One of rocks most prized possessions has joined The Guess Who team for their current album and tour. Journeyman bass player Rudy Sarzo has found himself teamed up with one of Canada’s legendary bands that made big splashes during the 60’s and 70’s. American Woman and These Eyes and No Sugar Tonight are just a few of their chart-topping hits.
Rudy brings a wealth of stability (in both technique & experience) to Garry Peterson’s version of the said group. Sarzo’s resume is long and deep starting in Cali during the late 70’s where he teamed up with Kevin Dubrow and fabled guitarist Randy Rhoads in the band Quiet Riot.
Sarzo comes highly recommended in music circles for his bass playing ability and comfortable personality. He has played and toured with Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Ronnie James Dio, Blue Oyster Cult and Yngwie Malmsteen to mention just a few.
Rudy has made the most of his life since immigrating to Florida from Cuba at the age of 11 with his family. When Rudy is not in the studio or on stage somewhere, he can be found in a studio of different sorts where he has been involved in 3D animation as a computer animator.
The current lineup of The Guess Who is also filled out by D# (vocals/guitar/piano), Will E (guitar/harp/vocals), Leonard Shaw (flute/keyboards/sax/vocals) and mainstay original member Garry Peterson (drums/vocals).
I had the chance to speak with Garry Peterson this afternoon via phone and he let me know that Rudy was picked because he is friends with D#’s (Derrick) wife, none other than Canadian crooner Sass Jordan. It’s a small world, isn’t it.
I asked Garry about the last time he spoke with Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings and he said the last time he spoke with Burton ” July 30, 2003, at the SARS concert in Toronto and I’ve had the occasion here and there to speak with Randy, but it’s not like it used to be, you can’t just call them, they don’t answer the phone….it’s much easier to email these days.”
In regards to touring as The Guess Who when he is the only remaining full-time member; as Randy left the band in 1969 and Cummings in 75, he said he is in no way is alluding to the current band lineup as the original The Guess Who. He says the name be the same but they continue on as The Guess Who because the fans want to hear all the hits and with founding bassist Jim Kale, who collaborated on the new album, it’s for the fans that they keep the name the same. They play all the hits on their tours and mix in some new and fresh material.
Currently, Garry is living in North Carolina and has been in the same house for over 20 years. We spoke of coffee and his passion for Canada and hockey. Quite a few references used by Gary were hockey related. When he can, Garry attends Carolina Hurricanes hockey games and drinks Tim Horton’s coffee.
The current album (Sept 14) The Future Is What It Used to Be includes guest appearances by Tommy Shaw of Styx fame as well as original member Jim Kale and Whitesnake mainstay Michael Devlin on Bass.
Rudy and the boys will be touring until March of 2019, so if your a fan of The Guess Who or Rudy for that matter, check them out. Garry said he would love to play more Canadian shows but the fans have to want it and demand it.
Speaking of playing near us here in Canada, Garry remembered when I told him I was based out of Sault Ontario, that when the band hooked up and reformed they played “that Casino on the other side of the border in 2011 I think it was”….this guy at 73 has a sharp and impeccable memory. When I conveyed that to him, he responded that “back in the day I didn’t do drugs and didn’t drink very much“
I also asked him if after all these years, did he still get the same adrenaline rush before going onstage and he said he did. “it’s like a hockey player while he laces up his skates in anticipation of going on the ice”
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