Rigistration with

register

lost password recovery

recover my password

sign in

  • If you registered before August, 2014, you will need to register again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • remember me
sign in

Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the Newsletter

American Woman by The Guess Who

Album: American WomanReleased: 1970Charted:
1
19
  • One of the most misinterpreted songs ever, the lyrics are a scathing commentary on America's imperialistic attitude at the time of the Vietnam War. Despite a very clear lyric: "American Woman, get away from me," Americans often hear it is a patriotic ode and a tribute to American women. The Guess Who are Canadian.
  • Randy Bachman explained the origins of this song in an interview with Words & Music magazine, Spring 2005. Said Bachman: "We were playing in a curling rink in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada), and I broke a string. I was up there alone, tuning up my E an B strings on an old Les Paul. I started playing that riff and in the audience, heads started turning. The band got up, and I said, 'Keep playing this, I don't want to forget it.' When Burton had run out of solos, I yelled out, 'Sing something!' So out of the blue Burton just screamed, 'American Woman, stay away from me!' That was the song, the riff and Burton yelling that line over and over. Later, he added other lines like 'I don't need your war machine, you ghetto scenes.' Before America knew it, it was a #1 record and it was a protest song." (thanks, Darryl - Cambridge, Canada)
  • Some of the lyrics were inspired by a problem the band encountered at the Canada/US border involving the Vietnam War draft. (thanks, Tony - Westbury, NY)
  • Due to the anti-American lyrics, The Guess Who was not allowed to play this when they performed at the White House for President Richard Nixon in 1970.
  • The first time the band performed this was before 150,000 people at the Seattle Pop Festival in 1969. The crowd loved it even though they had never heard it.
  • Randy Bachman calls the distinctive guitar sound he used on this song "The Herzog." To get the effect, he would overdrive the preamp (setting it to 9 or 10) while the normal volume settings are turned down. The sound does not get any louder, but gradually it grows dirtier and finally ends up creating a cello-like effect.
  • Recorded at RCA Studios in Chicago with producer Jack Richardson, this was released as a double A-side with "No Sugar Tonight" and stayed at #1 in the US for 3 weeks. The Guess Who were already huge in Canada, but this broke them in the States.
  • In the late-'90s, this was used in a variety of commercials, including one for Tommy Hilfiger and another for Castrol motor oil. Nike also used in an ad featuring women's soccer.
  • Lenny Kravitz covered this in 1999. His version was used in the movie Austin Powers 2, The Spy Who Shagged Me.
  • Kravitz and The Guess Who performed this September 21, 2000 at the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto. The Guess Who were given a lifetime achievement award.
  • The album version contains a 1:05 acoustic intro. Radio stations often skip past it.
  • Randy Bachman left the group the month after this hit #1 in America because the band's lifestyle did not jibe with his religious beliefs. Because of his departure, they did not tour the US when this was hot, which could have made them a lot of money.
  • The Guess Who reunited and toured in 2000, 30 years after this was a hit.
  • This was featured in the Jim Carrey movie The Cable Guy, where it appears in a Karaoke scene, and American Beauty, where Kevin Spacey rocks out to it while going through a mid-life crisis.
  • Jack Richardson, who produced this song, was also responsible for other big hits like The Guess Who's "These Eyes" and Bob Seger's "Night Moves." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
or Register to post comments

