Robbie Bachman, drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive, dead at 69

Robbie Bachman, founding drummer of Bachman-Turner Overdrivehas died at the age of 69.

The rocker’s death was confirmed by his brother and former bandmate, Randy Bachman.

“Another sad departure,” the frontman tweeted. “The pounding beat behind BTO, my little brother Robbie has joined mum, dad and brother Gary on the other side. maybe Jeff Beck need a drummer! He was an integral cog in our rock ‘n’ roll machine and we rocked the world.”

The Bachman brothers grew up playing together in their home in Winnipeg, Canada and became natural collaborators. It was Randy who gave Robbie his first job, hiring the drummer to join him and bassist Fred Turner in the band Brave Belt in 1971. A third Bachman, guitarist Tim, joined Brave Belt a year later.

After two unsuccessful albums, Brave Belt was dropped by their label. Undeterred, the band searched for a new home. At the suggestion of management, they began calling themselves Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

The same band, but with a new name, Bachman-Turner Overdrive released theirs self-titled debut in 1973. Commercial success continued to elude the group, but later that year they released a second LP, Bachman-Turner Overdrive II. That album contained BTO’s first Top 40 single, “Let It Ride,” which peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s second single would catapult the group to stardom: “Takin’ Care of Business.”

The hits kept coming for BTO, like their third album, 1974’s Not fragile, reached No. 1 in the US “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” became a massive chart hit, while follow-up single “Roll On Down the Highway” continued the band’s success. The latter track was co-written by Robbie, one of a handful of classic tunes he helped write.

“We didn’t tell anybody they were wrong or something was bad or don’t do it. It was basically, have a good time, fun music,” Robbie recalled looking back on the band’s success during a 2014 interview with the band. Toronto Star. “Just coming out of the ’70s with the Vietnam War and all the political stuff going on — in Canada with Trudeau, and Richard Nixon and stuff — we just basically had enough of that stuff.”

As the 70s progressed, BTO’s popularity gradually waned. The band members began to argue about their musical direction, and in 1977 Randy Bachman left the group.

Bachman–Turner Overdrive continued without their original vocalist and recruited Jim Clench to fill Randy’s shoes. The band released two albums with their new singer, the 1978s Street Action and the 1979s Rock ‘n’ Roll nightsNone of them moved the needle.

BTO disbanded in 1980, but reformed with Randy back as frontman in 1983. Robbie chose not to be part of the reunion, citing disagreements over business and trademark issues. As such, Bachman-Turner Overdrivereleased in 1984, would be the band’s only studio album not to feature Robbie’s playing.

The drummer eventually returned to Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1988 and remained with the group until they disbanded again in 2005. After a hiatus, Randy and Turner revived BTO again in 2009, but due to ongoing legal battles, Robbie turned down the chance to join again. group. He did, eventually taking the stage with the classic lineup again in 2014 when Bachman-Turner Overdrive was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

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