Bachman-Turner Overdrive

ARTICLE ABOUT Bachman Turner Overdrive FROM SOUNDS, May 17, 1975

Quite interesting to read this one as it tells the story of how BTO tried to become a commercial prospect without losing their integrity. Some very valueable lessons to learn here, even for bands coming up today.
Read on!

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`eard the one about the Randy Mormon?

Peter Makowski face to face with Bachman Turner Overdrive

There seems to be an inexplicable, invisible but understandable line of hypocrisy running between Randy Bachman the musician and Randy Bachman the person. Inexplicable because it doesn`t relate to or affect the band`s music which relies on sheer sympathetic energy between musicians devoid of any contrivance; understandable because after being in the business for so long barriers of cynicism are expected to appear.
With Bachman it`s not cynicism, it`s a thorough logistic assessment of how the music business should be run, which in his verbal dialogue might sound a little cold and precise but on paper couldn`t be truer.
Talking to Bachman is like talking to a manager who is willing to give you the facts. And I think it`s from this hard-earned experience that this little, unknown Canadian band have become big business in such a short space of time.
Bachman sat in contemplative pose, looking like a lumberjack guru, when I spoke to him in his hotel prior to BTO`s performance at the Glasgow Apollo.

CONTRADICTION

Saying that Bachman is Mormon, doesn`t drink, doesn`t smoke, doesn`t pull chicks on the road and is a rock and roll star is almost a contradiction in itself. But maybe that could at the same time account for his clear headedness. Although externally his appearance is burly and aggressive all in all he seems to be quite a composed, laid back character.
The band have recently recorded a new album titled appropriately enough `Four Wheel Drive`. “It`s a progression for us,” Bachman reported happily, “nothing like heavy jazz rock like Yes who I think are a very progressive group. It`s a progression for us because we`re playing different kinds of rock and roll songs. Rock and roll songs go on for ever, we`re just exploring.
“We`ve had different, slight changes, but I find the people like basic rock and we`re selling to basic rock audiences. I could play really heavy guitar if I wanted to, classical or country `cause I grew up learning all that stuff. I could do it and I could probably expand our audience by another 10 per cent, but I`d lose 10 per cent who are buying what we`ve got now, so it`s a losing battle trying to please new people.
“I don`t believe in pleasing critics because they get their albums free and all they do is tear them apart, all I want to do is please the people who are buying our stuff.”
Has the recent recession in America (the band`s biggest money spinner) affected them at all?
“We were lucky,” Bachman replied, almost sounding grateful, “the recession doesn`t affect top products of any country. By the top products I doesn`t mean the best, I mean what the people want. There`s just been a recession in the States yeah, but nobody`s stopped buying beer, nobody`s stopped going out to concerts.
“All the three group shows, where we headlined, became two group shows, we were still on the top, we still got our money we were still sellouts.”
As I mentioned before a lot of BTO`s success is derived from Bachman`s experiences and observation. In fact before BTO, when he played with the once top Canadian band Guess Who, Bachman spent a lot of time researching commercial records to see if it would help him come up with the right ingredients for a hit record, which it did.
“When I was in the Guess Who,” recalled Bachman, “we used to study obviously Lennon and McCartney, Brian Wilson, and Georgie Fame. We used to study composers and very commercial groups `cause in those days there were no underground selling groups. You either had a single or you were gone.
“In Brave Belt, which eventually became BTO, we listened to other types of commercial group and that was the type of group who had wide appeal albums and singles – the Who, Creedence, Rolling Stones, Cream – simple groups who, if they were commercial, were not selling out.
“There are commercial bands like Paper Lace, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods who get together and write commercial songs, we don`t do that. We put together good album music, throw the album out on the market and usually a radio station picks up on a single and I`ll edit it.

