Ex-Members Of The Guess Who Sues Current Members
via CBC News / Youtube
Recently, former members Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman have initiated a legal dispute against The Guess Who, along with original members Jim Kale and Garry Peterson. The lawsuit, filed in a Los Angeles federal court, centers around the rights to the band’s name for touring and recording purposes.
In their press release, Bachman and Cummings contend that the current lineup, which solely consists of Peterson from the classic band, has used the band’s name, their images, and their music without obtaining the necessary permissions. Bachman remarked:
“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.”
Cummings also expressed his perspective on the matter in the press release, stating:
“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.”
Who Gets to Own the Band’s Name and Legacy?
The lawsuit encompasses allegations of false advertising, unfair competition, and the violation of the right of publicity. Cummings and Bachman are seeking damages of up to $20 million. The case alleges that songs authored by Bachman and Cummings were employed to promote The Guess Who’s current lineup without the appropriate licenses, among other claims.
The actions of the current Guess Who are alleged to have damaged the band’s reputation and hindered Burton and Randy’s efforts to arrange concerts in the United States. In addition to the financial damages they are pursuing, the duo is requesting that the court compel Kale and Peterson to clarify that Bachman and Cummings are not associated with the group when advertising shows for the current band.