by Joshua Maloni
Randy Bachman is no longer a member of The Guess Who, the Canadian supergroup he helped form in the mid-1960s.
But how would some of his fans know that, when his picture still appears in promotional materials?
It doesn't sit too well with the acclaimed singer and songwriter.
"It's very weird, immoral and misleading to fans," Bachman said in a phone interview.
Further compounding this matter is proximity. He and his former band often play in the same markets. The Guess Who performed last month at Artpark in Lewiston, and Bachman performs this Friday in Lockport as part of the Molson Canal Concert Series.
While neither party is likely to be thrilled about such tour routing, this sort of thing is bound to happen in Western New York. It's here that the hitmakers of yesteryear regularly appear.
In August of 2005, for example, Foreigner performed at Artpark the same week former lead singer Lou Gramm headlined a "Thursday at the Square" concert in Buffalo.
Bachman said The Guess Who bassist Jim Kale, also a founding member, owns the rights to the band's name and, as such, can get away with such promotion.
To make up for this alleged wrong, Bachman said that, when he comes to Lockport, he'd look to give fans of The Guess Who a little something extra.
"Those people who were disappointed by ‘The wrong Guess Who,' if you want to call it that, I will be there; I'll be doing songs the way I wrote them, and with a fabulous band," he said. "I'm looking forward to just coming there and doing what I do best."
With all due respect to Derek Sharp, who has proven himself as both a capable and popular frontman for the 2009 version of The Guess Who, Bachman knows the material in a more intimate way. He said fans could expect a live performance that more closely resembles the radio and recorded versions of songs such as "These Eyes," "No Sugar Tonight" and "American Woman."
Moreover, Bachman can draw hits from his other well-known band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive. With that group, he crafted songs including "Let It Ride," "Takin' Care of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet."
"I have to say, I know the reason most people come to see me is because I do have hit songs," he said. "I do embrace that, almost to the full extent."
As a member of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, with eight Top 10 singles - including three No. 1s - and more than a dozen Top 20 tunes to draw from, Bachman's set is almost entirely comprised of hits.
Though he will try to squeeze one or two new songs into his act, Bachman knows what fans want to hear - it's the same thing he wants to hear when he attends a concert.
"It's just as if I go see the Eagles or Neil Young or Bob Seger, whoever, and they play new songs. I am not interested," he said. "I might like those five years from now when they're engrained in my heart and soul and psyche. But right now, I want to hear the hit songs. That's why I came to see them.
"So, pretty much, I'll be embracing my catalog of hits."
Randy Bachman headlines the final Molson Canal Concert Series show of 2009 on Friday, Aug. 21. The free show begins at 5:30 p.m. at the David Ulrich City Centre in downtown Lockport.
Opening acts include Scott Celani, Alison Pipitone and Son Of The Sun.