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COMMERCIAL

“This is usually the case except for our new single called `Hey You`. We anticipated it being a single almost from the start, it just had a certain element that `Ain`t Seen Nothing Yet` had. And I don`t feel bad in doing that, trying to follow the success of a commercial single, because we`ve had all the album success and by having one we don`t seem to lost the other.”
It seems in America (and almost everywhere else come to think of it) that rock sensations come and go before you can say tricky Dicky Nixon, they`re in and out of the charts with a bullet. I asked Bachman to explain their sustaining their success.
“I think if you look at the bands that have come and gone you can pinpoint the exact moment they`ve gone. When they decide to do something heavy, something drastic. You get a simple rock group like us, if we try to do something like King Arthur and his magical knights of the round table, you know Houdini`s magic show, we`d just lose our fans. If we keep doing what comes naturally then we`ll be okay.
“You look at a group who have been obliterated. It could be managerial problems. I agree a lot of rock and roll bands go under pressure and strains but we don`t have any of them. We make the basic decisions deciding what we`re going to do, how long we`re going out for. Our manager comes with us on the road and when we`re tired of being on the road, then he`s just as tired.
“We don`t have a fat New York manager in a Cadillac with his briefcase and cigar saying `give me my percentage, stay out another month, you`re doing great`. I`ve gone through this with Guess Who.
“We don`t have any of those problems because our manager is like a part of the group, he travels with us, he thinks how we think because we have very open discussions. When it`s down to making a decision he basically knows what we want to do, how long we want to work, how much money we want to make, once you make enough money there`s no point in going crazy and have ten million dollars compared to two million.

HAPPINESS

“When you can buy anything you want it doesn`t matter how much excess money you have. That`s not really why we`re happy. We`re happy because we have a very good schedule, we enjoy the music we`re playing and we enjoy relating to the people that are buying our product.
“A good case of managerial problems is Buffalo Springfield, they were one of America`s greats and one of my favourite bands. When they found that they were one of the biggest underground bands and heading to being one of THE big groups they all looked around and said `you know we`re broke, we don`t have enough to pay our rent or buy guitar strings`.
“They ended it because they didn`t like their management. That`s one reason why a group doesn`t last and the other is some drastic artistic change, and we`ll never drastically change, if we evolve it`ll be something natural.”
As Bachman indicated earlier, he seems to have varied amounts of musical influences and the last time I interviewed him he was promising a solo album. I asked him when this project would crystalise.
“I probably won`t do it for a while. I don`t want to do it while I`m on the road and we`re in the process of building our own studio, we have to decide which country it`s going to be in because there`s quite a few implications with Canadian and American recordings and I`m not going to start on a solo album until I`ve done a BTO album in the studio.
“If I do a solo album, it`ll be something drastic,” Bachman concluded… not that drastic because I want it to sell.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.
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ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 2), April 26, 1975

Here I continue what I started in my last post. Hope you enjoy it. These are the bands that mattered in 1975 when they spoke about “heavy metal”. I guess most people don`t call many of these bands “metal” in 2019.
Read on!

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Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton

B

Babe Ruth

`Eek! `Screech!` Closely followed by a dull `clung!`

Bachman Turner Overdrive

Heavy Duty Rock. It all started when Randy Bachman left top selling Canadian band Guess Who. He wrote their hits (e.g `American Woman`) and eventually decided to try his hand at solo albums and producing. He got together with another ex-Guess Who member Chad Allen and his brother Rob Bachman to record an album `Brave Belt`. Reprise were interested in the product but wanted a band to go on the road and sell it. So C. F. Turner was added on bass to complete a roadworthy line up. Allen dropped out of the band before the release of the Belt`s second album, another Bachman, Timmy, joined on guitar. They recorded their third album and left Reprise to join Mercury, Brave Belt III became Bachman Turner Overdrive. After two moderately successful albums Timmy left to produce and was replaced by Great Vancouver guitarist Blair Thornton. Things began happening and by the time of the release of their third album – `Not Fragile` – they were big business. Their popularity has even spread here (You Ain`t Seen Nothin` Yet`, `Roll Down The Highway`). Their music combines all the excitement of the world`s leading rock bands, packaged neatly into one tight commercial bundle.

