Randy Bachman is living proof that not all Canadian men are steamy hunks of grade-A man-meat. Sure, the overwhelming majority of us are, but Randy Bachman isn’t. Looking at the size of Randy Bachman in this video though, I would NEVER say that to his face. He is a mountain of a man. Unlike his brother on drums, who looks like my auntie Edith.
I think this is how BTO was formed: Chad Allan started a band in 1960 called Al and the Silvertones and then changed names to Chad Allan and the Reflectionsin 1962. Randy Bachman was the lead guitarist. A few years later the band changed its name again to Chad Allan and the Expressions, because some other group called The Reflections crowded them out.
In 65, the group scored a major hit by singing a rendition of Shaking All Over by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates. Quality Records, the company that signed Chad Allan & The Expressions, attributed the song to “Guess Who?” (it was some sort of marketing ploy to build up mystique towards the band). Even after Quality Records announced the single was from Chad Allan, everyone now called the band The Guess Who.
From there, Bob Ashley left the group in 1965, Burton Cummings joined the band, a few months later Chad Allan left. The Guess Who stuck around for 5 more years until Bachman had enough of Cummings nitwittery and left. Randy then went back to Winnipeg and formed the group Brave Belt in 71 with brother Robbie and Chad Allan. Brave Belt came out with two albums but eventually tanked. We call this in Canada, “The Chad Allan Effect”, like, “Wow man, you really Chad Allan’d that test, loser.”
Randy then brought in his other brother Tim as a second guitarist. And here’s where things get pretty weird.
Bachman’s demo tape was rejected 26 times. He was about to give up and get a job, when amazingly, Charlie Fach of Mercury Records came back from a trip from France to find his desk stacked with unplayed demos. He swiped all the tapes off his desk and into a garbage can, but one tape missed and fell on the floor. He noticed that the tape had the name Bachman on it, and he remembered Randy from a previous encounter. He had told Randy that if he ever got a demo together to send it to him.
He called Bachman and signed him to a record deal. But before he would sign him,the band would have to get rid of their incredibly gay name. And that’s where BTO came in. And I’m not sure how they got the Overdrive Part of the name, but who cares, my story kicked major ass.
I have another story and it involves a dwarf, a roll of duct-tape and a 26er of top shelf hooch, but I’m going to save it for another day.
There are so many BTO songs to choose from, but this is the only one I could find where the boys played to a prison crowd in some remote jail in Nowhereville Manitoba or whatever. At first I thought the crowd was sitting on their collective hands, but they were probably handcuffed, or messed up on glue. Glue sniffin’ inbreds.
So there you go, there’s a little history lesson. You are now 3x as smart as you were when you woke up this morning.