In “Keep The Publishing“, wrote about how Randy Bachman has been waiting for decades to have Burton Cummings either assign, or let Bachman buy, Bachman’s portion of their jointly written songs that Cummings now solely owns. It was an issue in 2014, at the time of Bachman’s biography. It was also an issue in 1988, at the time of the release of a Guess Who retrospective collection, where Bachman did not attend the album release party:
He credits Bachman with helping him refine his composing skills. “It was chemistry. I learned a lot from him because I was only 18 when I joined the band in December 1965. I was so intimidated. Then, when Randy left, Kurt (Winter) and I fell into the writing pattern. We had a lot of common ground. He’s one of my fondest writing partners.”
While Cummings said he’s still friendly with Peterson and Jim Kale, he admits the chemistry has soured between him and Bachman. “There’s terrible vibes between him and me,” he said. “I’ll probably never talk to him again. It’s too bad, because last year Bachman and Cummings went out and did about 60 concerts, mostly in the States, and the band was sensational. I’d been singing better than I had in years because the inspiration was there. The people just went nuts. Not only did we have some great new material but between the Guess Who and BTO and my solo stuff, we had about 2 1/2 hours of hit records.”
Cummings said the plan went awry — and a possible international deal with it — when Bachman refused to continue unless Cummings gave back Bachman’s part of the Guess Who publishing catalogue, which Cummings has owned since 1977.
“That’s just business,” he said. “When the catalogue came up for sale, I was lucky enough to hear about it. Otherwise, all those copyrights would have been lost forever. None of us would ever have seen them again.”
That explains Bachman’s absence from the album’s release party in Toronto. “Just business”, over decades…