Bad Company

Probably one of today`s most popular `commercial` rock and roll bands. They`ve hit the jackpot from the start with their single `Can`t Get Enough Of Your Love` and album `Bad Co` and second time round their album `Straight Shooter` is selling well. Stable mates to those `eavy boys Zeppelin, Bad Co is half of Free, Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) – the others Paul Kossoff (unemployed) and Andy Fraser (new band just formed) – plus Mick Ralphs (guitar) ex-Mott, and former King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell.

Jeff Beck

Beck can be as vicious as the heftiest of metallurgists, soft as a pigeon`s tail feather, depending on his mood, or his band, of the moment. Compare `Cause We`ve Ended Now As Lovers` with the savagery of his playing on the likes of `Plynth` (on Cosa Nostra Beck-Ola`) and see what I mean. Neither the Yardbirds (in which Beck replaced Eric Clapton) nor the brilliant Beck Group with Stewart, Wood and Waller was exactly heavy metal, but both were vital influences on the bands that made up the first division, first generation of the emerging muscular metal groups. Beck later joined Beck, Bogert, Appice, and joined the ranks of those who had followed on the lead of the old Beck bands. As usual, the results were sometimes spectacular, sometimes very ordinary. Beck quickly outgrew his desire to out-heavy the opposition, and moved on to more melodic and intricate music.

Bedlam

`Is Bedlam the new Cream` asked one music paper, well not quite, but Bedlam did revive a thrashing rock sound that was reminiscent of the late Sixties into a 70s package – a definite British sound that never quite made it. The band was formed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell who along with Dave Ball (guitar), his brother Dennis (bass) and singer Frank Aiello produced one album.

Black Oak Arkansas

The blond and bleached Jim Dandy Mangrum and Arkansan cohorts are the epitome of American raunch and roll. The band started about 13 years ago when they acquired their first bits of equipment from local schools, `they just got off probation a couple of years ago. Their success is the result of solid roadwork and an exciting live performance. On record they seem to lack that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Their new guitarist, 20 year old So` Bean, could put a change to that.

Black Sabbath

Highly popular, originally black magic, now big league metal band, Sabbath are currently slightly more mature in approach than they were say, with their first three albums. `Warning` a track on their first album produced by Roger Bain is definitely recommended. Had a hit with `Paranoid`. Currently hibernating.

Black Widow

Came out at the same time as Black Sabbath but never quite made it. Their music was in the same genre and they took the whole Black Magic thing one step further by culminating the show with a mock sacrifice featuring chief witch Alex Sanders and his wife. Got a lot of scandal press coverage.

Blue Cheer

Probably the closest thing to a critic`s idea of a Heavy Metal band. This powerhouse trio were an American interpretation of the Cream and the Yardbirds? Their weapon was volume, energy and simplicity and in `67 they pioneered a style which has remained with us ever since. Their rendition of Cochran`s `Summertime Blues` was a Heavy Metal anthem, a classic, those bombastic powerchords, throbbing bass blues and battering percussion sent the message home. The original line up featured Paul Whaley (drums), Dick Peterson (bass) and Leigh Stephens (guitar). Stephens left the band to record some solo albums and was replaced by Randy Holden, this also marked the end of the band for most people. They never bettered their first two efforts `Vincibus Eruptium` and `Outside Inside`.

Blue Oyster Cult

Probably the most competent of recent American heavy bands. Undeniably derivative, the B. O`Cult are nevertheless great fun. Surrealist lyrics and Buck Dharma`s sizzling guitar are the two things that strike you immediately. Their current `On Your Feet Or On Your Knees` double album is the best live rock effort for years.

Edgar Broughton Band

From the Midlands, and regarded as outcasts even in their family life, `Them Broughtons` started a rock and roll band. They got famous for benefits and free gigs, for the People`s Music, for endless versions of tunes like `Out Demons Out` and `Freedom`, and they gathered an audience that included some of the most loyal and relentless head-shakers and shoulder-joggers known to the British concert hall. In some ways they were close to the Third World War kind of thing – Preachin` revolution if not violence – and they`ve had their share of busts and court cases. These days they`re more into mime and theatre than the star right heads – down – and – people`s – boogie number but the WEEMEENIT set is still strong and faithful.

