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Thread: Bachman Turner Overdrive

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    Bachman Turner Overdrive

    Good Afternoon Folks ~

    Just came in from mowing the lawns and 'wanted' some regular Rock-n-Roll. Flashback moment hit me and I found myself back in my youth, my Realistic top load cassette player going, and going through my early collection next to Jethro Tull Benefit (in the Chrysalis green cassette case) - I might have pulled out Bachman Turner Overdrive 'Not Fragile'.

    Hahahaaha I was just playing air guitar at an upstairs window... Not Fragile indeed!

    Interesting thing this MUSIC

    Carry On
    Chris Buckley

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    You still have the old green slip case jethro Tull cassette? I remember buying those slip case cassettes back in the early 70ís. The asylum and atco ones were pink. Warner Brothers were black. I liked the green ones myself. I still have my robin Trower bridge of Sighs green cassette. They were so cheaply made.


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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Randy Bachman might not go down in the annals of great guitarists, at least not from a technical sense, but he was something much more important to rock-n-roll; a great riffmeister.

    I've been to his old mansion (former residence) in Blaine WA. The current occupants have on occasion rented it out to the local college for formal events. I think they rent it out for weddings well.

    He did well for himself.

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Never been a fan, but I liked The Guess Who a lot. Burton Cummings and Bachman were the soul of that band.

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I just played American Woman, the whole album on YT. Jesus was a great record. First time ever hearing it. I've only heard their radio hits. Christ, Burton is a hell of a talent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by winkersnufs View Post
    Hahahaaha I was just playing air guitar at an upstairs window... Not Fragile indeed!

    Interesting thing this MUSIC
    My next door neighbor bought BTO's Four-wheel drive circa '75 or '76. We were only 8 or 9 at the time. Until he bought Little Queen by Heart a year or two later, BTO 4WD was the only album he owned and we played it over and over. Many hours of "air guitar," decades before anyone even called it that! In hindsight I think the whole point of BTO was air guitar.
    Last edited by arturs; 1 Week Ago at 07:19 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Randy Bachman might not go down in the annals of great guitarists, at least not from a technical sense, but he was something much more important to rock-n-roll; a great riffmeister.

    I've been to his old mansion (former residence) in Blaine WA. The current occupants have on occasion rented it out to the local college for formal events. I think they rent it out for weddings well.

    He did well for himself.
    Hell, he probably still makes major dinero off of "Taking Care of Business" royalties...

  8. #8
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    I just played American Woman, the whole album on YT. Jesus was a great record. First time ever hearing it. I've only heard their radio hits. Christ, Burton is a hell of a talent.
    In 7th grade, American Woman, the first Argent album and Cream’s Goodbye were the first albums I loved post Beatles.
    Steve F.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    In 7th grade, American Woman, the first Argent album and Creamís Goodbye were the first albums I loved post Beatles.
    Wow, it's almost bizarre to think of being into "normal" rock n roll music. But then I guess something had to bridge the gap between Chester Burnett and Henry Cow, eh?

    Back to BTO: my oldest brother had The Best Of BTO (So Far) when I was little. I remember thinking they looked incredibly goofy on the back cover. But there's some good songs on that record, e.g. Roll On Down The Highway, Looking Out For Number One, Let It Ride (love the false ending), etc. As I recall, one of the songs, I forget which one, had Little Richard guesting on piano. Anyone who can finagle their way into having Mr. Penniman play on their record gets high marks in my book!

    Something that's really funny is, I kinda forgot that You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet was on that record, and such, I forgot that it was a BTO song. So when I heard it years later, on classic rock radio, at first, I thought it was Tom Petty. That's what Bachman's voice sounds like on that track to me. Nothing wrong with that. I remember reading that when he recorded the vocal, he did it as a joke, to tease one of his brothers, who was the band's manager, who stutters when he gets excited. Bachman never intended that take to be used on the record, and and was completely aghast when he found out the producer had gone with that vocal!