Comments: 68

Back in '70 when this was #1, I had just come home to the US from serving in the US Army in Vietnam and I loved the song. The Guess Who band was quite popular back then & I bought their albums Talented musicians. I love their other #1 hit "Undone" too.Rocky - Fort Smith, Ar
Strange, Canada of Rock and Roll Past, I did not know Women had war machines anymore, esp. American women. But that does give me a bit of an idea. Besides, American women, even now, who want war only want it because they are told to want it by their menfolk. How does it roll in Canada past and present? Oh, I forget, you have a Queen Mother, who has more patience than you deserve sometimes, and she has a Navy, and etc. signed A. Woman peace & outL. - Tucson, Az
Cummings' explanation seems more plausible. As for feminism, I think it did start out with great intentions, but then it became about scoring points. Same thing with post-feminism. No political movement is EVER PERFECT. I don't really understand this whole rationale about feminism "destroying the family". Most of these family values advocates didn't exactly come from happy home lives themselves and are looking for some way to compensate for that and are using God as a pawn in the process.Dana - Woodbury, Mn
In the Big Bang Theory season 2 episode 4 Raj sings "American Women" while playing Guitar Hero 4 and I laughed my ass off to that accent...Wazzzombie - Hyderabad, India
I'm American, from Detroit...my mom had dual American/Canadian citizenship, our family had a cottage near Bayfield, Ontario for several years...Canada's beautiful, and has a fascinating early history...That one of their citizens (Burton Cummings)cleverly expressed disappointment in our foreign & domestic policy at the height of the Vietnam War, simultaneously releasing 'American Woman' at the beginning of the Women's Movement - is a kind of genius, and just the kind of critique of itself that America always needs. The fact that the critics were some young Canadians who may not have appreciated American protection of its borders doesn't mean squat - they were young North Americans, and like many stateside, they were disappointed...like Neil Young, for instance...One of my favorite guilty ruminations is the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame; it's a guilty thing 'cuz I suspect the R'n'R HOF is rapidly becoming moribund (so why care), consistently, and selectively, ignoring artists and bands come Induction Time. In this case, the Guess Who. I suspect the Guess Who are ignored, in some small part, as a result of 'American Woman', by those who vote on inductees. How else to deny the composers of these other greats songs: 'These Eyes', 'Laughing', 'Undun', 'No Time', 'No Sugar Tonight' (and more)? (One of my personal favorites is 'Running Back to Saskatoon'. I've never been, but I visit Moose Jaw, Moosamin & Medicine Hat in my dreams). If not the Guess Who, at very least the broad swath Randy Bachmann cut through rock'n'roll should be honored...But then the R'n'R HOF is an American institution...prone to prejudice.Andrew - Baltimore, Md
You can replace American "woman" with American "WAR MAN". Now, meaning is the real thing. Another side is American Pie Don Mclean.Neil - N.y., Dc
'INFLATABLE WOMAN'

Inflatable woman, nothin' much inside.
She's my blow-up bride.
I picked her up at the discount store.
I took her home and threw her on the floor.
She looked at me with that vacant stare.
I could tell she was my kind of air--
Headed woman, I'm gonna make her mine.
She's practically human, as close as I could find.
(Short instrumental break with blowing up sounds.)
Inflatable woman, layin' next to me.
Inflatable woman, if only she could see.
She's a real cheap date at night.
She's quiet and don't have much appetite.
And if I feel like givin' her a smack,
She always finds a way to bounce right back.
My woman, my little rubber maid.
Inflatable woman, I can always get lay-ay-ay-tex...
(More instrumental and blowing up sounds, followed by a loud pop and the singer crying.)
Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
@kelly. According to the printed lyrics included with the album, the last 2 verses are "Goodbye American Chick, Goodbye American Broad", The former ("chick"), although clear, is commonly misheard as the "s" word, while the song ends before the latter ("broad") can be heard.
[edit]
Julio - San Jose, Costa Rica
I've been a big hard rock fan since I was eleven (Jimi, Black Sabbath, Led Zep, Skynyrd, Joe Walsh etc). The Guess Who's version of American Woman is my all-time favourite song. Every time I hear that song Randy's woman tone lead just cuts through my soul - there's nothing like it in rock. The only other song of theirs I like is Clap for the Wolfman. I also love BTO. Next favourite songs are 1983 (a Merman I should Turn to Be - Jimi) and Snowblind (Sabbath).Kev - Brisbane, Australia
Never liked this song. Regardless of how they felt about our "war machines" (They'd feel a helluva lot more vulnerable if those "machines" weren't essentially guarding their border.), why symbolize it by railing at some unnamed woman? Did they think everyone here had but one thought between them?

