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Thread: Bachman Turner Overdrive

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    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.
    The part to why they were playing where they were playing is also quite interesting. Protest songs were banned in the states back when they were fighting in Viet Nam, but they didn't realize it was a protest song so it got tremendous airplay.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  2. #27
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winkersnufs View Post
    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
    I still have my Chrysalis green Tull Minstrel cassette along with my Atco pink Focus Hamburger Concerto.

    One of my favorite BTO memories was seeing Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at Nearfest and they had an album cover leaning against the front stage monitor of BTO's Overdrive II for dramatic effect, it worked pretty darned good.

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Protest songs were banned in the states back when they were fighting in Viet Nam
    That is 100% untrue.
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  4. #29
    The Guess Who were invited to play at Jimmy Carter's Inauguration in '77. (I think it was the inauguration.) His wife, Rosalynn (sp?), politely asked them to not play "American Woman."
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  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    The part to why they were playing where they were playing is also quite interesting. Protest songs were banned in the states back when they were fighting in Viet Nam, but they didn't realize it was a protest song so it got tremendous airplay.
    The band has always insisted American Woman wasn't a protest song. Burton has always said he was literally singing about American women, he was saying that he didn't think American women were as attractive or whatever as Canadian women. Hey, The Beach Boys had California Girls, and Cheap Trick had Southern Girls, so why not?
    The Guess Who were invited to play at Jimmy Carter's Inauguration in '77. (I think it was the inauguration.) His wife, Rosalynn (sp?), politely asked them to not play "American Woman."
    According to Wikipedia, they played at the White House during the Nixon administration, and it was Pat discreetly asked them to not do American Woman.

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    The band has always insisted American Woman wasn't a protest song. Burton has always said he was literally singing about American women, he was saying that he didn't think American women were as attractive or whatever as Canadian women. Hey, The Beach Boys had California Girls, and Cheap Trick had Southern Girls, so why not?


    According to Wikipedia, they played at the White House during the Nixon administration, and it was Pat discreetly asked them to not do American Woman.
    Oops. I was going from memory, I stand corrected. I swear I heard it was the Carters. But the timing seems better with the Nixons. How ironic, though.

    I don't need your war machines; I don't need no ghetto scenes. Colored lights can hypnotize; sparkle someone else's eyes. Seems pretty political to me.
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  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    The band has always insisted American Woman wasn't a protest song. Burton has always said he was literally singing about American women, he was saying that he didn't think American women were as attractive or whatever as Canadian women. Hey, The Beach Boys had California Girls, and Cheap Trick had Southern Girls, so why not?


    According to Wikipedia, they played at the White House during the Nixon administration, and it was Pat discreetly asked them to not do American Woman.
    American Woman was the Statue of Liberty.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    That is 100% untrue.
    Did you catch a lot of flak from Americans for “American Woman”?
    Nobody knew what it was. We were on such a momentum—and this is a great place to be—that radio didn’t even audition it: “The new record by the Guess Who, let’s put it on the turntable.” We’d come out with hit after hits and a lot of them, like “Laughing” and “Undun,” were double A-sides. Then out comes “American Woman,” the longest song to ever be number one at the time. [Editor’s note: The Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” released the year before “American Woman,” was considerably longer.] The other side, “No Sugar Tonight,” which I wrote alone, was the shortest. [Editor’s note: Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear,” from 1957, was 1:46, about 20 seconds shorter than “No Sugar Tonight.”] So by the time it was number one, they realized it was an antiwar protest song, sung by four Canadians. It was too late; it was number one.

    Up until then there was an edict: They couldn’t play Country Joe and the Fish’s “1-2-3, what are we fighting for” [“I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag”]. They had to play “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Barry Sadler. Even [the Shirelles’] “Soldier Boy” got banned. [Ed. Note: Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” was a number one hit in the U.S., and other antiwar songs did receive radio play.] There are terrible things that happened with the U.S. in war, and the U.S. has always been at war. So that’s what happened with “American Woman.” It got to be number one before they realized that there was a line in there that went “We don’t want your war machine/We don’t want your ghetto scenes/Colored lights can hypnotize,” which was Broadway, “sparkle someone else’s eyes.” “American Woman” was not the woman on the street; it was the Statue of Liberty and the Uncle Sam poster with the stars and stripes hat.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Oops. I was going from memory, I stand corrected. I swear I heard it was the Carters. But the timing seems better with the Nixons. How ironic, though.

