Now my answer to this question would have been NO until this week, when I heard the song on Marc Riley’s BBC 6 Music show. Marc has a show Monday to Thursday from 7-9pm, which is absolutely excellent. I often listen to it for a bit when I get home from work, and just slump on the bed for a while to get some energy back. And then I often carry on listening while I start writing my book, until I feel the need to listen to the artist I’m writing about.
Like 6 Music in general, Marc plays contemporary music, some great sessions from new artists, some old sessions from the BBC archives and a few old indie favourites. And just occasionally a bit of seventies ROCK. So I was lying on the bed when this song came on. A great blues rock rhythm, verging on reggae, with a singer who sounded like Robert Plant, Ian Gillan and Paul Rodgers, but obviously wasn’t any of the three. I thought, this is a great song, it sounds like I should know it, but I don’t. Is it Paul Rodgers? No. Plant? No. Gillan? No. Is it it some other geezer who sang with Purple or Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow? Probably not. Anyway, after another rocking tune, Marc Riley said it was “American Woman” by The Guess Who. I thought, aah, I think I know them, but I can’t remember why…
So it was a Google and a Wikipedia and all was revealed. The Guess Who were a Canadian band who made their name in the sixties and in 1970 made the “American Woman” album. The single was a number one in the US. The singer was Chad Allan and one of the band members was… Randy Bachman. He of Bachman Turner Overdrive fame. A band equally reviled and revered these days. But no-one can deny that “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” is a classic seventies rock anthem.
And that’s where my vague memory of The Guess Who must have come from. From the BTO and reading about their origins.
Anyway, you can hear the full, five minute version of the song on Spotify, with a little blues intro, but here’s the band playing the meat of the song in, I assume, 1970. It’s kind of amusing, but also brilliant and the guitar just glides. Unfortunately, the video is so badly shot that you can’t actually see the lead guitarist most of the time.
Can’t believe I’ve only just heard it for the first time, but I love it!