|
|
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • River Ramblings.....

  • Things were jumping in our area last weekend. The drab March weather that usually keeps folks hidden away waiting for spring to break loose must have run its course because it seemed like everyone had enough of the winter blahs and needed to get out. A couple of days after the concert was announced, we picked up some tic...
    • email print
  •     Things were jumping in our area last weekend. The drab March weather that usually keeps folks hidden away waiting for spring to break loose must have run its course because it seemed like everyone had enough of the winter blahs and needed to get out.
        A couple of days after the concert was announced, we picked up some tickets to see The Guess Who at Prairie’s Edge Casino.
        Going back more years than should be stated publicly, I first heard this interesting sounding  band when their song “These Eyes” landed in the top ten during the same summer that I got my driver’s license.
        To promote sales of their records, these natives of Winnipeg  were touring the northern United States that summer and during the midwest leg of that tour, they scheduled a gig in Willmar at the high school, which had to have been the largest venue in the area at that time.
        I had a summer job working at Plews in Granite at the time and a co-worker that summer, Dayton Ettesvold, decided to go to the concert. For some reason, I passed up the chance to go with and have regretted it since.         Looking back, it seems like a no-brainer to drive that short distance and spend what had to have been a modest amount for a ticket. I have no idea why I didn’t go because back then my $1.75 per hour job earned me more money than I could ever seem to spend.  At under 30 cents a gallon, gas was cheap and fun was cheaper. There must have been some other social engagement going on but looking back, it was a missed opportunity.
        Later that summer, The Guess Who released another song for radio play called “Laughing” and then the “B”side of that record, “Undun”, was also played on the radio and they were on a roll. More hit songs followed and we all wished we had gone to Willmar to hear them.
        With a driver’s license, a decent car, an eight-track tape player and the full archive of  The Guess Who tapes, good friend Todd Johnson had everything we needed. We spent plenty of time in his Plymouth Fury plying the back roads around the river valley and listening to some of those good songs.
        We came to think of The Guess Who as the Beatles of Canada. Like the Beatles, they too were led by a song-writing duo, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman (later of Bachman-Turner Overdrive) who cranked out the band’s songs. The Guess Who band seemed to be getting more noteworthy all the time.
    Page 2 of 2 -     They even played at the White House when Richard Nixon was President although, at the request of First Lady Pat Nixon, they did not play their biggest hit “American Woman”.
        Some years ago, during an ice fishing trip up north, I found out that good friend Tim Douglass had also been a fan of The Guess Who but had also never seen them.
        When The Guess Who were playing at Jackpot Junction in   November 2006, Tim and his wife Kim  made the trek with us to finally see this enigmatic band. By that time, Bachman and Cummings had departed the band and the only “original” members were drummer Garry Peterson and  bass guitar player Jim Kale, but they were still fun to see.
        When last week’s concert was announced, we all thought it would be fun to see them again.
    We knew that the casino would be busy so we thought we’d spread some business around and go to Bootlegger’s for supper before the concert. Clint Lecy, Jr. was playing music there and there was a large crowd on hand.
        Later, at Prairie’s Edge, the sold out concert had the big room full with folks from all around our area. With just original member Jim Kale in the band, they still sounded good and we heard lots of good comments about how much everyone enjoyed the concert.
        As we were leaving, we ran into an old acquaintance from Willmar who told us that they had also been in Granite for the Willson and McKee concert on February 1. It was fun to hear that. It’s great to have events happening that draw people to our area.
        He also reminded me that our band, Good Time Rail Road, had played for their wedding in 1980 and that they were still happily married. It would be nice to think that our band had something to do with their successful marriage but we do know better than that.
        It was a fun and busy weekend.
      • calendar