Brownsville Station

“We`re just aiming for that great E chord in the sky”, says the Station`s outspoken guitarist / vocalist Cub Koda. It seems this bombshell trio found it. Their music is raucous punk rock, tight, jam-free. They scored with their teenage anthem `Smoking In The Boys Room` which also sold well here. Henry `H-Bomb` Weck (drums) and Michael Lutz (bass) completed the trio. So far they`ve had two hit albums in the States – `Yeah` and `School Punks`.

Budgie

Loud three-piece Welsh band, first formed in 1968 when bassist Burke Shelley met one-time drummer Ray Phillips in a record shop. Their first album, released in July 1971, was produced by Roger Bain. Guitarist Tony Bourge pumps out a good bludgeoning riff, their numbers `Breadfan` and `Whisky River` are as good metal as you`ll hear anywhere. Phillips (now in a band called Woman) was replaced by Pete Boot (who has since joined Sweaty Betty) and the band`s current drummer is a guy called Steve Williams. Their fourth album `In For The Kill` just made the album charts last year. Their repertoire also includes numbers with eccentric titles: `Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman`, `A Crash Course In Brain Surgery` for example. Great stuff.

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CREAM 

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Cactus

Beck, Bogert and Appice without Beck? Cactus were probably what Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice got together to flex their muscles before the formation of BB&A. Featuring Rusty Day (vocals), Jim McCarthy (guitar), they released three albums in this form between 1970 and 1972 then split. Another Cactus without the original core of the band (ie Appice and Bogert) appeared on the scene, which seemed a pointless excercise.

Climax Chicago

Out of the blues boom came a thousand bands, each one aping the city blues of America and few of them making big waves. Foghat were one (see below) and the Climax Chicago Blues Band, with the influences inherent in the name, were another. They played a lot here around 69/70, didn`t get very far, and eventually made a more than respectable living in America – easing off the blues pedal and doing that boogie-metal thing a bit more. Hence they dropped the `Blues Band` tag. It`s a familiar story.

Alice Cooper

Shockrock. The name was enough to confuse people. When Alice Cooper (alias Vincent Furnier) and his Detroit cronies (Glen Buxton, guitar, Michael Bruce, guitar, Dennis Dunaway, bass and Neal Smith, drums) appeared on the scene, no one was ready. They were so unpopular that their mass dejection inspired Frank Zappa to sign them onto his label – Straight. They released two albums, `Pretties For You` and `Easy Action` in `69, and they bombed miserably. It wasn`t until the band moved to Warners that they got the visuals of their act and the music together, this resulted with the classic `Love It To Death` album in `71, followed by US hit single `I`m Eighteen` which was proclaimed a contemporary to `My Generation`. Their show progressed from mere hangings to simulated mutilations as the years progressed, their music became more theatrical. They scored in this country with `School`s Out` in `72, followed by `Elected`. The band peaked with `Billion Dollar Babies` in `73 and retired from touring, and a year later they released `Muscle Of Love` which was the first album to receive mass appraisal on a musical level by the press. Again they remained static for a year, Cooper has returned with Lou Reed`s former band backing him and a new album and show (`Welcome To My Nightmare`). The rest of the original band, whose future with Cooper is still not definite, are in the process of recording solo ventures. Cooper`s antics have lost their initial controversial appeal. Although it`s equally theatrical, somehow it seems oddly normal in this day and age.

