After more than 40 years and several groups, including the Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and solo careers, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman know how to recognize a good thing.
And Monday night at the National Arts Centre, they’re going to give it to the people.
The duo responsible for classics like These Eyes, Undun, No Time, American Woman, No Sugar Tonight, Let It Ride, Takin’ Care Of Business and You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, will be bringing music lovers back to the past.
While they’ll be performing songs from Cummings’ latest solo album when they take the National Arts Centre stage Monday, they’ll focus on the classics.
“We know why people are coming down to see us,” Cummings told Metro Ottawa from his home in Victoria. “We’re not going to bore them or try to shove too much new stuff down their throats. We still try to live up to the records.”
Cummings and Bachman met as teens. “We were very impressionable and learned every type of music that there was,” Cummings said. After the breakup of Guess Who, Bachman and Cummings enjoyed successful solo careers before performing under their names following a successful Guess Who reunion in 2000.
Cummings, who will turn 62 this year, has played in Ottawa many times in the years since his first performance here in 1968.
“There’s just a vibe to the city,” he said. “It’s a good showcase for our country.”
Cummings said he knows audience members are expecting the classics.
“We’re the two guys who wrote and sang these songs and I think people know that and want to hear the real thing,” he said.
“I think it’s a bit of a time machine,” he said, and he doesn’t take it for granted.
“Not every artist gets that,” he said. “Randy and I are getting older now and we don’t take it lightly that we still have a career. Radio’s been good to us and fans have been good to us and we’re doing our best not to let them down.
“We’ve got an attitude of gratitude.”