Guess Who – Undun…1970’s AM Radio Gold Week

I had a greatest hits package by the Guess who given to me by a relative. At the time I thought the Guess Who and The Who were the same.

The title of this song was inspired by Bob Dylan. Randy Bachman said he got the idea after hearing the Dylan song “Ballad In Plain D” on the radio. It was a very long song, and just as Bachman was about to turn off the radio, Dylan sang the line “She came undone.” Bachman said the lyrics were about a girl he saw at a party who went into a coma after dropping acid.

Canadian Jazz guitarist Lenny Breau taught Bachman some chords and you can hear the jazzy feel of the song. Bachman also was influenced by an obscure Kenny Rankin song called “Soft Guitar.”

Burton Cummings learned to play the flute for this song. In his old band The Deverons he played saxophone. While playing at a music store Cummings saw a flute in a case. Burton learned from the dealer that the fingering for the flute was the same as a sax (except for C).

Their name came about when their label Quality Records released their first hit single (“Shakin’ All Over”) credited only to “Guess Who?” in an attempt to build a mystique around the band. They wanted the public to believe that this was a possible British band. The real name of the band was “Chad Allan & The Expressions,” but radio station DJs continued to refer to them as “The Guess Who.” when playing subsequent singles.

This was released as the B-side of Laughing. It got radio play when some disc jockeys flipped the single and played it. That in turn prompted the record company to release it as an A-side 4 months later.

The song peaked at #21 in Canada and #22 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. The song was on the album Canned Wheat.

Undun

She’s come undun
She didn’t know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
It was too late

She’s come undun
She found a mountain that was far too high
And when she found out she couldn’t fly
It was too late

It’s too late
She’s gone too far
She’s lost the sun

She’s come undun
She wanted truth but all she got was lies
Came the time to realize
And it was too late

She’s come undun
She didn’t know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
Mama, it was too late

It’s too late
She’s gone too far
She’s lost the sun
She’s come undun

Too many mountains, and not enough stairs to climb
Too many churches and not enough truth
Too many people and not enough eyes to see
Too many lives to lead and not enough time

It’s too late
She’s gone too far
She’s lost the sun

She’s come undun

It’s too late
She’s gone too far
She’s lost the sun

She’s come undun
She didn’t know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
It was too late

She’s come undun
She found a mountain that was far too high
And when she found out she couldn’t fly
Mama, it was too late

It’s too late
She’s gone too far
She’s lost the sun

She’s come undun
No, no, no, no, no, no, no

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

31 thoughts on “Guess Who – Undun…1970’s AM Radio Gold Week”

  1. Oh wow I had totally forgotten this song until now. Thanks for bringing it back to me. I like the way he sings this, it’s almost like bee-bop. Learning the flute to play for this song is pretty impressive. On an aside, have you pulled that dulcimer out of storage yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. very good tune I remember well from my childhood… just about anything by Guess Who was big on the Toronto AM airwaves in the early-’70s. This is among my favorites by them, another is ‘Sour Suite’ which likewise was big in Canada but not much here. One of the oddest moments from my “My life sounds WAY more exciting than it generally is” file is I remember having a beer with Greg Leskiw of the Guess Who (well, a former member ) about 12 or 13 years ago at a jazz/blues fest in my town, talking to him about the making of that song( ‘Sour Suite’). I knew the organizer of the event and she introduced me to the guy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dave that is really cool! Anytime you can talk to someone who was there is awesome. I love the jazz feel of this…and now I know why.
      I’ll check out Sour Suite.

      Like

  3. Caught them live when they regrouped for the 2000 tour called Running Back Through Canada. Robert Lawson wrote a full out book on every single Guess Who song recorded. Burton Cummings approved the book as well…
    A great read and at a decent price.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Check it out. I talked to Robert Lawson last year on the stream and he also has written books on Nazareth and Cheap Trick. CT for some reason are kinda goofy about the book but its a book on there records and not there personal business which I feel bad for Robert as he is a solid guy…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I truly felt bad for Robert as he doesn’t say anything bad about them and in his reviews of the albums etc he’s being honest esp with some of there 80s output which is questionable to say the least 😂
        But yeah kinda goofy about it

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yea…remember “I’m Up The Creek?”
        Yea it wasn’t right of them doing that to him.

        Like

  4. Good stuff. Playing the flute as a kid, I didn’t even know about the “C” key. I suppose, if I’d had a different course in life, I could have learned the sax, too.

    I think I got that same Greatest Hits box. I miss The Guess Who on the radio. I remember reading about the band’s name. I loved Burton Cummings voice. When he went solo, I loved Stand Tall.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Like I said…I like the sustain on the guitar! Yea I don’t know why they picked on America’s women lol.

        Like

  5. That’s a great song, Max. I like the jazzy touch. I don’t think I had heard it before. The only two tunes by The Guess Who I can name are “American Woman” and “These Eyes,” which I both dig as well. I also had forgotten about the Randy Bachman connection. I primarily know Backman from BTO.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are coming tomorrow! You posted tomorrow’s song not long ago.
      “Laughing” by the Guess Who is really good also. They had quite a few hits. I like “These Eyes”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw a documentary about the band a couple years ago (I don’t recall the title — it was on Amazon Prime). It was interesting to see how their songwriting changed after they met their hero, Gordon Lightfoot. Gotta admit that Lightfoot is among the best songwriters to come from Canada, and that he was good friends with Bob Dylan, so that must have helped.

    Liked by 1 person

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