Cream

They came along at just the right time, they were (almost) the first, and they were magnificent. Three musicians from jazz, rock and R&B backgrounds who called themselves, and were, the Cream – the first genuine `supergroup`. In 1966 they came wailing out of nowhere with Jack Bruce howling `I Feel Free` and Eric Clapton doing things on the fretboard that most people figured was sleight of hand, while Ginger Baker`s restrained thunder provided an indespensable bottom. All of a sudden those twelve bar clichès were as viable as yesterday`s papers, and everyone craned their necks to see how long Cream could fly. It was 1966 the dawn of Flower-Power, `Revolver` had warped a good few minds and paved the way for further psychedelic excess, San Francisco was the new Liverpool, and Dylan had disappeared, for the time being at least. An audience and a generation of performers had grown through pop and wanted something more challenging. Cream gave it them in no uncertain terms. At the critical moment when pop was beginning to take itself seriously and call itself rock, along came three musical colossi, as it then seemed, who asserted without need of proof that you could play rock with all the passion and technical skill of any other music, and still create riotous excitement. Hendrix as an instrumentalist and Pete Townshend, for a while, were the only other people even in the running. Clapton, a blues purist until Hendrix opened his ears to flash and pyrotechnics, blossomed in Cream: on the old blues classics he wrought wondrous changes, and on Brown and Bruce`s originals he positively went into orbit. Bruce had a fluid lyrical bass style and a voice like a chilling gale. Baker, in the best performances he has given before or since, could even make a cowbell speak. `Fresh Cream` their first album, and the electrifying impact of their live performances revolutionised rock. They set the trend for extended soloing, which is fully explored in the live half of their double album `Wheels Of Fire`. A second album `Disraeli Gears` had appeared meanwhile containing classics such as the haunting `Strange Brew` and `Tales Of Brave Ulysses`. Tours of Britain and America followed and unanimous critical and commercial success. Then in 1969 always plagued by internal dissent, they broke up; Clapton to go to the abortive Blind Faith and then solo. Baker also to Blind Faith, then his ill-fated Airforce, and Africa for a long while before returning with the Baker-Gurvitz Army: Jack Bruce to various jazz outfits, and solo work again with poet Pete Brown`s lyrics, before a brief spell with Mountain`s Leslie West and Corky Laing, and now of course his new group with Carla Bley and Mick Taylor. For a while the Cream mantle fell upon Mountain who ploughed the Cream furrow until it was a highway. But Mountain were not alone; Cream made changes in rock that ensured it would never be the same again.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Bachman Turner Overdrive FROM SOUNDS, May 17, 1975

Well, my dear friends of this musical blog – what has been happening since my last post? Well, on monday the blog almost didn`t have room for everyone coming here. It just EXPLODED with hits, and a lot of them were reading about Ian Hunter. My guess is that someone posted a link to my blog on a forum for Hunter-fans on Facebook. To whoever that did it – it went really well, you have showed me the power of the Hunters. And He saw that they were good and powerful. So I can never skip any articles with Hunter in the future – I must transcribe everything from here on. 😉
In the meantime, on Twitter, the REAL Mick Ralphs have been making friends with me – and I am deeply humbled by that act of kindness from such an important musical figure. He is following in the footsteps of other musicians of greatness, like Roger Fisher (Ex-Heart), Punky Meadows (Angel) and Lita Ford (if they haven`t unfriended me since the last time I checked). While it is a great honour to be friends with these legends of rock`n`roll, I am also just as grateful to those of you readers, while not so famous but equally talented in other ways, that visit this blog and gives me the motivation to keep going on. Thank you – now enjoy this next article – this time about those sturdy Canadians in BTO!

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`eard the one about the Randy Mormon?

Peter Makowski face to face with Bachman Turner Overdrive

There seems to be an inexplicable, invisible but understandable line of hypocrisy running between Randy Bachman the musician and Randy Bachman the person. Inexplicable because it doesn`t relate to or affect the band`s music which relies on sheer sympathetic energy between musicians devoid of any contrivance; understandable because after being in the business for so long barriers of cynicism are expected to appear.
With Bachman it`s not cynicism, it`s a thorough logistic assessment of how the music business should be run, which in his verbal dialogue might sound a little cold and precise but on paper couldn`t be truer.
Talking to Bachman is like talking to a manager who is willing to give you the facts. And I think it`s from this hard-earned experience that this little, unknown Canadian band have become big business in such a short space of time.
Bachman sat in contemplative pose, looking like a lumberjack guru, when I spoke to him in his hotel prior to BTO`s performance at the Glasgow Apollo.

