The Accidental Origin of the Hit Song ‘American Woman’: Randy Bachman Tells the Story

In one of our favorite old posts, gui­tarist Randy Bach­man did us a favor when he mer­ci­ful­ly demys­ti­fied the open­ing chord of The Bea­t­les’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ Mys­tery final­ly solved.

Today, he returns and brings us inside the mak­ing of anoth­er clas­sic song–“Amer­i­can Woman,” which Bach­man co-wrote as a mem­ber of The Guess Who in 1970. In the clip above, the musi­cian reflects on his “anti­war protest song” and its mem­o­rable riff. You know it. It goes dum dum dada­da dada dada dada dum dum dada­da dada da dum. The riff came about by acci­dent, the hap­py byprod­uct of a bro­ken gui­tar string and some spur of the moment impro­vi­sa­tion. I’ll let Randy tell you the rest of the sto­ry.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Gui­tarist Randy Bach­man Demys­ti­fies the Open­ing Chord of The Bea­t­les’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

Pro­duc­er Tony Vis­con­ti Breaks Down the Mak­ing of David Bowie’s Clas­sic “Heroes,” Track by Track

Enter Bri­an Wilson’s Cre­ative Process While Mak­ing The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds 50 Years Ago: A Fly-on-the Wall View

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.