    I don't need your war machines; I don't need no ghetto scenes. Colored lights can hypnotize; sparkle someone else's eyes. Seems pretty political to me.
    Well, Peter Yarrow has always insisted Puff The Magic Dragon isn't about drugs either. Also, Dave Fenton swears Turning Japanese isn't about masturbation. (shrug)

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Did you catch a lot of flak from Americans for “American Woman”?
    Nobody knew what it was. We were on such a momentum—and this is a great place to be—that radio didn’t even audition it: “The new record by the Guess Who, let’s put it on the turntable.” We’d come out with hit after hits and a lot of them, like “Laughing” and “Undun,” were double A-sides. Then out comes “American Woman,” the longest song to ever be number one at the time. [Editor’s note: The Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” released the year before “American Woman,” was considerably longer.] The other side, “No Sugar Tonight,” which I wrote alone, was the shortest. [Editor’s note: Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear,” from 1957, was 1:46, about 20 seconds shorter than “No Sugar Tonight.”] So by the time it was number one, they realized it was an antiwar protest song, sung by four Canadians. It was too late; it was number one.

    Up until then there was an edict: They couldn’t play Country Joe and the Fish’s “1-2-3, what are we fighting for” [“I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag”]. They had to play “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Barry Sadler. Even [the Shirelles’] “Soldier Boy” got banned. [Ed. Note: Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” was a number one hit in the U.S., and other antiwar songs did receive radio play.] There are terrible things that happened with the U.S. in war, and the U.S. has always been at war. So that’s what happened with “American Woman.” It got to be number one before they realized that there was a line in there that went “We don’t want your war machine/We don’t want your ghetto scenes/Colored lights can hypnotize,” which was Broadway, “sparkle someone else’s eyes.” “American Woman” was not the woman on the street; it was the Statue of Liberty and the Uncle Sam poster with the stars and stripes hat.
    Where did you get that from? On Wikipedia, there's a quote from a 2013 interview:
    Quote Originally Posted by Burton Cummings
    What was on my mind was that girls in the States seemed to get older quicker than our girls and that made them, well, dangerous. When I said 'American woman, stay away from me,' I really meant 'Canadian woman, I prefer you.' It was all a happy accident.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kale
    The fact was, we came from a very strait-laced, conservative, laid-back country, and all of a sudden, there we were in Chicago, Detroit, New York – all these horrendously large places with their big city problems. After that one particularly grinding tour, it was just a real treat to go home and see the girls we had grown up with. Also, the war was going on, and that was terribly unpopular. We didn't have a draft system in Canada, and we were grateful for that. A lot of people called it anti-American, but it wasn't really. We weren't anti-anything. John Lennon once said that the meanings of all songs come after they are recorded. Someone else has to interpret them.

  11. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Did you catch a lot of flak from Americans for “American Woman”?
    Nobody knew what it was. We were on such a momentum—and this is a great place to be—that radio didn’t even audition it: “The new record by the Guess Who, let’s put it on the turntable.” We’d come out with hit after hits and a lot of them, like “Laughing” and “Undun,” were double A-sides. Then out comes “American Woman,” the longest song to ever be number one at the time. [Editor’s note: The Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” released the year before “American Woman,” was considerably longer.] The other side, “No Sugar Tonight,” which I wrote alone, was the shortest. [Editor’s note: Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear,” from 1957, was 1:46, about 20 seconds shorter than “No Sugar Tonight.”] So by the time it was number one, they realized it was an antiwar protest song, sung by four Canadians. It was too late; it was number one.

    Up until then there was an edict: They couldn’t play Country Joe and the Fish’s “1-2-3, what are we fighting for” [“I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag”]. They had to play “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Barry Sadler. Even [the Shirelles’] “Soldier Boy” got banned. [Ed. Note: Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” was a number one hit in the U.S., and other antiwar songs did receive radio play.] There are terrible things that happened with the U.S. in war, and the U.S. has always been at war. So that’s what happened with “American Woman.” It got to be number one before they realized that there was a line in there that went “We don’t want your war machine/We don’t want your ghetto scenes/Colored lights can hypnotize,” which was Broadway, “sparkle someone else’s eyes.” “American Woman” was not the woman on the street; it was the Statue of Liberty and the Uncle Sam poster with the stars and stripes hat.
    Interesting story. But protest songs were not banned in the states during Viet Nam, as you claimed. There may have been particular stations that banned them from their play lists. But that is completely different than a US ban.
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  12. #37
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Randy and Burton, man I have a long history with those dudes. Actually, the Guess Who has endured far better than BTO but you know, sometimes you need a little meat n' potatoes rock n' roll. Randy's guitar tone was a lot fatter with the later, so those BTO riffs are solid.

