Guess Who Masters Saved From The Bin
The Guess Who circa 1970. Credit: RCA Records

Guess Who Masters Saved From The Bin

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (CelebrityAccess) — A Canadian musician helped to preserve a piece of music history after he rescued a trove of recording material by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who from being sent to the dump.

According to the CBC, Winnipeg-based musician Tom Kowalsky, long a fixture in the city’s music scene, found boxes of material related to the band stored in boxes in a city garage.

Kowalsky told the CBC he managed to salvage the material just days before they were slated to be hauled off to a landfill and delivered them instead to the city’s St. Vital Museum on Saturday.

The trover is made up of more than 100 pieces, including the band’s master tapes, recordings of live performances, tapes from band practices dating back to the early 1970s and archival video footage.

“There has to be several pieces of music in here that have never seen the light of day,” Kowalsky told the CBC. “Who knows — maybe we’ll find a little part of American Woman in another song and that’s where it was born.

“That’s the exciting part of going through this — there’ll be many, many rough songs that … we’ll have the privilege of listening to for the first time,” Kowalsky added.

Just how the material ended up in the garage is uncertain but Kowalsky told the CBC he suspects it was from a former band member who needed a place to store it during a move.

The process of fully identifying the material will be slow, as the museum does not have access to equipment to play back all of the recordings, they hope to eventually digitize the material, the CBC reported.

The Guess Who, which formed in Winnipeg in 9158, by five local musicians — Chad Allan (lead vocals/guitar), Bob Ashley (keyboards), Randy Bachman (guitars, backing vocals), Jim Kale (bass, backing vocals), and Garry Peterson (drums, backing vocals). The group recorded under several names before scoring their first major hit in 1965 with a rework of the Johnny Kidd & the Pirates’ song “Shakin’ All Over” which they recorded under the name Guess Who?

While the name Guess Who? was originally intended as a nom de guerre intended to create an aura of mystery around the group, the success of the hit and the fact that disc jockeys attributed the song to the Guess Who, cast the name in stone for the band.

The group later went on to international fame, scoring hits such as “American Woman,” “No Time,” and “Share the Land.”

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