But I *do* enjoy Bob Rivers' spoof of it, "Inflatable Woman."
Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
Your lyric is wrong, the last line is "goodbye American sh_ _. Not chick. Once in a great while a radio station will let it play to the very end and you will hear it, most however, cut it off.Kelly - San Luis Obispo, Ca
While the protest nature of “American Woman” is widely recognized, few people realize (or remember) another way the song was being promoted in the early 70’s. It’s not surprising, given that even today most people won’t let go of their prejudices long enough to acknowledge the purpose of songs like Queen’s “We Are The Champions” and the Village People’s “YMCA.” And while various people still make up different excuses for why Randy Bachman left the band in 1970, Randy himself stated that he left over the conflict between his religious convictions and the band’s lifestyle. No more was said about the “lifestyle” in question, but at the time the songs “American Woman” and “No Sugar Tonight” were being promoted in certain circles as gay anthems. In fact, the original release of The Guess Who’s “Best Of” album in 1971 (containing the two aforementioned hits) came with a gatefold cover, and the inside cover showed the band’s new five member lineup (sans Randy) against a mock ghetto background. If you care to look, you will see two vaguely readable bits of graffiti reading “GAY POWER” and “GAY IS GOOD.”Keith - Papillion, Ne
It is apparent that this song represented many things to many people. I thought long ago that this song was about the US government. The war, the draft and the aftermath. The Bible refers to this political system as a woman. Even if they didn't mean it to have this connotation, the song made perfect sense to me. The aftermath of any wars is horrible. Nothing is pretty about war. Having someone come to your door with the news that your loved one was killed or receiving a letter stating that you have been drafted is also horrible for some to think about. It is just my opinion, not meant to be anti-political or anything, just something that I have wondered about. I love this song! It has always been one of my top 10.Jacki - Santa Barbara, Ca
I remember thinking once, while listening...that guitar solo..it has to be a Gibson. I was right!Marlene - Montreal, Qc
In the recently released book (oct 1 2010), "The top 100 Canadian Singles of All Time", this song was chosen as number one.

Over the years I have heard many "explanations" for the song's meaning being offered up by both Bachman and Cummings. That's the difficulty there are too many.

To me it symbolizes their decision to remain Canadian artists after trying to break into the US market. It sounds like Cummings was both disillusioned and disappointed. The song was not about the women of America.

(An aside: Americans who believe that the world abuses their country and then regrets it when they need US military might,need to be disabused of this notion once and for all. Most countries don't require military assistance since they rely on diplomacy to solve their problems. Of course ever since the Muslims decided it was payback time for the US,no country can ever depend on diplomacy alone...)
Velveeta - Vars, On
I'm a Canadian and I never thought of it as a put down to American women, that not it at all, it is a song about how America thinks the world revolves around their country, people and policies, and how powerful they are and all that attitude. This is just saying we don't need to be that way in Canada. thank you very much. and we'll do just fine as we are. That's my take on it. Or we could all agree that a great song has a zillion intepretations and leave it at that.Randy - Grande Prairie, Ab
Yeah, yeah, yea. I remember this song when it came out. hated it then, hate it now. what a gross generalization. Everyone complains about USA until they need our soldiers. It's cool to knock it. And, yes, I do think the lyrics go over Americans head; or we are way too forgiving.Janet - Fairfax, Va
In respose to Ty from Niagara falls Canada.I know very little about The Guess Who but I always thought this song had a Zepplin like sound to it. Those I have said that to disagree with me.At the same time I don't think of it as a ripp off or anything intentional to steal Zepplins sound. I think the lead singer has a great voice.It is unique. When Lenny Kravitz did this song I think it lost some of its hard edge.This is an underrated song.Brian - Boston, Ma
I prefer the Bob Rivers spoof, "Inflatable Woman." It hilariously parodies a song that desperatly needs it.Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
The "American Woman" in the song is the Statue of Liberty.

Many people think this song is a rejection of American women of the time due to feminism, etc., and indeed there may be a double meaning to it for that reason. But the clear and primary interpretation is the rejection of America as a political entity due to its "war machines and ghetto scenes", clear references to Vietnam and urban blight issues that the G.W. felt were not being addressed adequately.
Matt - Rochester, Ny
Great song.btw where is "No Time"? [of course we can always add that title.]Steve - Whittier, Ca
I love the bluesy intro on the extended cut of this song!Neal - Hooterville, Mi
yes, love this song. I'm a Winnipeger myself. I laugh cause whenever I talk to an American about it there thinking of Lenny Kravitz.Jimmy - Winnipeg, Mb
american women, american foreign policy... what's the difference? they're a product of the same decadent culture... obviously, there are exceptions, like angela davis and many others... but i wonder if they consider her as an american woman up there in the northGuillermo - Mendoza, Argentina
It was definitely "Goodbye American Woman, Goodbye American Bitch."Bill - Chicago, Il
It's a great song, and any possible original meaning of the lyrics is now, 40 years later, beside the point.

