 Runnin' Back To Saskatoon/New Mother Nature (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0803
1972 Runnin' Back to Saskatoon/Glace Bay Blues (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-
1973 Follow Your Daughter Home/Bye Bye Babe (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0880
1973 Orly/The Watcher (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0926
1973 Glamour Boy/Lie Down (Nimbus 9/RCA) 74-0977
1974 Star Baby/Musicione (Nimbus 9/RCA) AP80-0217
1974 Clap For The Wolfman/Road Food (Nimbus 9/RCA) AP80-0324
1974 Dancin' Fool/Seems Like I Can't Live With You, But I Can't Live Without You (Nimbus 9/RCA) PB-10075
1975 Loves Me Like A Brother/Hoedown Time (Nimbus 9/RCA) PB-10216
1975 Rosanne/Dreams (Nimbus 9/RCA) PB-10360
1975 When The Band Was Singin' 'Shakin All Over'/Woman (Nimbus 9/RCA) PB-10410
1976 Silver Bird/Runnin Down The Street (Nimbus 9/RCA) PB-10716
1978 C'mon Little Mama/Never Trust A Chorus Girl (Aquarius) AQ-5072
1978 Sweet Young Thing/Moon Wave Maker (Aquarius) AQ-5075
1978 Taxman/Sharin' Love (Aquarius) AQ-5081
1981 Lovelite/Straight Shootin' Man (El Mocambo) ESMO-516
1981 Beyond Beautiful/Country Disco (El Mocambo) ESMO-520
1984 Let's Watch The Sun Go Down (live)/These Eyes (live) (Ready) SR-491
2010 Lucille (Deep South) DigiFile

Albums
as CHAD ALLAN & THE REFLECTIONS
2010 Early Roots (RGWX)

as CHAD ALLAN & THE EXPRESSIONS [later renamed THE GUESS WHO?]
1965 Shakin' All Over (Quality) 1756
1965 Hey Ho (What You Do To Me) (Quality) 1764

as THE GUESS WHO
1966 It's Time (Quality) 1788 
1968 A Wild Pair [split album w/The Staccatos] (Nimbus) NNE-100 
1968 Wheatfield Soul (Nimbus 9) LSP-4141
1968 The Guess Who? (MGM - US) SE-4645
1969 Canned Wheat (Nimbus 9) LSP-4157
1969 Born In Canada (Wand - US) WS-691
1969 Super Golden Goodies (Quality) SV-1827
1970 American Woman (Nimbus 9) LSP-4266
1970 Share the Land (Nimbus 9) LSP-4359
1971 The Best Of The Guess Who (RCA) LSPX-1004
1971 So Long, Bannatyne (RCA) LSP-4574
1971 Guess Who Play The Guess Who (PIP) PIP-6806
1972 Rockin' (RCA) LSP-4602
1972 The History Of The Guess Who (unknown) PRD-0012
1972 Live At The Paramount (RCA) LSP-4779
1972 Wild One (Pickwick - UK) SPC-3246
1973 The Best Of The Guess Who [re-issue] (Quality)
1973 Artificial Paradise (RCA) LSP-4830
1973 #10 (RCA) APL1-0130
1973 Superpak (Quality)
1973 The Best Of The Guess Who Volume 2 (RCA) APL1-0269
1974 Road Food (RCA) APL1-0405
1974 Flavours (RCA) APL1-0636
1975 Power In The Music (RCA) APL1-0995
1976 The Way They Were (RCA) APL1-1778
1976 Shakin' All Over [re-issue] (Springboard - US) SPB-4022
1976 K-Tel Presents: The Guess Who - 20 Original Hits (K-Tel)
1977 The Greatest Hits Of The Guess Who (RCA) AYL1-3746
1978 Guess Who's Back (Aquarius) AQR-518
1979 All This For A Song (Aquarius) AQR-522
1981 Now And Not Then (El Mocambo) ELMO-761
1984 Together Again (Ready)  LR-049
1986 Reunion (Quality) RSP-116
1986 The Best Of The Guess Who Live (Compleat - US) 672012
1988 Track Record: The Guess Who Collection (RCA) 7115
1993 A Retrospective (RCA) 74321-1336
1993 The Guess Who At Their Best (BMG)
1995 Rock & Pop Legends: The Guess Who (Disky) RP-863172
1995 Lonely One (independent)
1997 Liberty (fre/EMI)
1997 The Guess Who: The Ultimate Collection (BMG)
1997 Razor's Edge (independent)
1998 The Spirit Lives On (Greatest Hits Live) (J-Bird Records)
1998 On Tour: Original Live Recordings (Wise Buy)
1999 Down The Road: Live (independent)
1999 Greatest Hits (RCA - US) 07863-67774
2000 American Woman (30th Anniversary Edition) (RCA/BMG)
2000 Runnin' Back Thru Canada (ViK/BMG) BG2-81182 
2001 This Time Long Ago [2CD] (Ranbach/Bullseye) BLR-CD-2509
2001 Shakin' All Over (Sundazed) SC-11113
2001 Best of the Guess Who (Falcon) 
2002 Best Of The Guess Who - Original Hits
2003 Platinum & Gold Collection (Sony/BMG)
2003 The Guess Who: Anthology (Sony/BMG) 54850
2004 The Best of Runnin' Back Thru Canada (Sony/BMG)
2004 Extended Versions: The Encore Collection (Sony/BMG)
2005 Let's Go (Ranbach/Maximum) MAX-00072
2005 36 All-Time Greatest Hits
2005 These Eyes & More: The Best Of The Guess Who (Sony) 75517-40692
2010 Playlist: The Very Best Of The Guess Who
2011 In Concert (independent) 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guess Who
? 1965 Chad Allan, Randy Bachman, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson, Bob Ashley
? 1966 Chad Allan, Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson
? 1966 Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Bruce Decker, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson
? 1966 Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson
? 1970 Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson, Bobby Sabellico
? 1970 Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Greg Leskiw, Garry Peterson, Kurt Winter
? 1972 Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Donnie McDougall, Garry Peterson, Kurt Winter
? 1972 Burton Cummings, Donnie McDougall, Garry Peterson, Bill Wallace, Kurt Winter
? 1974 Burton Cummings, Garry Peterson, Domenic Troiano, Bill Wallace (to end 10/75)
 

Vance Masters (drums; 1978-1979)
David Inglis (1978-1979)
Ralph Watts (1979)
Bobby Bilan (lead guitar; 1979)
Brian Sellars (bass; 1979)
Jimmy Michael [aka Grabowski] (keyboards; 1979)
Brent DesJarlais (1981)
Mike McKenna (guitar; 1981)
Sonnie Bernardi (1981)
Dale Russell (1981; 1996-1999)
Carl Dixon (guitar, vocals; 1997-1999)
Ken "Spider" Sinnaeve (bass; 1999)
Leonard Shaw (1995-1999)
Terry Hatty (vocals; 1995)