Say what you like about those Canukian "Beatles in Furs" (The Guess Who), but damn if Burton isn't one of rocks most bluesy vocalists. Post any videos, links, insights, admirations, mustachioed commentaries as you see fit.
..This is post-Bachman, still, as good a place to start as any.
― bodacious ignoramus, Sunday, 16 July 2017 18:56 (eight months ago) Permalink
― pplains, Sunday, 16 July 2017 19:48 (eight months ago) Permalink
― bodacious ignoramus, Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:11 (eight months ago) Permalink
― bodacious ignoramus, Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:14 (eight months ago) Permalink
I have a cousin on Facebook who hasn't responded to my last couple of messages or happy-birthday posts, but she seems to do just fine keeping up with Burton Cummings' page.
Zero interest in anything he did after the Guess Who. But the Guess Who I loved. I've written about this lots elsewhere, but I saw them four or five times in the mid-'70s at old Exhibition Stadium. Personnel changed, and "American Woman" got longer and longer every year. Looking back, I suspect those shows were as much of a decade-defining ritual for Toronto as Gordon Lightfoot at Massey.
If you go back to some of the mid-'70s LPs, when the band's hits were slowing down--#10, Road Food--it's funny how seriously Cummings took himself. I think he'd appointed himself as Canada's own Plastic Ono Band-era John Lennon, with lots of songs about the pain of being Burton Cummings. Then he moved on and turned into Billy Joel.
― clemenza, Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:25 (eight months ago) Permalink
i like your perspective -- but what of Burton as a vocalist? And where else have you written?
― bodacious ignoramus, Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:33 (eight months ago) Permalink
Here and there. I try not to repeat myself, so often end up say "I've written about this elsewhere"...
He was great for what the Guess Who were doing. That "Share the Land" clip is sort of brilliant: corny (right up front in terms of environmental awareness, but I suspect Cummings' interest was sparked by "Big Yellow Taxi"--was he actually a committed environmentalist? I don't know), rousing, a perfect pop song. "Rain Dance" and "Albert Flasher," my two favourite hits of theirs, sounded like nothing else on the radio.
But, as you can see from the same clip, it was probably inevitable he'd essentially end up as a nightclub crooner. He really...emotes.
A friend and I once spent a few months exchanging e-mails where every subject header had to be a Guess Who lyric. "Do you know their names? Can you play their games?" Kills me just thinking about it.
― clemenza, Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:44 (eight months ago) Permalink
You won't get your cheque if you don't punch the clock.
not necessarily in your camp, but i did find this:
― bodacious ignoramus, Sunday, 16 July 2017 20:59 (eight months ago) Permalink
― bodacious ignoramus, Sunday, 16 July 2017 21:12 (eight months ago) Permalink
― bodacious ignoramus, Sunday, 16 July 2017 21:13 (eight months ago) Permalink
Not that I've ever really understood "Albert Flasher" (or "Rain Dance," for that matter), but I think there's a great Dazed and Confused/small-town-'70s-high-school video somewhere in there. That ain't it...
― clemenza, Sunday, 16 July 2017 22:36 (eight months ago) Permalink