I remember the first time I heard the original version of this song. I was 5 (five) years old, roaming free in the backseat of the family Cutlass. It was late at night, or so it seemed (it was dark out), and it came on the radio. My dad turned it up and I immediately started listening. It demanded it. The guitar was aggressive. The vibe was dangerous and the singer sounded legitimately upset about something. Or rather, someone. A woman, I later learned. An American Woman, to be exact. And she gone done did some heavy shit to Burton Cummings.
So as a refresher, here is the original, far superior version of American Woman as performed by The Guess Who (RCA, 1970).
And now, directly compare it to this musical equivalent of a papercut on the tip of your tongue.
My first impression is that Lenny may have never heard the original. Second, I think they may have filmed the video before even recording the song. Lenny’s just there doing lame rock poses the whole time, dressed like a fruitcake and randomly moving his lips whenever. He’s Lenny.
Also, the fact that Lenny’s an American, and that takes a lot of the heart of what the song means away, you know?
The main riff – dadadadada da da – Lenny’s not even playing it right. He has total disregard for the original. Lenny’s gonna play it as if Lenny wrote that shit.
When he sings “American Woman…get away from me-he” he doesn’t really sound very convincing – like he even wants her to “get away”. Sure, his words say that, but the way he says those words betrays their meaning. Am I making sense? Like he’s coming on to this woman, but telling her to get away at the same time. Talk about mixed messages!! lol Amirite? Anyone? (Ugh)
To be honest guys – I really don’t care for The Guess Who all that much. I mean, they wrote some good songs and were the shit for a while there, but whatever. But no band, good or bad, deserves to have their work disrespected the way Lenny gone done to “American Woman”.