Burton Cummings Calling For Help In Stopping Fake Version of the Guess Who

Above the GroundBurton Cummings, former lead singer of the Guess Who, has written on his site asking for help from fans to stop a group of musicians who are portraying themselves as the original hitmakers.

Burton, who loves to write in all caps, said:
NOW, MORE THAN EVER, WE NEED THE HELP OF ALL FAITHFUL FANS WHO EVER LIKED A GUESS WHO RECORD OR CONCERT OR SONG. THE TRAVELING “SHOW” THAT’S CALLING ITSELF “THE GUESS WHO” IS ALL OVER THE INTERNET, USING ALBUM COVERS, VIDEOS, RECORDINGS AND PHOTOS OF THE ORIGINAL BAND TO PROMOTE THEIR CURRENT SHOWS. THIS IS FRAUD AND IT’S TIME IT CAME TO LIGHT IN EVERY STATE. PLEASE LISTEN AND WATCH FOR ANY AND ALL OF THIS FALSE ADVERTISING. THEY HAVE CONTINUALLY IGNORED EFFORTS AND REQUESTS TO STOP THIS, RELYING ON VIDEOS AND RECORDINGS BY THE ORIGINAL GROUP TO DRAW FANS TO WHATEVER THEY PRESENT AS THEIR “GUESS WHO SHOW”…

WE NEED SPECIFIC INSTANCES OF RADIO STATION CALL LETTERS AND DIAL NUMBERS, TELEVISION ADVERTISING, NEWSPAPER OR PRINTED POSTER ADVERTISING, AND ANY REFERENCE WHATSOEVER TO THE ORIGINAL MUSIC OR BAND MEMBERS THAT THE BAND CALLING ITSELF “THE GUESS WHO” IS USING CURRENTLY AND ANYTIME FROM HEREON TO PROMOTE ITS LIVE CONCERTS. WHAT’S WORSE IS THAT EVEN AFTER REPEATED REQUESTS AND WARNINGS THEY HAVE CONTINUED THEIR MISREPRESENTATION TO MISLEAD OR FOOL THE PUBLIC.

PLEASE FORWARD ALL INSTANCES OF THIS FALSE ADVERTISING BY THE GROUP CALLING ITSELF “THE GUESS WHO” TO US HERE. HELP US PUT AN END TO THIS FOR GOOD. FROM FLORIDA TO MISSISSIPPI TO THE MIDWEST TO THE WEST COAST TO THE EASTERN SEABOARD, THIS GROUP CALLING ITSELF “THE GUESS WHO” HAS MISLED UNTOLD LEGIONS OF FANS OF THE ORIGINAL BAND AND THEIR MUSIC.

PLEASE SEND US EVERYTHING YOU CAN FIND. YOUR HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.

THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE…
THE GOOD GUYS
Unfortunately, we couldn't find an e-mail or any other way to get in touch with him on his site, although I'm sure you can always resort to Twitter to make any initial contact with information on this fake group.

4 comments

Anonymous said...

Burton Cummings' comments are somewhat surprising.

I did some Google searches for "The Guess Who" and "Guess Who tour", etc., and I wouldn't exactly say they are "all over the internet".

Is Burton referring to the touring Guess Who band made up of original members Jim Kale and Garry Peterson, or some other band utilizing the band name? Because from what I understand, Jim Kale legally owns the name "The Guess Who" (and has since the late 70s) and has every right to tour - or even record - under this name. I would assume Kale (and Peterson) can also utilize videos and pictures of the original band for promotional purposes if they themselves are in the videos and pictures.

If, on the other hand, Burton is referring to some other non-Kale, non-Peterson, non Bachman or non-Cummings band touring as the Guess Who, then kudos to him for defending his legacy and supporting Kale and Peterson.

I think, however, that Burton is probably referring to the Kale and Peterson band and is pissed at having his image and voice utilized for promotional purposes of the current touring band that he is not involved in...which I guess is understandable. It seems that Burton has been bitten by the same bug that bit Roger Hodgson last year when Hodgson was complaining about the use of his image and voice by the current touring band of Supertramp.....

While it is true that the current touring band known as the Guess Who - and Supertramp to some extent (along with countless other bands that tour with some original members and legally utilize a trademarked band name) can be considered glorified cover bands, they do have a right (I assume) to utilize any audio, video or image of the band that they have been a part of.

(That said, it's probably not the band themselves utilizing the old videos and pictures of the original band, but the venues and ticket agents trying to sell the tickets. Burton should probably be attacking the venues/ticket agents rather than the band)

To boycott Kale and Peterson's Guess Who (if, in fact, that is the band being referred to) seems like sour grapes on the part of Burton Cummings. I'm sure Burton is doing alright for himself. As one the the principal songwriters of the original hits that made the Guess Who famous (along with Randy Bachman), I'm sure Burton gets a nice royalty check every time a Guess Who song is played on the radio, downloaded legally through iTunes or some other retailer, or a CD/album is sold. If this touring band is helping to increase the number of songs played on the radio, mp3s purchased or CDs sold (which I'm sure it is), it seems strange that he would want to hinder this source of income. And he doesn't even have to do any work for it.

Kale and Peterson do own a stake in the Guess Who legacy, and they have every right to capitalize on that. Do they get the royalty checks Bachman and Cummings do? No. So aside from touring, their income is significantly less than that of Randy and Burton. They're just a couple of old guys wanting to go out and play the songs they helped make famous - and I don't see anything wrong with that.

Would I rather go see the Guess Who (minus Bachman and Cummings) or Bachman and Cummings perform live? It's a no-brainer. I'd avoid Kale and Peterson's Guess Who like the plague.

Personal note - my comments in no way reflect my feelings about Burton Cummings or Randy Bachman. They are rock legends and I own every album - solo and otherwise - they have ever released. Their last album together - Jukebox - is a great album, and Cummings' last solo album - Above the Ground - is brilliant; had it been released twenty years earlier, it would have had several hits...it's that good an album. Even Bachman's most recent album - with Fred Turner - is great.

Philip Cohen said...

The reason why Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman's reunited "Guess Who"(with Don McDougal, Bill Wallace & Gary Peterson) came to an end, was because Jim Kale wanted too much money to continue licensing the name.

Similarly, Randy Bachman & C.F. "Fred" Turner can't use the name "Bachman-Turner Overdrive", because the BTO name now resides with two other members. But why would anyone want to go watch Blair Thornton & Robbie Bachman play the hits when you could go see Randy Bachman & C.F. "Fred" Turner(the original writers & lead singers)? This would be like going to watch Doug Clifford & Stu Cook's "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" when you could go watch John Fogerty(CCR's main talent)

Anonymous said...

Burton is pissed off from what I have readon his Facebook Page due to the fact that they are using his voice and image to promote upcoming concerts. Burton owns the rights to his image and the songs; not the name.

The Guess Who can not legally use any recordings with Burton's voice to promote upcoming shows. Nor can they use his image.

The Guess Who are doing both of these things. That is why Burton is pissed off.

Anonymous said...

Out of respect to Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman no one should be singing their songs period. The Guess Who can stay the guess who but should not be singing any songs that were written by either Burton Cummings or Randy Bachman. Shame on Peterson and Kale. And shame on all the new members now associated with the guess who. It is FRAUD from whatever angle you want to look at it-it's the Principal but I guess in today's society such principal's don't exist anymore. Put your own mugshots on your own CD's and then continue calling yourselves the guess who!!!!

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