    Anyway, apart from Best Of... (So Far) I have only one BTO record, Bachman Turner Overdrive II. Haven't listened to it in ages, but I recall it was a pretty good, solid rock n roll record. I always intended to get more, but have so far not followed through on that plan. I got sidetracked by Steve Feigenbaum's emporium of weird music. Well, it wasn't just Steve's fault, it's actually way more complicated than that, but it seemed like there was a period there in the 90's, where I kinda lost of track of some of the more conventional rock n roll things that I loved, though I somehow managed to find time to buy all the 70's Kiss albums on CD (except Alive!, for some reason).

    Oh, and Bachman co-wrote my favorite late period Beach Boys song, Keepin' The Summer Alive. He gets a gold star for that too.

  10. #10
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^

    Howlin Wolf actually came some years after Henry Cow!

    Hey, in 1969/70 when you are 12-13, the Guess Who, Cream and Argent are pretty darn cool!!

    I rebought American Woman about 6 years ago and still thought some of it was pretty good.
    Steve F.

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    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  11. #11
    "Blue Collar" was a pretty darn good BTO song. I remember "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" played to death in freshman year. Never got into BTO, although I recall BTO's snarky reply to Yes's Fragile was worth a chuckle. Given their interrelationship, I preferred the Guess Who.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    I just played American Woman, the whole album on YT. Jesus was a great record. First time ever hearing it. I've only heard their radio hits. Christ, Burton is a hell of a talent.
    It's an interesting story how he wrote American Woman.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    It's an interesting story how he wrote American Woman.
    The story I heard was they were doing a show somewhere, and Randy actually broke a string. So, while Randy's restringing his guitar, Burton goes over to the side of the stage, and starts talking to someone. So after, a minute or two, as Randy's retuning, he starts playing this riff, which apparently is the one we know as American Woman. So the rhythm section falls in behind Randy, and they start jamming. So Burton heres the band playing, realizes it's time for him to "go back to work", but then he realizes they're playing a tune he absolutely doesn't recognize. So he just starts singing off the top of his head, and apparently what came out of his mouth, ostensibly was the words to American Woman.

    That comes from a documentary I saw on CBC back in the late 80's or early 90's. I also remember a reunion Guess Who did in the mid 80's, that was released as a live album and video, I think, heavily promoted via TV adverts at the time. Anywya, the thing I remember was the amount of modern technology they had in their stage rigs. Randy was playing a Roland G-505 (whether he actually had one of the guitar synth modules or not, I don't remember), the drummer had some Simmons drum pads in his kit, and I remember on the songs that where Burton played piano, he had a Prophet-5 sitting on top of it. Seemed like a lot of synth related gear for a band associated with the late 60's era, but then maybe they were trying to sound "contemporary" or something.

    I also remember there being a sort of mini-comeback for BTO around the asme time too. They put out a new album, and I remember MTV playing a video for a song called Living For The Weekend, or something like that. As I recall, one of the main features of the video was the band miming the song in a factory, wearing welding helmets and with sparks, like you get from a welding torch flying all over the place.

    Hell, he probably still makes major dinero off of "Taking Care of Business" royalties...
    It's been used in at least a couple different TV ad campaigns in the last 20 or so years. I remember one was for Fed Ex or something like that, and I recall someone on AOL chuckling over the fact that Fed Ex was using a song about "working at nothing all day", to accentuate how hard they were working or whatever. Yeah, kinda like Volkswagen (a company founded by the Nazis) using Fly By Night in their ads (Geddy's parents were Holocaust survivors).

    As I recall, there were a couple different arrangements used in some of those ads, like one turned it into sort of a Cajun/zydeco kind of thing. But there was one where it sounded like the original version. I say sounded, because I recall reading the Rob Bachman, Randy's brother and BTO's original drummer (for the record, in the original band, there was a third Bachman brother, Tim, on second guitar, and I believe I read once that there was a fourth brother, who served as the band's manager), made it publicly known that Randy had gone into the studio and cut a new "sound-alike" version of the song, apparently so he could cut Rob, Tim, and CF Turner out of the performance royalties.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    Christ, Burton is a hell of a talent.
    One of the truly great voices of rock. An incredible songwriter and I know he plays at least four instruments (piano, guitar, flute and harmonica); probably others.

