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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended October 20, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 17Oct00

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 November 19th.

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 , 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

See also:

Mormon News' Coverage of LDS Rocker Randy Bachman


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information