National Treasure #79: Randy Bachman

Answers to both Back-man and Bock-man, but uses the former.

Founding member of two iconic Canadian bands – The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive – as well as a successful solo artist.

Co-author of American Woman as part of The Guess Who. Recorded Takin’ Care of Business with Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Quintessential industry insider and raconteur on CBC’s Vinyl Tap. This last week’s theme is “Seven Word Titles (Part 2).”

Officer of the Order of Canada. Two-time inductee to Canada’s Walk of Fame. Recipient of Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

Can’t read music, but has what he calls a “phonographic memory” – hear it, play it – and an honourary Doctorate of Music from Brandon University.

Marriages: two. Children: seven.

Born in 1943; still touring. We heard him in concert in Glendale AZ a few years ago.

You can enjoy Vinyl Tap episodes here.

You can listen to a 30-minute interview here.

You can enjoy these performances:

She’s Come Undone (live performance; Randy on guitar, Burton Cummings singing)

Takin’ Care of Business (album version; Randy playing and singing)

Now, I’m not an expert, but I’d say he’s a better guitarist and songwriter than singer. But if he were only a storyteller, I’d still consider him a national treasure.


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4 Responses to National Treasure #79: Randy Bachman

  1. JimTaylor says:

    I dunno. Yes, he’s made a huge contribution as musician and songwriter — and singer, as you note — but it seems to me his main contribution has been as storyteller. I’m thinking of his CBC programs. No one else (not even Tom Allen) is able to get behind the song and tell us what went on in its composition and/or performance, certainly not as entertainingly. (Does that make him the entertainingest?)
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – I agree – his true gift is as a storyteller. Of course, if he hadn’t been a participant for all those years, he wouldn’t know the stories, so it’s a bit hard to disentangle, maybe. (And yes, if he’s entertainingier than everyone else, he must be the entertainingest.)

  2. Alison says:

    I agree, I like him on CBC far more than I ever did as a performer. Good show to listen to as I sew.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Alison – It shows again, I think, that lots of things (maybe most things) can be interesting when the knowledgeable someone also has the storytelling gene.

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