    I grew up just fifty miles south of the border with Soviet Canuckistan, so the Guess Who was pretty much hard-wired into my being. Canadian stations were often easier to pick up for us and their playlists were often deeper than US AM radio (out in rural America there was very little FM). Between me and my brother we had every Guess Who album. Even the duds with Dominic Troiano. It was amazing how Burton and Gary carried on that band after Randy split. We saw the last US show of the final tour. It was in 75, in Bismarck ND. Burton said from the stage that they were going home to Winnipeg to recuperate (instead they split up). But in concert, they were practically a hard rock band, with a lot more muscle than you would suspect from those pop hits. They did three encores that night, the final one was a stomping "Bus Rider".

    I've told this story on PE before. Around the early 00s Burton and Randy joined up with Gary, Bill, and Donnie. Me and my brother caught a radio station- sponsored Christmas show at the new Xcel Center in St Paul. They were touring with the reunited Doobie Brothers. The Doobies were all tan and thin, playing all the pre-Michael McDonald stuff and got a big ovation at the end of their long set closing with "China Grove" and an encore of "Black Water". A woman next to us wondered why an American act was playing in front of a Canadian band that had less staying power. The boys from Winnipeg looked like no one was missing seconds at the buffet table, they were pretty static onstage. But they could still hit a riff far harder than the Doobies. After an acoustic set (including BTO's "Let it Ride") they hit "American Woman" like their lives and passports depended on it. Randy was just doing stellar work on lead guitar or running twin leads with Donnie. They played every rocker in their catalog following "Woman". slammed out "Taking Care of Business" and didn't slow down until closing with "Share the Land", with Burton saying that he and Randy were still "old hippies". I'll always love The Guess Who.

    Burton has incredible pipes. His crooner era was a bit mellow for us rockers but damn, his voice was so versatile he could sing that stuff with ease.

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  13. #38
    A personal favorite (one of many):

    PLAY IT LOUD

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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    American Woman was the Statue of Liberty.
    I never knew that. I always figured they had bad experiences with American women. Never really thought about the song much. It was on the American radio stations all the time when it came out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #40
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    American Woman, Jethro Tull's Benefit, and Three Dog Night's Captured Live at the Forum, were the first three records I ever bought shortly after they came out. Still love them all!

    Wasn't the Guess Who's drummer a novice at the time of American Woman? I like his Ringo-like playing on this record. Some nice tom fills, as I recall!

  16. #41
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Funny how a Randy & BTO thread turns into a Burton & TGW thread.

    Inevitable, I suppose.

    ===================

    nobody mentioned Brave Belt (sort of a first version of BTO) , where Randy met Fred Turner and played with early days TGW guitarist Chad Allan now on KB, but the whole thing is still more TGW rather than BTO, IMHO





    Last edited by Trane; 1 Week Ago at 11:21 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  17. #42
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    Don't forget about Bachman's late-70's band, Ironhorse. They released two albums and even scored a hit with "Sweet Lui-Louise".



    After their 2nd album, Fred Turner joined and they changed the name of the band to Union. Not sure if they scored any hits from the Union album, but it did include a song that Bachman co-wrote with Carl Wilson and also showed up on a Beach Boys album, "Keep the Summer Alive".

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Funny how a Randy & BTO thread turns into a Burton & TGW thread.

    Inevitable, I suppose.kRg[/video]
    I was thinking the same thing. I mean....I love The Guess Who, but BTO was it's own entity and great at what they did in their own way. Meat and Potatoes fucking rock n roll! Sometimes I just need something simple and rocking.

  19. #44
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    With regards to protest songs and radio station bans:

    Growing up in the South I did not hear a lot of protest songs except when visiting relatives in Michigan. I was in my late teens before I ever heard the song Southern Man (in Michigan) by Neil Young. I only heard it referenced in the song Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some southern rock stations wouldn't play Alice's Restaurant (I tried to get a local station to play it one Thanksgiving and they said that it mocked the military). Moving away from the south when I joined the Navy was a musical Renaissance for me

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    Don't forget about Bachman's late-70's band, Ironhorse. They released two albums and even scored a hit with "Sweet Lui-Louise".



    After their 2nd album, Fred Turner joined and they changed the name of the band to Union. Not sure if they scored any hits from the Union album, but it did include a song that Bachman co-wrote with Carl Wilson and also showed up on a Beach Boys album, "Keep the Summer Alive".
    Wow, a blast from the past - I'd forgotten I used to own that first album! Can't remember a single song from it, although Sweet Lui-Louise sounds vaguely familiar.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    One of the truly great voices of rock. An incredible songwriter.......
    His songs are recognizable - if you hear one you haven't heard before, you know it's Burton. That's a real accomplishment with music that basic.

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