Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Rock Star Bachman is Hot; Is He Headed to Hall of Fame?
TORONTO, CANADA -- More than 35 years after his first hit, "Shakin' All
Over," LDS rock star Randy Bachman is hot again. His first band, "The Guess
Who" reunited this summer after nearly 30 years, going on a sold-out reunion
tour. The songs he made popular with his band "Bachman Turner Overdrive" are
being used by both sides in the US presidential campaign. He has penned,
with John Einarson, an autobiography, and is currently on a book tour. And
now fans have started an on-line petition to get "The Guess Who" in
Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As the defacto leader of the Canadian band "The Guess Who," Bachman was part
of the group's songwriting duo, along with Burton Cummings. But after
outselling the Beatles in 1970, the group fell apart, in part because
Bachman, who joined the LDS Church in 1965, was uncomfortable with the
'rock-n-roll' lifestyle that other group members enjoyed.
Bachman went on to form "Bachman Turner Overdrive" coming up with such hits
as "Takin' Care of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" before that
group also fell apart in the late 1970s. Since then none of the group have
had the same level of success. Bachman's career also suffered as he
struggled through a Temple divorce from his first wife.
But Bachman's career has taken off again in the past few years. After a
special reunion concert last year, "The Guess Who" decided to put on a
reunion tour, which has been met with phenomenal success. The tour dates
have sold out, almost without exception. "We're still in awe of the public
response and in each other. It's like 110%." Now the band will play a
half-time show for the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup on November 26th.
The band has also taped a two-hour CBC TV special scheduled to broadcast on
During the tour, Burton Cummings assigned an assistant to analyze the 28
shows as they were performed, so that he could go through later and select
material for a new "live" double album to be released next month. Drawing on
his talents, Bachman will do the mixing, "I haven't even started the album
yet," he said. "Burton's been listening to 28 shows, 35 songs; that's 500
performances. Apparently, I have to mix them. It makes sense to have it out
by the time the TV show is on or right after the Grey Cup for that home
stretch to Christmas."
Also this year, the marketing cache of Bachman's music has taken off. The
Guess Who hit "American Woman" was used for commercials during the recent
2002 Olympic Games. His BTO hits "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and "Takin'
Care of Business" were both used by the presidential campaigns in the US,
and "Takin' Care of Business" has been used by Staples for some of its
commercials. Staying close to his values, Bachman has refused opportunities
to use the songs to promote alcoholic beverages.
This past week, an on-line petition that seeks to put "The Guess Who" in the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has made the news. The petition, on-line at
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/tfh1/petition.html , now has 1,587
signatures and is currently #12 on the sites list of most popular petitions.
Should "The Guess Who" be inducted, Bachman would become the first Mormon to
make the Hall of Fame for work while an LDS Church member. The only current
Mormon on the list, Gladys Knight, was inducted in 1996, before she joined
the LDS Church.
Observers worry that like Bachman's previous fame, it could all come apart
again. One possible source of trouble is Bachman's new autobiography,
"Takin' Care of Business," in which Burton Cummings doesn't come across very
well. Bachman says he has already done some damage control, "I don't know if
everybody mentioned in the book has read it 'cause it's still quite new,"
said Bachman. "I read it about six months ago and I felt the need to contact
some people and make some apologies." But he also said that he felt like he
had to do the book, just to get his own view of the story out. "There was
going to be a book done anyway by some other guy. I had the chance to
collaborate, at least get a true, honest story line. And (co-author) John
(Einarson) told me it can't be a whitewash. I can't be goody-goody. Whatever
so-and-so wants to say about me, let them say it, it's history. I would have
preferred to not have my soul or my life bared."
Bachman's in overdrive
Toronto Canada Sun 17Oct00 A2
By Jane Stevenson: Toronto Sun
Guess Who double live album in November
Jam! Showbiz 12Oct00 A2
By Paul Cantin: Senior Reporter JAM! Showbiz
Guess Who is touted for Hall of Fame
Winnipeg Canada Sun 13Oct00 A2
By John Kendle: Winnipeg Sun
Mormon News' Coverage of LDS Rocker Randy Bachman