The ‘Fake’ Guess Who Fight Escalates: Randy Bachman Has No Intention To Back Down

Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings started a legal fight over The Guess Who’s name rights in 2023. Cummings terminated the rights agreements on his songs to stop the band from performing them at live shows during the process.

The decision led the current members to cancel several concerts and caused financial loss for the duo. Still, Bachman recently said that they wouldn’t back down. He told Ultimate Classic Rock:

“You can’t really stop that because they own the name; they trademarked the name. But it’s false advertising; it’s fraud to say that. And the thing is, when they’re promoting it, they’re playing ‘These Eyes’ and ‘American Woman’ and ‘No Time,’ which is me on guitar and Burton singing it – and we wrote them. So, it was a brilliant move to pull the performance [rights] on that away from those guys. Now they can sit and talk. We can talk and do some business.”

The Duo Seeks Justice For All Artists In Their Situation

Randy Bachman co-founded The Guess Who in 1966 and co-wrote many of their hits like ‘No Time’ and ‘American Woman’ with Burton Cummings before leaving in 1970 to start Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

The band disbanded in 1975, but original bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson later reunited without Cummings and Bachman. Kale also secured the rights to their name.

The ex-guitarist likened their situation to that of other musicians who lost control of their bands:

“I think there should be a court of fairness in the world. Do you know what I mean? I remember there used to be three Fleetwood Macs, three Platters – three whatever. Some guy who swept the floor once or, you know, carried a suitcase claims the name, and he goes out and does the songs.”

The Lawsuit Between The Band And Its Ex-Members

When Kale retired in 2016, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman claimed that Peterson often missed shows and left the group without any of its original members. They also argued that the group’s promotional materials falsely featured their images.

Bachman explained in a late 2023 press release:

“Burton [Cummings] and I are the ones who wrote the songs and made the records. It’s Burton’s voice and my guitar playing on those albums. Anyone presenting and promoting themselves as The Guess Who are clones who are ripping off our fans and tainting the legacy of the band. It’s about time for the real story to come out.”

He continued:

“With this lawsuit, Randy [Bachman] and I hope to set the record straight and protect fans from imposters trying to rewrite history. Even after we’re gone, the legacy of The Guess Who will live on, and we want to make sure that legacy is restored and preserved truthfully.”

The current lineup of The Guess Who includes Garry Peterson, Derek Sharp, Michael Staertow, Greg Smith, and Teddy Andreadis. They are scheduled to perform new shows in the US this June.