Backstage Pass: Randy Bachman, Part I

BONUS: Click here to read Part 2 of the Backstage Pass interview with Randy Bachman!

Canada?s Randy Bachman is a true musical icon to millions of fans worldwide.

As guitarist for The Guess Who, he tasted success with hits like ?These Eyes,? “Undun,? “No Time? and the #1 single ?American Woman? in 1970.

He left that group to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1973, and the hits kept on a-comin?: ?Roll On Down The Highway,? “Takin? Care Of Business,? “Let It Ride? and another #1 single, “You Ain?t Seen Nothing Yet,? in 1974.

Bachman recently charted a single in Canada, a re-working of the old Del Shannon hit ?Runaway,? that comes from his new Anthology CD. He spoke about his relationship with Burton Cummings, their comeback tour as The Guess Who several years ago, and his new CD in this two-part interview, which continues in the next issue.

Goldmine: Tell me about Anthology.

Randy Bachman: Joe Reagoso, who is a really good friend of mine from way, way back, got this great label, Friday Music, going and has some really great releases. He offered to release some of my reissues of The Guess Who, which sold really well, and then he asked if we could just throw together an Anthology. Not a ?Greatest Hits,? because there are many compilations of greatest hits of both The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. I?d been sending Joe my own personal demos for years, and he came up with a list of what he thought would be interesting to my fans. Not the greatest hits which they already have, but some demos, some unreleased music, some songs I did especially for ?tribute? projects and a bit of my jazz side.

GM: Several years ago the core members of The Guess Who reunited, and the result was the CD and DVD Running Back Through Canada. How much fun was that to participate in?

RB: It was a total blast and a sort of healing process to reunite with The Guess Who and do the touring we did. We captured it on the live DVD and CD, which became bestsellers in Canada and was a great historical documentation of the five-year run. It truly was like getting back on your childhood bike and just taking a ride down your old neighborhood street ? fun to revist and a great ride.

However, The Guess Who project was not bulletproof and just slowly wound down. We didn?t own the name collectively, and the ?rent? we had to pay to use the name became prohibitive. Once the fun was gone from the touring, fan adulation, sellouts and great reviews, it didn?t make any sense financially to go forward. So, we just stopped.

GM: I know late last year a DVD appeared in Canada with you and Burton Cummings. You also recently did a PBS show. Suffice to say, the two of you obviously have a complementary friendship to continue touring and working together, right?

From the moment we decided to stop The Guess Who machine, offers started to pour in for just Burton Cummings and myself. When Burton and I got inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in spring of ’06, the phone starting ringing for ?Bachman & Cummings.?

Sony/BMG released a compilation of the original masters of the greatest hits of both The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive as a celebration of the songs Burton and I wrote. To our joy, the Bachman-Cummings Song Book went double platinum in Canada. Then we did a TV show that got expanded into a best-selling DVD.
We finished a PBS special, which aired in Detroit to great response. It was to announce and celebrate the release of the Bachman-Cummings Song Book CD and concert DVD ?First Time Around.? Now it?s going to several hundred PBS markets from now ’til the fall.

Burton and I feel very fortunate and bless

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