kk: And it was NEW to me which goes back to the point you were making earlier about still discovering new music today at this age ... I discovered that song ... even though technically it's 45 year old music ... I first discovered that track through YOU GUYS, not through Cliff Richard, 'cause that didn't get played here when that song was out and was a hit.
BC: Yeah, that was a pretty well-played thing in Winnipeg. We were very fortunate in Winnipeg in that we got to hear some of the British stuff that Americans didn't get to hear ... some Georgie Fame and some Gerry and the Pacemakers that really didn't get off the ground in the States ... Billy J. Kramer was another one. The British Invasion was very, very extensive in Canada, I guess probably because we were part of the Commonwealth. and Canadian Capitol Records, they had just about everybody ... from The Beatles and Dave Clark on down ... Hollies, Animals, Ciff Richard and the Shadows ... EVERYTHING was on Capitol. It was a very cool time in Canada. We took that British Invasion square in the face.
kk: That's a GREAT song.
BC: Although they didn't have a string of records, Procol Harum, but "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" was as big as any Beatles record. And I remember when that it, it was #1 forever. That was a big, big record.
I think The Beatles would be right up there ... I think "A Hard Day's Night" would have to be one of them ... that record hit like a ton of bricks. "A Hard Day's Night" and "Can't Buy Me Love" ... those two hard rockers, they hit like a ton of bricks in the '60's.
kk: OK, well here, that's a good segue into this next question ... I was BLOWN AWAY by the fact that The Guess Who never really had a major hit record in England. How the heck can that be?!?! Seriously, what's the deal with that??? Like most bands of the day, The Guess Who were heavily influenced by the sounds coming out of England at that time. Untold THOUSANDS of kids picked up a guitar or a bass or a drum kit ... (or, in your case, a piano!) ... searching for rock and roll success ... and you guys were no different. How is it even REMOTELY possible that The Guess Who had exactly ONE Top 40 Hit in Great Britain? And that one ... "American Woman" ... only peaked at #19.
BC: No, not so much. "American Woman" did okay but RCA in England never really worked that hard on us. I actually did better with CBS with "My Own Way To Rock" many years later. But we didn't really happen that much in England. I don't know why. It's just one of those things. I mean there's a lot of Canadian acts that are HUGE in Canada that never had any success in the States. Sometimes I guess it just doesn't translate well across borders ... I don't know ... we were pretty lucky. We had a lot of success in Australia, too. But as I look back, I think we were pretty lucky, especially considering where we came from, which was this little dot on the map in the middle of snow!
kk: Did you guys ever tour England in the day?
BC: We did a promotional tour in 1970 ... it was just very brief ... very, very brief ... we were only there about five or six days ... nah, never really worked on it much. We were too busy touring the States! We toured the States ENDLESSLY!
kk: And I would go see The Guess Who faithfully when you guys would come to Chicago ... and, of course, a lot of the solo shows, too, when "Stand Tall" became a hit.
BC: I remember The Arie Crown ... The Arie Crown was always a favorite place to play. And we played a lot in Texas. We played a lot in El Paso ... and then we would go across and drink tequila in Juarez ... I'll tell you one thing, man, you wouldn't be doin' that today! It's not the same as it was in 1970! Look at that, 43 years later ... it's not the same! We used to cross the border regularly and drink tequila till five in the morning and sometimes I'd even shoot the worm ... but we wouldn't be doin' that now! I can tell you that! (lol) Times have changed!
kk: (Laughing) Hey, you don't have to tell me ... I watch that TV show "The Bridge"! You go across the border today and you may not be coming back!
The response to our interview was phenomenal ... and the emails poured in ... far more than we could ever print here.
We have, however, selected some of our favorites ...
Just finished your Burton Cummings interview ... it's awesome! Great job! (Let's give away a couple of tickets!)
Ron Onesti, President / CEO
Onesti Entertainment Corporation
The Historic Arcada Theatre
And that we will! Thanks, Ron ...
Readers ... get your emails in to me as soon as possible ...
We'll collect them all week long ... and then next Friday, the 20th ... exactly ONE WEEK BEFORE THE SHOW, we'll pick our winner ... a pair of free tickets to see Burton Cummings LIVE at The Arcada Theatre on Friday, September 27th, courtesy of Ron Onesti and Onesti Entertainment. You MUST be able to attend in order to enter. It's an EXCELLENT opportunity to see one of the greatest voices in rock and roll history ... a true living legend, live in concert ... so don't delay ... email me TODAY!!! (kk)
Best. Interview. Ever. Seriously, kk, you blew the doors off with this one. I'd say it belongs in Rolling Stone so that the whole world can read and enjoy it -- but forgotten hits has become WAY cooler than Rolling Stone! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Forgotten Hits just keeps getting better and better.
Thank you, Janice ... and whereas normally a compliment like that would mean so much more, we all have to remember that the idiot running Rolling Stone ALSO heads up The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... and he has yet to find The Guess Who even worthy of a nomination, much less induction into his hallowed Hall. Here's the thing about Jann Wenner, a guy who has obliterated ANY sense of respect he ever had in the music industry ... his cocky, arrogant, know-it-all, "I know rock and roll and you don't" attitude has rendered his opinion and organization useless to virtually all of the rock and roll world. He has been SO off the mark with his decisions about who gets in and who doesn't that the status that SHOULD be associated with Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction means absolutely nothing anymore. Meanwhile, he continues to use and exploit artists that he would otherwise ignore as "not worthy" to help sell his magazine and drive folks to his website.
I've been crazily busy lately, but never too busy to read Forgotten Hits. I've meant to comment on your interview with Burton, which was fantastic.
His Girl got lots of airplay back in 1967 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and we had the single around the house. The flip was It's My Pride, which has found its way on to the Nugget series, I think.
The other thing that your interview did was to get me off my butt and finish buying the Guess Who and Burton solo stuff that I want on CD. You should get a kickback from Amazon. <grin>
Thanks again for all the great info.
I have been a BIG Guess Who fan and BC fan for 40 years. I simply loved that interview!
Keep up the great work! I DIG IT!
Congratulations on all of the well-deserved accolades you have received in the presentation of the superlative Burton Cummings interview in Forgotten Hits ... as with a song, you can tell when it's a hit!
I'm sure Burton Cummings, his Manager Lorne Saifer, and Tour-Manager Sam Boyd must be very pleased with the results and its content. What a great preface to what I'm sure will be one of the best music shows to hit Chicago this year! Burton Cummings' voice and compositions and their longevity speak for themselves.
Great interview again Kent, love Forgotten Hits -- continued growth and success!
Copyright Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits, 1998 - 2017 ... All rights reserved