The Guess Who Cancels Show Again Because Of $20 Million Legal Dispute

The Guess Who Cancels Show Again Because Of $20 Million Legal Dispute | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via What Happened to Them? / YouTube

The iconic rock band The Guess Who recently faced a setback that was quite unexpected—a stumbling block that involved legal issues over music rights. They shared an announcement that another show had to be canceled.

Legal Wrangles Force The Guess Who to Cancel A Show

There seemed to be no easy choice but to call off their planned performance at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, FL. In their statement, they expressed their apologies and provided clear instructions for fans regarding refunds:

“Due to an unforeseen issue with music licensing, unfortunately, tonight’s show, The Guess Who at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, FL, has been canceled. No action is required by ticket buyers. All tickets will be refunded at point of purchase. If you have any questions, please call the Box Office at 772.461.4775.”

This situation sprang from a $20 million legal dispute that’s been simmering for some time—since October, to be exact. Two original members of the group, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, felt they had no choice but to take legal action against later iterations of the band, specifically targeting Jim Kale and Garry Peterson.

Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman have strong feelings about this legal tussle, and their words highlight the depth of their emotion and the seriousness of the situation. Randy Bachman voiced his distress with these words:

“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.”

The Heart of The Guess Who’s Legal Battle

The sentiments here are powerful, reflecting a deep connection to the music they created and a desire to preserve the authenticity of the band’s legacy. Burton Cummings echoed a similar sentiment, underscoring their stance, 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.”

The substance of the dispute appears to center around the ownership of the band’s name and the rights to use their songs for touring and recording. Evidently, Cummings and Bachman are fighting to maintain the integrity of the band’s music and its connection to them as the original creators. They argue that the group currently touring under The Guess Who name, which features only Garry Peterson from the classic lineup, is not presenting the genuine article to the fans.

The situation escalated when Cummings made a bold legal move. While the lawsuit was progressing through the courts, he took action by terminating the performing rights agreements for all of his compositions. This included hits like ‘American Woman’ and ‘These Eyes.’ This essentially means that the band might still tour, but they are legally forbidden from playing any of Cummings’s songs.

Such a step has considerable implications for The Guess Who’s performances. If they ignored this and played any of Cummings’s songs, they would face a lawsuit for every single incident. This drastic measure emphasizes the importance that Cummings and Bachman place on the rights to their creative work and the authenticity of the band’s legacy.

Fans of The Guess Who are caught in the middle of this legal battle, which has led to the recent show cancellation. Those who purchased tickets for the scuttled performance were assured full refunds, with the band’s management providing contact information to address any questions or concerns.