The Guess Who, classic rockers, perform Saturday in Troy

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Like many active bands formed in the 1960s, the Guess Who has faced its share of member turnover but continues to work steadily. The Canadian classic rockers behind hits like “These Eyes,” “American Woman” and “No Sugar Tonight” perform at the Arbogast Performing Arts Center in Troy on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The Guess Who is led by Garry Peterson (drums), who has been with the group since 1962. The current lineup is anchored by Leonard Shaw (keyboards, sax, flute, vocals), who joined in 1990, and Derek Sharp (vocals, guitar), who has been the frontman since 2008.

“This group we have together now has a connection on many levels, not only musically but also personally,” Peterson said. “If you look at what people are saying on social media after seeing the band, you’ll understand what I mean. When the audience watches the band play a show, they enjoy it and it’s the audience that tells you if what you’re doing is right.”

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Point of contention

The comments on the Guess Who’s social media pages are overwhelmingly favorable but there are some vocal detractors unhappy with the absence of key early members Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman.

“There are some naysayers and I understand who they are and why they’re doing it,” Peterson said. “They’re disappointed the original band isn’t together. I get that, I’m disappointed too. That’s not possible for many, many reasons so our job is to honor all the great music that was created by all of the members. The Guess Who was never just two people. A group of people was involved in creating this great music, so we try to honor it and honor the legacy of all those people. We’re also working, now, to create a new legacy through new music and to continue that excellence.”

Cummings, a driving force behind the group until the mid-1970s, was involved in a reunion with the Guess Who in 1983. He returned for a longer stretch of dates from 2000 to 2003. Bachman left in 1970 and worked on several projects before forming Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1973. He also came back for reunions with the Guess Who.

“It’s not a competition,” Peterson said. “Nothing can ever replace the original band. That’s not our job. Our job is to honor that legacy. I understand the rabid fans of the band are hurt and disappointed the band isn’t together. The fact is, there were two reunions of the band. There was every opportunity for the band to stay together but that didn’t happen.”

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Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

More fresh music

The mutual enthusiasm over the current state of the Guess Who prompted the musicians to start work on a new album in August. It’s the follow-up to 2018′s “The Future IS What it Used to Be,” the band’s first studio album since “Lonely One” in 1995.

“I knew Derek had some songs for quite a while and I kept pressing him to record them,” Peterson said. “He realized we had the band that could execute these songs. Derek is the driving force behind the album and the music is incredible. It’s all pretty much his material but the core of the band has been together for so long and is inspired to create new music.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: The Guess Who

Where: Arbogast Performing Arts Center, 500 S. Dorset Road, Troy

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17

Cost: $25-$75

More info: 937-418-8392 or www.arbogastpac.com

Artist info: www.theguesswho.com

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