Randy Bachman Recalls Confronting Pete Townshend To Change The Who’s Name

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The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman recently discussed how his band and The Who argued about their similar names in the past. The guitarist put a foot down and stood up to Pete Townshend to change their name.

The Canadian rock band The Guess Who was active from 1968 to 1975. The band was as productive as possible in their short career, with over 13 studio albums released. Before they settled and continued their tenure under the name The Guess Who, they released two albums Chad Allan and the Expressions, and another two under the title, The Guess Who?.

They had finally settled on The Guess Who when they released their 1969 album ‘Wheatfield Soul.’ After this name change, they reached their success in the late ’60s and ’70s. The releases, ‘American Woman,’ ‘These Eyes,’ and ‘No Time,’ were only a few of the songs that carried them to success. Moreover, ‘American Woman’ was number one on a nine-song list in Canada.

Recently, its guitarist and singer Randy Bachman talked about his old band and the name similarities between them and the iconic band The Who. At the time, Bachman reached out to the English band while they were in London. Bachman confronted the band and stated that they should change their name because they were here before them. Townshend said, ‘bugger off,’ which became a funny inside joke between the two bands as they had no hard feelings over the matter.

Here is what Bachman said about confronting Townshend:

“When I was in The Guess Who, we found out about this English band called The Who and were determined to force them to change their name. So, we were in London and The Who were playing at The Marquee club. Down we went to confront them. They were being filmed for German TV at that show, so we had to wait around for about four hours.

Eventually, we get to meet them and say, ‘Look, we were here before you. So, change your name. It’s confusing people.’ Pete Townshend looked at us and replied: ‘There’s The Yardbirds and The Byrds. Nobody’s confused by that. So bugger off.’

The two bands actually became great friends. And that phrase ‘bugger off’ was our in-joke. We’d check into a hotel and find out The Who were there, so we’d call up one of the guys at 3 am, and when they answered, we would say, ‘Bugger off!’ then hang up. They’d do the same to us.”

The Who was formed in 1964, and with their lineup consisting of Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon, the band became one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. They have sold over 100 records and contributed to the technological developments of the music industry by using Marshall Stack, large PA systems, and the synthesizer.