Aired on Treasure Island Oldies – Oct 08, 2023
The compilation album, The Best of The Guess Who, was originally released by RCA Records in April 1971 and contains recordings made between 1968 and 1970. A little less than a year earlier, one of the founding members left the group …
The Guess Who was the most successful Canadian rock group of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and Canada’s first rock superstars. The songwriting team of guitarist-singer Randy Bachman and lead singer-keyboardist Burton Cummings wrote such classic songs as “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “No Time,” “No Sugar Tonight,” and “American Woman” (the first song by a Canadian band to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart) before Bachman’s departure in 1970.
So why did Bachman leave the group? Well, Bachman became a Mormon when he married his first wife, Lorayne Stevenson, in 1966, and as the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle increased with The Guess Who’s higher profile, Bachman’s beliefs and lifestyle clashed with those of his band mates. He was also suffering from serious gall bladder attacks and was replaced on tour while he returned to see his doctor in Winnipeg. After playing a final show at the Fillmore East in New York on 16 May 1970, Bachman left the group.
In 1971 Bachman formed the country rock band Brave Belt with former Guess Who member Chad Allan. The group soon morphed into Bachman-Turner Overdrive and featured Fred Turner on bass and vocals and Bachman’s brothers, Robbie on drums and Tim on guitar. The group released their first self-titled album in May 1973.
In the Fall of 1974, they garnered #1 status on the Billboard Hot 100 with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” It also went to #1 across Canada.
In June of 1975, the group, now often referred to as BTO, had their second #1 hit on the Canadian RPM charts, a song that went to the #21 position on Billboard.
Somewhat defiant, the lyrics of this hit record were rumored to be directed at former bandmate Burton Cummings, who had publicly stated that Bachman would never make it in the music business again following his departure from The Guess Who. Bachman confirmed the rumors in interviews years later, stating: “I deserved to gloat a bit after all the mud Burton had slung at me.”
Bachman and Cummings have continued to perform together but it makes one wonder what Bachman is thinking when he goes into a rendition of BTO’s “Hey You,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.