    He gets a bit schmaltzy these days, but still has the chops all around.
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  15. #15
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    I have no shame with being a BTO fan. “Not Fragile” was one of the first albums I ever bought when I was a teenager and I still think it is a great meat and potatoes rock n roll album. The song “Sledgehammer” from that album was the heaviest thing I had ever heard at the time and I still remember cranking it up in my car stereo in high school while cruising the streets. Some of their other albums were also quite good. Bachman sometimes brought a jazz style guitar to their stuff which was unique. Even some of their hits like “Blue Collar” and “Looking Out For Number One” featured this, which was very different from what they were known for. Bachman and Turner buried the hatchet and put out a re-union album a few years ago which was quite good. I saw the tour and it was a lot of fun. Sometimes you just want to rock and BTO always fit the bill.

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    I like that instrumental 'Free Wheelin'...don't see that mentioned around very much.

  17. #17
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    Never been a fan, but I liked The Guess Who a lot. Burton Cummings and Bachman were the soul of that band.
    Definitely prefer TGW to BTO, especially Wheatfield Soul, Canned Wheat and AW (there were many hits on all three, though I suspect that for WS and CW, the hits were mostly local/national)... some were even double hits as TGW coupled a few great songs together when they could've exploited both tracks separately (Laughin/Undun & No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature)...
    Once Bachman left, they kind of lost the plot gradually - let's just say that I lost interest after Paramount and Rockin' (well all those albums appeared before I actually started buying records in 74 and got into TGW)

    As for BTO, they kind of appealed to me and my Toronto buddies the same way Status Quo did: heavy, greasy, unrefined rock in my "flanel workshirts/Grebb-Kodiak boots" days and appealed to kids wanting to become blue collars (lumberjacks, truck drivers, construction workers, metal-mill workers - in neighbouring Hamilton), and our gfs usec to call that kind of music macho rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    Hell, he probably still makes major dinero off of "Taking Care of Business" royalties...
    Not their only hit, as Ain't Seen Nothing Yet & Let It Ride were just as big in Canada (and we still hear all three of themregularly in classic rock radio in Belgium), and lesser hits like Looking Out For Number One, 4WD, Roll On Down the Highway and Roll On Down the Highway getting the odd play once in a while.
    Basically, they said it all in their first four albums


    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    One of the truly great voices of rock. An incredible songwriter and I know he plays at least four instruments (piano, guitar, flute and harmonica); probably others.
    great voice, but IMHO, he didn't make great artistic choices once TGW folded: it kind of veered AM radio and a crooner image that sorted turned most of the rock kids against him... He started out really well (commercially too) with Stand Tall, but that syrupy cover of Ain't Seen Nothing Yet (yes BTO's hit) sort of antigonized the rockers, though in retrospect, the cover with string & brass arrangement are ok.

    In other words, wheras TGW was mostly a male thing (and not just because of the AW hit), it became uncool to like Burton solo because he was appealing more to women.

    The weird thing is that females used to make fun of BTO by calling them Bachman Turning Overweight
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  18. #18
    ^^ I have no problem with Burton's mellower music. He's just so great and I don't have to be rocking all the time time.

    On a related note, if I go the rest of my life without ever hearing "Takin' Care of Business" again, I'm perfectly fine with that.

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned Randy's guitar solo he does with a drum stick.
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    I remember going to my pseudo-cousin Billy's and playing the hell outta BTO. Yup - 'air guitar' before we knew it was a thing.

    We also listened to Cheech and Chong albums, as well as George Carlin.

    Ah, youth
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned Randy's guitar solo he does with a drum stick.
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Bachman and Turner buried the hatchet and put out a re-union album a few years ago which was quite good. .
    I'm not sure "the hatchet" was between Randy and Turner so much as between the Bachman brothers, specifically Randy and Rob. Apparently, when Randy left the band back in 1976, or whenever it was, he retained the rights to the name "Bachman", hence the band had to truncate the band's official name to BTO. The band (meaning Rob, Turner, and Blair Thornton) retained the rights to the gear logo.

