Bachman-Turner Overdrive

BTO, the band that owned the mid 1970s. Another long hair, earthy, guitar riff band. This was working class, beer drinking rock and roll.

I saw Randy Bachman in concert back in 2018, about 40 years after I saw BTO live, with Electric Light Orchestra. I remember more about ELO, who were ascending, whereas BTO had plateaued, but had a big collection of radio hits.

Randy Bachman concert (read my blog)

I enjoyed that concert, Bachman was a solid entertainer and storyteller. He had just released a CD dedicated to George Harrison.

So, why am I writing about Randy Bachman and BTO? I saw a taped concert of Bachman and BTO bassist Fred Turner, taped from about a decade ago. Bachman and Turner occasionally toured together, playing their old BTO songs.

Those songs are now more than four decades old and there have been many changes to popular music styles since then. Although vinyl records faced a extinction from cassettes, CDs and streaming, vinyl has made a strong comeback. BTO songs never really completely faded, aging Boomers saw to that. Classic rock radio, commercials, films and lice concerts have kept “Takin’ Care of Business” and other songs alive.

The musicianship is still there, and for guys pushing 70 when these videos were made, what’s not to like? These guys were never music video handsome, this was gritty, flannel and denim, sweaty rock and roll.

Turner retired from touring in 2018. He was retired before Bachman approached him in 2010 to sing on his solo album and liked the results so much that it launched Bachman & Turner, and they hit the road. You might recall that the members of BTO were heavyweights, literally. I the years since, both Bachman and Turner have worked to manage their weights. Turner in particular, has shed 100 pounds since the 1970s..

2 thoughts on “Bachman-Turner Overdrive

  1. I was just thinking of them this past New Year’s Eve. I remember watching them on one of those early Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve shows. My younger brother had one of their LPs. Your basic nuts and bolts, workingman’s hard rock band. Add one more guitar and a Dixie twang and they’d fit right in with Southern Rock (despite their being Canucks).


    1. Workingman’s hard rock is a good way of describing them. Utilitarian without a lot of bells and whistles. Didn’t have the staying power of Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s interesting how Bachman essentially disappeared from the charts after BTO broke up, although he has carved out a long career in the biz.


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