In any event, now older and wiser, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman would no doubt concede that throughout the Cold War and even today, one of the mottos of the U.S. is "...O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!" That's why Canada is able to spend a tiny fraction of it's national treasure on "defense" - they leave it to us ;-)

And hey, I married a Canadian woman for 29 years, so I know a thing or two about Canada. It's a really nice place to visit... between May and early October ;-)
Steve - Arnol, Md
This was covered by a singer called Lenny Kravitz.
Some saw the song as bieng very anti-American but I'm not sure that was the true intent. At any rate it is still a brilliant (cool) song. I have heard it off of a cd combo that featured songs from the Vietnam era and now from this very website. It's around 1:30 in the a.m. here in England and once again I am dealing with a bad case of insomnia. Cheers.
Hugh Laurie - Cambridge, United Kingdom
The Guess Who did tour after American Woman - a 15+ minute version is on their Live at the Paramount album recorded in Seattle. Listening to this live version makes the "anti-war" theme questionable, quite the anti-American female lyrics added on by Burton live. However, always one of my favorite songs!! aDave - Phoenix, Az
You know it could be about gettin off of drugs American woman(drugs) stay away from me I dont wanna see your shadow even stuff like that. Get meChase - Miami, Fl
There is a riff in another longer version of "Spanish Castle Magic" by Jimi Hendrix that is identical to the main riff in "American Woman". I believe the version I am referring to runs about 5:46.Jeff - Tuscaloosa, Al
Ragnbull, thank you for your comment. It is to the point and perfectly honest. I am a woman (a young one) and have lived in the U.S. all my life but I try to conduct myself in a manner that would please God. Feminism is degrading and horrible. I do not believe that women should be slaves or objects, but Feminism doesn't set a girl free from that, it only makes it worse. When women behave as women, and allow themselves to be respected and cherished by men, they can be fulfilled. Hating men only destroys us, and wanting to be a man is just ridiculous and impractical.
(I don't see what tattoos have to do with anything, however. Tattoos are pretty much trans-gender, like rings or tennis shoes; and it's your choice if you want one or not.)
Vanessa - Honolulu, Hi
To be honest, i actually had no idea the guess who were canadian! Great song, too. I like the acoustic intro, too.Ryan - Somewhere In, Nj
In 1980 I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes speaking with Burton Cummings. I asked him the question, American Women was based on what? His reply was simply his eye opening experience as he and the band first traveled through the US. American Women for all of you that are wondering is the Statue of Liberty.
He also shed light on his first trip into the US and in particular LA were they traveled to first to break in to the business south of the border. I found it fasinating to listen to him reveal his and the bands first (week)??? in LA as he explained they were taken in by none other than Jim Morrison and spent what he thinks was a week but he indicated the Mansion had all the windows blacked out and all they did was talk, play music, drink..."input your own activity here"....he said it was an incredible and frightning experience all at the same time. Morrison actually set them up with the people that went on to label them shortly there after. Bet you would'nt have ever thought there was a Door's connection in the Guess Who's past.
Enjoy and God Bless.
Clay - Calgary, Ab
In fact, the Guess Who did tour the States as the song was released. I saw them in No. Dakota in Feb. 1970. The crowd loved this song. Always thought Burton Cummings was (and still is) one of the best singers in rock. Back when they hit it big, the band was very underrated, their reputation has grown over the years. Many of their hits have gained RIAA certifications for radio airplay. Now they tour as Bachman-Cummings and will be touring with some dates in the US this summer (2008).Al - Nutley, Nj
It's a great pop song, period.

