A lot of big titles get thrown around in the entertainment industry, often with more pomp than actual substance. But when Randy Buchman is referred to as ‘the architect of Canadian rock and roll’, there’s little hyperbole in the statement.
Randy Bachman Songwriters Niagara Falls
Randy Bachman Guess Whoe
Buchman is most recognisable to musical aficionados from the two iconic bands he assembled. The first was co-founded with Chad Allen, to form a band that would eventually become known as the Guess Who: a pop/blues rock band still touring with a new line-up today. Their 1960s work was hugely successful in Canada but met more humble success elsewhere, although songs like ‘American Woman’ have endured through more recent covers.
Bachman left the group around 1970 due to health issues at the time, combined with creative differences. He already had a solo album out by the end of 1970 and in the next year he formed the band Brave Belt with fellow Guess Who member Chad Allen. Their first efforts were valiant but relatively unsuccessful, and Allen left while Bachman reorganised Brave Belt for a new album, adding Winnipeg vocalist Fred Turner. Brave Belt II didn’t fare much better, but the band’s third album came with a restyling and rebranding, being known as Bachman–Turner Overdrive as of 1973.
Randy Bachman BTO
BTO won’t need any introduction to anyone familiar with 70s rock. They released two self-titled albums in 1973, beginning a four-year period of quickly growing fame across North America. Even today some of their keystone songs from the period – ‘Takin Care of Business’, ‘Let it Ride’, ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ – are still massively iconic.
By the time of their sixth album, Freeways, in 1976, the band members were burnt out from extensive production and touring. Buchman would leave that same year to pursue solo projects, and BTO would disband by 1979. Since then the original line-up has reunited several times for new albums and anniversary tours.
Randy Bachman in Niagara Falls
Bachman is currently touring across the US and Canada. In Niagara Falls, he’s billed to appear at the Fallsview Resort on September 24, 2016 as part of the Songwriters program, sharing some of the stories behind his work, mixed with a performance of some of his greatest hits. It’s a great chance to spend time with the influential musician who has certainly earned the ‘architect of Canadian rock and roll’ title.
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