On this day in 1970, The Guess Who performed at the White House for President Richard Nixon and his royal guests, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. They did not play their hit “American Woman” as they were asked to refrain from performing it “as a matter of taste.”
A young lady named Miss Shinoff was seated next to Prince Charles at the head table and said she overheard him say, “I love to dance, but I can not dance to this kind of music the Guess Who is playing.”
Burton Cummings had this to say when looking back on the event, “I had mixed emotions about the White House, it was strange. All the guests were white, all the military aides were white in full military dress, and all the people serving food were black. It seemed terribly racist. And the way the White House was landscaped, it kind of looked like you were in Alabama in the 1840s before Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It left a bad taste in my mouth. They wanted a Commonwealth act when Charles and Anne went there. We were the token Commonwealthers.”
Prince Charles, along with his sister, Princess Anne, attended two Guess Who concerts that summer, the first in Winnipeg, the second two days later at the White House.