Yes, the lyrics are not complimentary to Americans and to the US. Yes I'm a proud, loyal American (naturalized,) but this song is about 40 years old, so I can let the "war machine/ghetto scene" stuff go.
Steve - Arnol, Md
I don't know if this song is about the Statue of Liberty, the war, or whatever. I do know that after traveling all over South America and Asia this song is now my anthem. It is my ringtone on my cell phone and I am trying to put it on my horn on my car. I take the song very literal in what it says, "American woman, stay away from me". American women are ruined. They are fat, tattooed, lazy, difficult idiots for the most part. Feminism was brought to us by the Rockefeller family to destroy the family and increase the tax base in a soviet style takeover. Gloria Steinem was funded by the CIA to bring about this current state of disaster we are in now. Divorce is at over 50%, kids are raised by TV and McDonalds and now they are all fat and stupid. Men are disgusted, women are miserable because they are living a lie and their natural DNA is not being fulfilled. It's just nature baby, women are designed to have babies and raise and nurture them until the man can take over and teach them how to hunt and protect. It's a family thing, nowhere into it are tattoo's needed you tramps. Call me a women hater and you are not listening. Latina's and Asian gals are awesome. They are nurturing, loyal and feminine. Unlike these MTV, drunken, cussing floosies I see around here. So let me say in closing, "American woman, stay away from me. American woman, mama let me be, I gotta go, I gotta get away, I gotta go, I'm gonna fly away, I'm gonna leave you woman, I;m gonna leave you woman, bye bye, bye bye!!!Ragnbull - Dallas, Tx
I remember reading the album cover (yep, the album) and it mentioned the Statue of Liberty being the american woman, and I interpreted it to mean they were saying the statue, meant to be a symbol of america and freedom, was becoming a symbol of America being a bully and browbeating the world into thinking that america was right--about the war, politics, etc.Gina - Raleigh, Nc
I was deeply involved in the so called "Sixties Revolution"but I still hated this song.
What right do a bunch of Canadians have to self righteously sit up there and bash America when CANADA has done ITS share of contributing to the genocide of the Native American and despoiling of the environment?
I smell rank hypocrisy here.
Doug - Oakland, Ca
I am also an American woman, and prefer to be judged for who I am, rather than a continental-wide stereotype which cannot possibly work anyhow because America has too many varieties of culture and subculture . . .
I do feel hurt when I hear this song, hoping everyone listening to it will think it is only political, not any kind of accurate judgment of me, and almost holding my breath as it plays through. (And there are a couple of other songs, too, that make me feel this way.:( )
Maybe this song has something to do with the sharp anti-American sentiment American women experience as they travel through the rest of the world.
Flufferstuff - South Jersey, Nj
I had seen an interview in Canada with Cummings
he said that the song was arrived at by him dating an american woman from Buffalo who chewed him up and spit him out he was used to Canadian women not the tough Newyorkers. The balance of the song came later about war machines being a note about America also he said his band didnt like the song and thought it may hurt their newly found American audience so he started singing it on stage but the band had no other choice than play along with him singing american woman the fans loved it .
Brent - Canada, Canada
It ain't American women that one needs to keep away, it's Canadian women. I have memorized everything about Karla Homolka (the serial killer from St. Catherine's, Ontario), and if she crosses my path, I will blow her head to shreds with .00 buck from my pump-action, double-barrel 6-gauge WWII-surplus Mossberg military shotgun for what she did to those three (possibly more) young girls.Darrell - Eugene
This song is about WOMEN not foreign policy. The band is saying, basically, glad to be back in our home land, we want to see the women of our homeland who are the most beautiful in the world, yada yada. Stupid snipes about war machines are just there to make something rhyme, and reflect a bit of anti-vietnam sentiment. If you want a political protest song, go to Rage Against the Machine or something. There are no backwards messages or anything either. I suppose if you really were looking to be offended, you could find this song offensive. Either it goes right over the heads of Americans, or they have too much good sense to get their panties in a knot over something as stupid as this.

Also, the guitar riff seems more than somewhat similar to "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin.
Liquid Len - Ottawa, Canada
Contrary to the war theory, I think this song is about just what it says, american women. The brief mention of war machines and ghetto scenes are merely what come attached to an american woman. Bachman and I have the same sentiments in this regard, which is why I married an Indian woman.Randy - Fuquay Varina, Nc
American Woman gonna mess your mind!
Great anti-vietnam song. This song was one of the songs at the "beginning of the end" of the sixties love movement.