Contradiction

Saying that Bachman is Mormon, doesn`t drink, doesn`t smoke, doesn`t pull chicks on the road and is a rock and roll star is almost a contradiction in itself. But maybe that could at the same time account for his clear headedness. Although externally his appearance is burly and aggressive all in all he seems to be quite a composed, laid back character.
The band have recently recorded a new album titled appropriately enough `Four Wheel Drive`. “It`s a progression for us,” Bachman reported happily, “nothing like heavy jazz rock like Yes who I think are a very progressive group. It`s a progression for us because we`re playing different kinds of rock and roll songs. Rock and roll songs go on for ever, we`re just exploring.
“We`ve had different, slight changes, but I find the people like basic rock and we`re selling to basic rock audiences. I could play really heavy guitar if I wanted to, classical or country `cause I grew up learning all that stuff. I could do it and I could probably expand our audience by another 10 per cent, but I`d lose 10 per cent who are buying what we`ve got now, so it`s a losing battle trying to please new people.
“I don`t believe in pleasing critics because they get their albums free and all they do is tear them apart, all I want to do is please the people who are buying our stuff.”
Has the recent recession in America (the band`s biggest money spinner) affected them at all?
“We were lucky,” Bachman replied, almost sounding grateful, “the recession doesn`t affect top products of any country. By the top products I don`t mean the best, I mean what the people want. There`s just been a recession in the States yeah, but nobody`s stopped buying beer, nobody`s stopped going out to concerts.
“All the three group shows, where we headlined, became two group shows, we were still on the top, we still got our money, we were still sellouts.”

As I mentioned before a lot of BTO`s success is derived from Bachman`s experiences and observation. In fact before BTO, when he played with the once top Canadian band Guess Who, Bachman spent a lot of time researching commercial records to see if it would help him come up with the right ingredients for a hit record, which it did.
“When I was in the Guess Who,” recalled Bachman, “we used to study obviously Lennon and McCartney, Brian Wilson and Georgie Fame. We used to study composers and very commercial groups `cause in those days there were no underground selling groups. You either had a single or you were gone.
“In Brave Belt, which eventually became BTO, we listened to other types of commercial group and that was the type of group who had wide appeal albums and singles – the Who, Creedence, Rolling Stones, Cream – simple groups who, if they were commercial, were not selling out.
“There are commercial bands like Paper Lace, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods who get together and write commercial songs, we don`t do that. We put together good album music, throw the album out on the market and usually a radio station picks up on a single and I`ll edit it.

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Commercial

“This is usually the case except for our new single called `Hey You`. We anticipated it being a single almost from the start, it just had a certain element that `Ain`t Seen Nothing Yet` had. And I don`t feel bad in doing that, trying to follow the success of a commercial single, because we`ve had all the album success and by having one we don`t seem to lost the other.”
It seems in America (and almost everywhere else come to think of it) that rock sensations come and go before you can say tricky Dicky Nixon, they`re in and out of the charts with a bullet. I asked Bachman to explain their sustaining their success.
“I think if you look at the bands that have come and gone you can pinpoint the exact moment they`ve gone. When they decide to do something heavy, something drastic. You get a simple rock group like us, if we try to do something like King Arthur and his magical knights of the round table, you know Houdini`s magic show, we`d just lose our fans. If we keep doing what comes naturally then we`ll be okay.

“You look at a group who have been obliterated. It could be managerial problems. I agree a lot of rock and roll bands go under pressure and strains but we don`t have any of them. We make the basic decisions deciding what we`re going to do, how long we`re going out for. Our manager comes with us on the road and when we`re tired of being on the road, then he`s just as tired.
“We don`t have a fat New York manager in a Cadillac with his briefcase and cigar saying `give me my percentage, stay out another month, you`re doing great`. I`ve gone through this with Guess Who.
“We don`t have any of those problems because our manager is like a part of the group, he travels with us, he thinks how we think because we have very open discussions. When it`s down to making a decision he basically knows what we want to do, how long we want to work, how much money we want to make, once you make enough money there`s no point in going crazy and have ten million dollars compared to two million.