    So in the mid 80's, when they did a reunion album, Rob refused to take part, because he was unhappy with the terms of the reunion:
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Bachman

    When Randy wanted to get back together again, I said, "Okay, let's have a publishing company with the band. Let's all write the tunes. We'll all share equally and there won't be any more animosity." He said no, so I got up and left. Blair wasn't asked to rejoin because Randy knew that Blair wouldn't take any crap like Timmy would. They went out and started to use the name BTO within a year and the same trademark that Randy sold to us! So Blair and I sued him and we won. They had to pay us royalties
    Eventually, the Not Fragile era lineup, with both Randy and Blair Thornton got back together in the late 80's, and toured for a couple years, but then Randy dropped out, and was replaced by a guy named Randy Murray:
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Bachman
    They said, 'We'll just call ourselves BTO. People will know you're not there.' The problem is when BTO pulls into town, the radio, the press people, call them Bachman-Turner Overdrive. It's like Coke and Coca-Cola, two names that go hand in hand. It kind of gets represented that I'm there and when they play the gig, I clearly am not there. [And] they've got another guy to take my place who unfortunately is named Randy. So there's this inference that I'm there and I'm not there, which is a disservice to the fans.
    So you can see, it's a pretty convoluted mess, though not as much as the case with The Guess Who. In the mid 70's, Kale wanted to get the original band back together, but Randy and Burton were busy with their solo efforts, so they gave Kale permission to put together a new band. But then Kale figured out nobody actually had ever registered the name "The Guess Who" (as is usually the case in such circumstances) so he quickly made arrangements to trademark the name. So he went on tour with a new band with no other original members. They even made a couple albums. Occasional reunions notwithstanding, for the last 40 years, "The Guess Who" has been whomever Kale has had on tour with him, which sometimes has included some combination of Cummings, Bachman, and/or Gary Petersen, but often times, none of them.

  22. #22
    When I saw (and recorded) them in (I think '88), Rob was in the band.

    I saw that Kale version of TGW, and was very disappointed to learn (at the show) that Burton and Randy were not involved. It didn't help that the local radio station didn't know about it.
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  23. #23
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Never had the slightest interest in BTO (or the Guess Who, who struck me as faux), but I recall reading about how they (BTO) had a deliberate strategy of repeatedly playing secondary and tertiary markets--mostly in the Midwest--ignored by other touring acts, where the local kids were starved for concerts; a novel and savvy move designed to build a devoted and grateful fan base.
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  24. #24
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    In the 1974 or so, my college fraternity had regular dances. One of the guys would record a pile of songs on reel-to-reel for hours of uninterrupted dance music, BTO being a staple. (Also, the Move's "Chinatown" was on it.) I remember dancing to BTO with a girl from one of the dorms. Man, she had a spectacular rack. Thanks for bringing up BTO and reviving that memory.

    The Boston Public Library has a copy of Randy Bachman's autobiography, and I've hemmed and hawwed about reading it. Guess I'll take a stab at it now. It's pretty good-sized (I will not make a crack about Randy's good size).

    Just went and got it; 528 pages.
    Last edited by Lopez; 1 Week Ago at 02:09 PM.
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  25. #25
    [QUOTE=ronmac;907969]
    When I saw (and recorded) them in (I think '88), Rob was in the band.
    Yeah, there was a period in the late 80's and early 90's where the Not Fragile lineup (with Blair Thornton) toured again.

    I saw that Kale version of TGW, and was very disappointed to learn (at the show) that Burton and Randy were not involved. It didn't help that the local radio station didn't know about it.
    Yeah, that's not entirely shocking. I wouldn't be surprised to find out the promoter responsible for booking the show didn't know either. That's the funny thing about bands, sometimes, trying to know who is, today, in a band that's been around forever like that. Like, who's in Blue Oyster Cult this week? I mean besides Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom?
    Never had the slightest interest in BTO (or the Guess Who, who struck me as faux), but I recall reading about how they (BTO) had a deliberate strategy of repeatedly playing secondary and tertiary markets--mostly in the Midwest--ignored by other touring acts, where the local kids were starved for concerts; a novel and savvy move designed to build a devoted and grateful fan base.
    Kiss did the same thing. Paul Stanley said once that it's "Nobody's fault they were born in a small town", so they'd bring the show to places that didn't normally get big rock concerts.

    BTW, I also remember reading that for a time, Randy had a confidence man pretending to be him, doing stuff like running up hotel bills and such in Randy's name. I recall reading he got caught at one point, because he tried running the scam at a hospital or whatever, and it turned out the guy he was talking to was a BTO fan, and knew the guy wasn't Randy Bachman!

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