Brother Of Jerry
Date: October 18, 2021 05:07PM
Canned Wheat was released by The Guess Who in 1969. It's a rock classic, containing three songs that went on to be major hits: Laughing, (She's Come) Undun, and No Time. By way of context, The Guess Who released the album Wheatfield Soul in 1968, with what I think was their first big hit, These Eyes, and they released American Woman in 1970. They were doing very well for themselves. Randy Bachman was their principal songwriter.
Part of the inspiration for the Canned Wheat name may have been a popular blues-hippie rock band Canned Heat, yes, indirectly named after the Sterno product. They were also at the top of their game then, and had a big hit - Going Up the Country. If you don't recognize the name of that song, if you are anywhere within shouting distance of 70 years old, you will likely recognize the music.
There are several reasons I am convinced the Canned Wheat album was also a Mormon food storage pun. Composer Bachman had married Mormon Lorayne Stevenson in 1966, and they had their first child in 1968, named Talmadge in honor of LDS Apostle James E Talmadge, who had authored two LDS books that were very popular in the 1960s, "Jesus the Christ", and "Articles of Faith". [sidebar: funny how you rarely hear about those books anymore. They used to be "almost scripture"] Naming your kid after the last name of a dead apostle seems pretty hardcore.
On top of that, the cover art for the album featured pictures of the individual band members wrapped around large #10 cans. Have you ever seen #10 cans of wheat anywhere other than in Mormon food storage? I haven't.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canned_Wheat
Finally, Canned Wheat came out in Sept, 1969. American Woman came out in Jan 1970. Randy Bachman left the band in May, 1970, at the peak of its success, citing lifestyle differences with the other band members. Randy was apparently pretty hardcore Mormon.
I was going to tack this onto the recent thread by Nightingale about the return of Bachman's stolen guitar, but the story is unique enough, and sort of Mormon related, I thought it deserved its own thread. We have three threads active now about late 60s rock music/musicians. Who'd have thunk, eh?