Millions of classic rock fans don’t have to guess who scored worldwide hits in the ’60s and ’70s like “These Eyes,” “Hand Me Down World,” “No Time,” “No Sugar Tonight,” “Laughing,” “Undun” and “American Woman.”
They know it was Canada’s most famous rock band, from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The Guess Who, with founding member Garry Peterson, will bring those songs — plus choice cuts from “The Future Is What it Used to Be,” the group’s first all-new studio album in 30 years — to the Canyon Santa Clarita on Thursday, Oct. 4.
“We’re gonna play the music of The Guess Who past and present,” said Peterson, the band’s original drummer, taking a break from rehearsals for their latest U.S. tour, which kicked off Sept. 29 in Northern California.
“You’re going to see an excellent version of the songs and hear exactly how they should sound or be played,” he said.
The only member who’s appeared on every Guess Who album and tour for the last 56 years, Peterson played drums on all 15 of The Guess Who’s Top 200 U.S. albums (three of them RIAA-certified gold), their 14 Top 40 U.S. singles (three gold, including “Laughing,” “These Eyes” and the No. 1 “American Woman”).
As a group member, Peterson is a Canadian Music Hall of Fame honoree, and received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement for their contribution to popular music in Canada.
Still swinging a rock ’n’ roll backbeat at 74, Peterson detailed The Guess Who’s current lineup.
“Leonard Shaw lives in Winnipeg, and plays keyboards, flute and sax,” Peterson said. “He’s been in the band more than 20 years. Lead singer Derek Sharp, aka D#, is from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He’s in his 11th year, and also plays guitar and piano.
“Will E. (Evankovich), from Napa Valley, is our lead guitarist,” Peterson said. “He’s been with us almost five years. And our newest member, Rudy Sarzo, was an original member of Quiet Riot. He also played with Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Blue Oyster Cult and more. Rudy’s from Cuba, but lives in California and has been in the band about two years.”
The same players recorded the new Guess Who album, which D# and Will E. co-produced.
“We designed the whole package to be a trip for our fans who lived through the magic era of rock ’n’ roll and pop music in the late ’60s and early ’70s and remember this band,” Peterson said.
“And for younger people who weren’t born yet or were very young, the album will give them an idea of what it was like back then,” he said.
“It was quite a trip back in time to create this new music. That’s why we call it ‘The Future Is What it Used to Be,’” he said. “And this is such a great band, fun to play with live. At my age I’m having a rebirth, enjoying what I do as much as ever.”
Find out more at The Guess Who’s official website. [https://www.theguesswho.com/]
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Find the Canyon Santa Clarita on the ground floor of the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Get tickets at the box office 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, by phone at 888-645-5006, or via TicketMaster.com. For more info, visit WheremusicmeetstheSoul.com.
Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer and award-winning radio producer and journalist based in the Santa Clarita Valley. He has covered the SCV music scene for local media since 2004. Contact him via stephenkpeeples.com.