Happiness

“When you can buy anything you want it doesn`t matter how much excess money you have. That`s not really why we`re happy. We`re happy because we have a very good schedule, we enjoy the music we`re playing and we enjoy relating to the people that are buying our product.
“A good case of managerial problems is Buffalo Springfield, they were one of America`s greats and one of my favourite bands. When they found that they were one of the biggest underground bands and heading to being one of THE big groups they all looked around and said `you know we`re broke, we don`t have enough to pay our rent or buy guitar strings`.
“They ended it because they didn`t like their management. That`s one reason why a group doesn`t last and the other is some drastic artistic change, and we`ll never drastically change, if we evolve it`ll be something natural.”
As Bachman indicated earlier, he seems to have varied amounts of musical influences and the last time I interviewed him he was promising a solo album. I asked him when this project would crystalise.
“I probably won`t do it for a while. I don`t want to do it while I`m on the road and we`re in the process of building our own studio, we have to decide which country it`s going to be in because there`s quite a few implications with Canadian and American recordings and I`m not going to start on a solo album until I`ve done a BTO album in the studio.
“If I do a solo album, it`ll be something drastic,” Bachman concluded…not that drastic because I want it to sell.”

The debut of what became a very big band - Journey!

The debut of what became a very big band – Journey!

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Roxy Music, Steve Hillage, Bobby Bland, Maria Muldaur, Barry White, Allen Toussaint, Nils Lofgren, Bay City Rollers, Neil Young, Dave Greenslade, Status Quo, Yes, Link Wray, Ladies in rock, Hedgehog Pie, Van Der Graaf Generator.

This edition is sold.

ARTICLE ABOUT BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, November 30, 1974

Since last time I`ve had a massive response to the article about Yes. I am surely going to print more articles from that band when I find them. BUT, that doesn`t mean I`ll go “commercial” and print only what I think will get more views on the blog. Not at all – and in line with that philosophy, here is an article with an “unfashionable” band – Bachman-Turner Overdrive. I recommend to check them out – they have some nice songs in their catalog.

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Loud rhythmic noises

– And that`s not all. Bachman-Turner Overdrive also have teen-appeal and an incredibly complicated history…which Andrew Weiner struggles to unravel…

Bachman-Turner Overdrive are currently Canada`s most successful rock band. At least they`re the most successful still living and working there – because The Band, who are 80% Canadian, fled from the land of folk-wimps and Mounties a good while ago.
B.T.O. have had three consecutive U.S. Top 20 albums – two still in the charts and certified gold – something no gang of axe-wielding Canucks has achieved before.
They also boast a U.S. singles hit. So, for that matter, do The Guess Who – lots of them – but they don`t sell albums like BTO.
Actually, to make it Really Big in the (admittedly improving) Canadian rock wilderness, a performer has to make it in the States first: witness N. Young and J. Mitchell, who wanted to be Yanks and so moved to where the action was – or at least appeared to be.
BTO fall into line with this trend, making out in the U.S. of A. where nationality is irrelevant as long as the music sounds American – or more precisely, North American. Which it does.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive are a rock band. Their hit albums are much more important than their hit singles (though “Let It Ride” was a good hamburger-bar hit at the very least).
Their live gigs are much more important to them than TV. BTO have a certain audience and they know exactly who that audience is and what they like and how to reach them. They have the late highschool/early college rock audience, the Grand Funk generation, kids who were maybe 11 or 12 at the height of the halcyon youthcult days.
Yet BTO spring directly from The Guess Who.
Founder and lead guitarist Randy Bachman was one of the founders of the original Guess Who and for a long time their lead guitarist and co-composer of many of their hits.
All that goes back a long way, all the way back to Winnipeg in 1959, to a band called Al and the Silvertones led by a singer called Chad Allen.

