Randy Bachman

In shocking recent news, The Guess Who co-founders Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman have filed a federal lawsuit against former bandmates Jim Kale and Garry Peterson, accusing them of false advertising and misleading fans with their current touring lineup. The suit, filed in Los Angeles, seeks over $20 million in damages and a court order for corrective measures.

In an exclusive interview ahead of his upcoming show at Caesars Windsor and a June cover feature in 519 Magazine, Randy Bachman voiced his full support for the legal action. “My thoughts are 100% behind it. I’m with Burton on this, by the way. The two of us are doing this together. It’s kind of unfair to people. We weren’t aware of everything that was happening, but it’s been going on for 20 years,” Bachman stated.

 

The lawsuit claims that Kale and Peterson have been using classic lineup photos and recordings to falsely imply Cummings and Bachman are still part of the group. In an unprecedented move, Cummings terminated performing rights for every Guess Who song he wrote, barring the current lineup from playing those iconic hits.

The bitter trademark dispute goes back decades, with Kale filing for the Guess Who name rights in 1986. While trademark ownership isn’t disputed, the suit alleges Kale and Peterson removed Cummings and Bachman’s images from streaming platforms to boost ticket sales for the current lineup, therefore misleading fans.

Bachman emphasized that while they can’t do anything about the trademarked name, the lawsuit focuses on the false impersonation and advertising by Kale and Peterson’s group. “These guys weren’t even born when these songs were hit songs,” Bachman added. “We’re being ripped off.”

With the rise of social media, fans now have direct access to voice their complaints about being misled by the current Guess Who lineup. “You’re not aware of it until suddenly there’s no Rolling Stone magazine anymore. You’re not buying it. There’s no more print media. Everything is on the internet,” Bachman explained. “Now everybody’s sharing on Instagram or YouTube, and we’re getting complaints because people can easily reach out to us through our websites.”

Fans have indeed reached out to Bachman and Cummings, expressing their frustration. “We went to see you guys. You weren’t there. We drove 400 miles. We bought $600 a ticket. We bought four tickets,” Bachman recounted from fan messages.

As the legal battle unfolds, Bachman remains focused on delivering electrifying performances for the fans, promising to play all the BTO hits along with a select choice of Guess Who classics at his upcoming Caesars Windsor show with Bachman-Turner Overdrive on June 14. “They will hear every BTO hit, and we do album cuts like ‘Take It Like a Man’ and ‘Give Me Your Money,’ blue-collar stuff that, in the old days, you didn’t have singles for. A lot of people come, and they just want to hear ‘Takin’ Care of Business.’ And so we do it.”

Cummings and Bachman are steadfast in their mission to protect the band’s legacy and fans from what they deem as imposters rewriting history. As the music world watches closely, only time will tell how this contentious dispute will be resolved and what lasting impact it may have on one of Canada’s most iconic rock bands.

Watch for the full interview with Bachman on the cover of the June issue and don’t miss Bachman-Turner Overdrive live at Caesars Windsor on June 14.

 

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