Randy Bachman’s song Takin’ Care Of Business was a monster hit, and continues to be used for corporate motivational films and as a theme for political campaigns. Since leaving The Guess Who at the top of their career, Bachman’s success with his solo career and Bachman Turner Overdrive long ago eclipsed the accomplishments of his early musical career. A father of 8 and with 24 grandchildren, Randy Bachman is about to release a new album with Fred Turner, and go out on the road for an extensive North American tour. Enter Stage Left With Sharman Yarnell

He has 8 children and 24 grandchildren. He played the violin as a child. He has rocked in the world of music since his teens with Country-Rock and Jazz, but he is most recognized for his preferred genre, Rock. Oh, and not to forget, he has garnered over 120 Gold and Platinum album/singles awards around the world for performing and producing. His songwriting alone has earned him the coveted #1 spot on radio lists in over 20 countries and he has amassed over a whopping “40 million records sold”.

Heck, he’s even been featured on The Simpsons.

Randolph Charles “Randy” Bachman, OC, OM, is a founding member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive in the 60’s and 70’s.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Bachman for Showtime (the full interview can be heard on the Showtime page on www.cjad.com) and was more than a little nervous at the thought of questioning this Canadian music icon. But, just like Elvis Costello, I fed him one question and off he went. Actually, I think I just welcomed him to the show and that was enough for him to take off on a whirlwind of memories of, not only his music, but his early years growing up in Winnipeg and skipping school to ‘play’ with Lenny Brault.

Bachman recently reunited with Fred Turner (the T in BTO) after 20 years and they are about to release an album aptly called Bachman-Turner. When I asked him if he ever thought that he and Turner would ever join forces again, he said “No. We had such different agendas, we lived in different places. But I’m so thrilled that, in the midst of this train wreck called the music industry, this is happening. It’s amazing. Halfway through the Cummings thing everyone was asking me – fans, and people like Neil Young and Joe Walsh – if I would ever get back with Turner. I said ‘Why, does anyone care?’ And they said ‘Yeah. You’re the last band from the 70’s, the last band that needs to get together.’ ”

Get together they did. They had an offer to do Sweden Rock, an offer that had been on the table for three years. Turner called him and said, “Let’s do one off”. Bachman replied, “One off doesn’t make any sense, lets do thirty off.”

Bachman was working on a solo album at the time and had guest vocalists, Neil Young and Jeff Healey on it and he asked Turner to join in. He sent him a rock anthem he had written called Rock and Roll’s the Only Way Out. (You can hear Rock n’ Roll Is the Only Way Out on www.bachmanandturner.com) The result was that the other songs and singers were shelved to accommodate more of Turners songs. Hence, a new album titled, Bachman-Turner. “The minute Fred came in it was solid rock”.

The same thing happened in the early 70’s – when Bachman left The Guess Who. He was working on a solo album with Chad Allan, who left. Turner joined him and they became Bachman-Turner Overdrive. That too, was solid rock.

Bachman lives, eats and sleeps music. He has done so since his very young years in Winnipeg. The two greatest years of his life were when he flunked grade 10 and 11. He spent every afternoon learning guitar with his peer, Lenny Breau, who introduced him to Chet Atkins, all the Rock and Roll and Jazz of the day. There was no looking back for Bachman.

In 1965, The Guess Who had a #1 hit in Canada with their cover of Johnny Kidd’s Shakin’ All Over, which also charted in the U.S. at #22. In the 70’s the single American Woman hit #1 on the U.S. charts. The Guess Who was the first Canadian band to reach the top spot in the U.S. Bachman left the band at the height of its popularity, shortly after the release of American Woman – He has been quoted as saying that he left because the other band members’ lifestyle choices conflicted with his own. (He was, at the time, a Mormon. He since renounced his beliefs declaring, “Religion is a bunch of rules, a fear factor”.)

Critics are saying this new album is the one that should have come out in 1977 – it sounds 1977. Bachman is happy with that. The last thing he wanted was for it to “sound like a new, digital, square album”. He’s really at home with heavy rock – that’s what he loves and that’s what this is.

Randy Bachman is forever growing and learning in the profession. He goes to London every so often, “calls up a couple of guys and gets a guitar lesson. I sit and learn their vocabulary and try to incorporate it into mine. It all makes me a better player”.

“You know something? With 8 kids, 24 grandchildren and Rock and Roll, I’m pretty busy!”

Ya think?

Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap

Randy Bachman shares his lifetime of experiences as rock ‘n’ roll musician, performer and record producer on Vinyl Tap; his weekly two hour radio program on CBC Radio One. His wife Denise, assists in preparing the program and joins Randy on air to share anecdotes about the hundreds of artists that Randy has performed and recorded with.

Vinyl Tap airs on Saturday at 7pm on CBC Radio One; and on Sunday at 6pm on Radio Two.

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