Home #Hwoodtimes Guess who? Canadian Legends of Rock 

Guess who? Canadian Legends of Rock 

Guess Who

By Gordon Durich

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/11/24 – “We have fond memories of recording here, in Hollywood, on Ivar at RCA- in the Golden State of California,” shared Garry Peterson, longtime drummer of The Guess Who.  The legendary Canadian export band with smash hits such as “No Sugar Tonight” and American Woman,” slayed ‘em in the aisles at the Fred Kavli Theater, Thousand Oaks on a cold winter night.

Enter these prolific hit makers, and band formed in Winnipeg in 1965, The Guess Who dominated the North American and international charts with numbers including “These Eyes” and other rock soulful songs for ensuing decades. And they’re still at it, as a recent sold-out show in TO proved.

Australia was my childhood home, and Canada is part of the Commonwealth, so it feels more like “home” – and anyone from Canada feels like a “brother.” The Guess Who was fronted by the brilliant Barton Cummings, singer, keyboardist and songwriter who carved an indelible mark on their driving and punchy rock sound with distinctive raspy vocals. He also had a successful solo career. As current lead vocalist, Derek Sharp is both athletic and a fabulous showman — singing, playing guitars and flute, hopping around on one leg.

The band has had multiple lineup changes over the years- current lineup is Garry Peterson (drummer- since age 17!); Michael Staertow; Derek “D#” Sharp on lead vocals; Teddy Andreadis, on keyboards — and Greg Smith (bass).  All are multitalented musicians, credits spanning the likes of Alice Cooper; Guns and Roses; B.B. King and Blue Oyster Cult. with performing and recording with musical greats.  Greg Smith even performed with Billy Joel during his long Broadway run in “Movin’ Out” (and hit the road with the “Piano Man”).  The Guess Who are perennial favorites with fans worldwide. Their latest release “Plein D’Amour” Derek said is a love song to “the people” (fans).

What I loved the most?  The athletic interplay between blond Derek and dark-haired Michael (actually a New York native) on dueling guitars, which reminded this writer of The Faces’ Rod Stewart and Ron Wood (the latter now with The Rolling Stones).