Al and the Silvertones became Chad Allen and the Expressions, and broke through to brief US success in the early `60s with a passable cover version of Johnny Kidd`s “Shaking All Over”. They went out on a Dick Clark one-hit-wonder package tour and quickly slipped back into obscurity.
Around 1965 they became known as The Guess Who. They smashed up their equipment to cash in on the notoriety of The Who…Chad Allen quit – he wanted to go to university…Burton Cummings stepped in as lead singer.
And they broke through, first of all with “These Eyes”, which was supposed to be “wheatfield soul”, and then with a whole string of hits, latching on to any flicker of teen culture that they could.
Burton Cummings developed a pretty fair Jim Morrison pose, Randy Bachman borrowed a lot of Hendrix riffs, Spirit riffs, Stones riffs, any riffs he could find lying around. The Guess Who rode with the tide.

Randy Bachman quit in 1970. He was sick, he needed a rest, he had to go into hospital. He hadn`t been getting on well with the rest of the band. A converted Mormon (no alcohol, dope, tea, coffee, immorality) he wanted no part of all the partyings and the dope and the groupies that came with success.
The parting was amicable at first, but became less so with the passage of time. Burton Cummings now says unpleasant things to magazines about Bachman, and Bachman in turn suggests that The Guess Who must need the publicity.
“I saw them on TV a while back,” he told Creem magazine. “And they looked like they`d just stepped off a garbage truck.” BTO themselves are doing well enough now, but the bad press hurt in the beginning, when Bachman was struggling to get his first band, Brave Belt, off the ground.

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Brave Belt were formed initially to back Chad Allen on record in his attempted comeback. Bachman brought in his brothers Rob (on drums) and Tim (on rhythm guitar). They became a band and they made two albums, neither of which sold particularly well. The band lost their contract.
They wanted to go out on the road and tour, all of them but Chad Allen – who quit because he couldn`t face going through all that again.
So the Brothers Bachman brought in C.F. Turner and Bachman-Turner Overdrive were born.
Based in Winnipeg, they recorded a first album in Toronto, acquiring a contract with Mercury. The album, “Bachman-Turner Overdrive One”, came out and BTO went on the road to sell it, playing the music the kids wanted to hear: much heavier music than that of Brave Belt or The Guess Who.
They played long and for little reward…and then the radio stations picked up on the album.
The band issued a second LP, “BTO Two”.
A single from it “Let It Ride”, hit big and helped push the first two albums into the Top 20. Tim Bachman quit to take up producing. A new co-lead guitarist, Blair Thornton, stepped in. The band relocated in Vancouver. They made a third album, “Not Fragile”, which recently followed its predecessors up the chart.

A classic success story, perhaps, BTO went out and worked, really worked, for their success. They didn`t go for the cheap gimmick – the bubble gum hit…they left all that to The Guess Who.
If BTO have any image at all, it`s an image that exactly corresponds to their reality: as a fat, happy, supremely ordinary bunch of guys playing in a supremely ordinary but extremely hard-working high-pressure boogie band.
American kids like hard-working bands. They liked Grand Funk, who also worked monumentally hard.
It`s still hard to describe BTO`s music.
It`s nothing new. It`s all been done before, but never in quite this combination.
On record the two guitarists play model solos which seem to be a superior pastiche of the best of Hendrix and Spirit and the Stones.
The songs are by no means memorable, but they hold your attention. They have a lot of variation and they have a lot of density. Bachman is an excellent producer.

Mostly, they boogie. Most of their words are about boogieing on and on. The title cut of “Not Fragile” is a lot of bragging about how heavy they are – and they mostly are, too. Heavy, and yet with a fluidity…about their music which bands like Sabbath or Grand Funk never approach. Very dexterously-played and skilfully-arranged heavy boogie music, with dynamics, like mid-period Led Zep.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive are the most proficient Canadian rock band I`ve ever heard.
Technically, they`re way ahead of their competition, clearly much more committed to their music than The Guess Who, who seem to stumble nearer and nearer to disintegration.
And yet…I`d have to say that my favourite Canadian band are The Guess Who, and by a very long way.

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Never knew anything about this band, but now I know about them – and so do you! 😉

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Elton John, The Crystals, Yes, John Sebastian, Fanny, Rod Stewart, Johnny Winter, Frank Zappa, Magna Carta, Ray Shulman (Gentle Giant).

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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