PJ
P J - Okc, Ok
After viewing the lyrics I always thought they said at the end of the song Goodbye American Ship but now the correct lyrics are Goodbye American ChickTom - Mishawaka, In
I'm surprised that this hasn't been mentioned (unless I missed it), but the "American Woman" in question here is the Statue of Liberty -- the whole song is about America itself (which other commentators have noted: "I don't need your war machines; I don't need your ghetto scenes"). But honestly, the biggest joke is that Americans think that this is some kind of compliment. They just like to be mentioned, I guess, the way "One Night in Bangkok" was initially quite popular in Thailand... for a brief while anyway.Joe - Winnipeg, Canada
(Prologue)
American woman gonna mess your mind
American woman, she gonna mess your mind
American woman gonna mess your mind
American woman gonna mess your mind
Say A,
Say M,
Say E,
Say R,
Say I,
Say C,
Say A,
Say N,
American woman gonna mess your mind
American woman gonna mess your mind
American woman gonna mess your mind
Mike - Germantown, Md
Randy Bachman didn't appear in the video, despite the fact that he wrote it and recorded it. Kurt Winter and Don McDougal are in the video.Warrinder - A Town, Canada
They sing "Goodbye American sh*t" right at the very end, though it always gets faded out beforehand on the radio. In my sixth grade class, we were very excited to let it play all the way to the end during lunchtime when we were allowed to play records! Some of the vocals during the repeat and fade ending seem reminiscent of the same part of The Beatles' Come Together.Fyodor - Denver, Co
OK, Burton has said many times how he had just come back from touring the states, and that the US girls were more forward, wilder and more game for anything.
He was thinking Canadian Woman, you are fresher and purer, Canadian Woman I prefer you better. He wrote the lyrics and he should know what he was thinking about. The song was origninated at the Strung & Drum curling club in Hamilton, ON. The Guess Who took a break because Randy had broken a string. Burton was out trying to make a deal on some old 45's of which he is a fanatical collector. Heard the band start jamming, a blues type of thing, then they went into the 'Whole Lotta Love' riff. Burton came back on stage started looking at the fresh Canadian girls faces, and when Randy told him to sing something, American Woman came out. After the show, a member of the audience had recorded the concert and played it back for the guys. They confiscated the cassette and took it to the studio to expand on the tune.
A lot of this is included on the liner notes for 'Track Record'.
Richard - Lansing, Mi
warrrinder, listen to the lyrics. It's not about the vanity of American women. Or better, yet there is a section on this page where you can view the lyrics. There are clearly references to war machines, etc, etc.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
This was the very first Canadian song to be a U.S. #1. Later that year they played at the white house but didn't play American Woman because it's about the vanity of american women, which seems to be lost on most of them.Warrinder - A Town
I believe the line in the longer fade is "American chick".Brian - La Mesa, Ca
The Guess Who was one of my first and favorite albums as an early teen. I recently picked up a CD of their hits and noticed something different about this song. As I remember it, the 70's version faded out with the last words "American Bitch". The CD compilation I have clips that lyric off.Phil - San Ramon, Ca
This is a great song and it is ironic that it made top seller in the U.S.A. because of all it's anti-American slogans, but many band in the U.S.A. were singing anti-american style musicBryon - Sandusky, Oh
I met Randy bachman and he is a giant of a man. He towered over me and I am 6'2. He is very humble and generous. He is very religous. He has since lost half his body weight due to stomach procedure. He is a big star in Canada. American Woman is about how in Canada we prefer our women. They are cuter. Because they are almost all part Indian.Kevin - Canada, Canada
great song! I like it. Makes sense why it would be about the U.S. foreign policy and it's attitude toward Vietnam, and not about American women. I kind of noticed that during the song, when I first heard it.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
"Due to the anti-American lyrics, the band was not allowed to play this when they performed at the White House for President Richard Nixon in 1970." Why would they pley for Nixon, then? This band actually is over-rated. Sorry guys.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
I happen to be an american woman myself, and this song is very offensive to our breed.Mgjghh - Hghfghfg, Mt
I really like this song I like to dance to it like Felicy Shagwell in Austin Powers two I love this song!Jude - Los Angeles, Ca
Randy Bachman went on from this to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive, who had a big hit with "You Ain't Seen Nuthin' Yet".Roy - London, England
It is 1:15 acoustic intro.Tom - The Far Corners Of The Globe
During the early 90's a radio announcer doing a special on the Guess Who reported that Burton Cummings was running late to a concert performance and the band created the riff on the spot to quiet the crowd. Cummings was reported to have entered during this riff and made up the lyrics as the band played. It was also reported that the only way the song was able to be reproduced was due to a concert go-er illegally taping the concert. The tape was confiscated and used to reproduce the notes and vocals.
Randy, KCMO
Rc - Kansas City, Mo
The line "I don't need your war machines/I don't need your ghetto scenes" makes the meaning of this song clear. I've never seen it used in its proper context in a film, only about, literally, an American woman. I've considered the Statue of Liberty thing before. But it doesn't have to be that specific. The line, "Colored Lights can hypnotize/Sparkle someone else's eyes." suggests that the US is like some women: enticing and beguiling, but hiding a more sinister side.Brian - La Mesa, Ca
It's really a shame that Bachman left the group...the Guess Who could have been the Canadian version of Zeppelin if they'd stayed together and put out more songs.Ty - Niagara Falls, Canada
In a great book on the group by John Einarson he quotes songwriter Burton Cummings as saying that the "American Woman" in the title may allude, in part, to the Statue of Liberty.Tony - Westbury, Ny
I haven't seen the movie in a while, but I'm pretty sure it was an old guy singing the song kareoke. Jim Carrey sings Somebody to Love.Nick - Paramus, Nj
A great song from a great band.Jared - Norwalk, Oh