The Guess Who was formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1965 and they first formation lasted until 1975. It was during those years that their classic records were released and turned them into an influential group.
The guitarist and singer Randy Bachman was part of the band until 1970 when he left to form Bachman Turner Overdrive and the singer and multi-instrumentalist Burton Cummings continued with them until the end in 1975. Over the decades both of them reunited with the group several times, the last one being in 2003. For already a few years the band was reformed by the original drummer Garry Peterson and has been touring and releasing albums under the name of Guess Who.
However, as the lawsuit filled by Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings says, they were doing that withou their permission. So both musicians are suing the current band for using the name and even changing the photos of streaming services.
From 2016 to 2021, for example, Guess Who even had the famous bassist Rudy Sarzo on their line-up. Their current formation has Garry Peterson (Drums -Original member), Derek Sharp (Vocals, guitar, piano – Since 2008), Michael Staertow (Guitar – Since 2021), Greg Smith (Bass – Since 2023) and Teddy Andreadis (Keyboards – Since 2023).
Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings talked about the lawsuit against the current Guess Who
“They’ve taken mine and Randy’s history, the history of the Guess Who, and stolen it to market their cheap ticket sales in their fake bullshit shows,” Burton Cummings told Rolling Stone. “It takes away everybody’s legitimacy.”
They are accusing Jim Kale, Garry Peterson and the band itself of false advertising, unfair competition and violation of right of publicity. The two artists are asking for $20 million in damages. According to the article, Cummings sent cease-and-desist letters to The Guess Who manager and to the band’s attorney, but nothing happen. So now they decided to start a lawsuit.
Randy Bachman also talked with Rolling Stone, saying: “It’s been going on for a long, long time, and we hear from fans who say they spent money on tickets and (Cummings and I) weren’t there. Enough is enough.”
“I get my kids seeing these ads asking me if I’m playing Park City, Utah, next week. The fans are getting ripped off over and over, and Burton and I lose because we can’t tour the Guess Who even though we want to. We wrote the music for this band and want to give it to the fans. The clones that are up there weren’t even alive when these were hits, it’s kind of a joke,” Randy Bachman said.
The Guess Who released two studio albums in the last couple of years: The Future IS What it Used to Be” (2018) and “Plein D’Amour” (2023). Both of course, didn’t had Cummings or Bachman.