Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer treats fans to an evening of music and stories



By Jean P. Labelle


I first heard of Randy Bachman when he was with the Canadian rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive, better known as BTO back in 1974.


With hits such as "Takin' Care of Business", "Roll on Down the Highway", and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", the group and Randy, would be forever remembered by the kids of that generation as one of Canada's musical legends.


Fast forward 37 years and I find myself in the company of Randy Bachman and about a hundred other fans at the Southminster United Church in Old Ottawa South.


For the past few years, Randy has been hosting a radio show called "Vinyl Tap" on CBC Radio to play his favourite songs and tell stories from his life on the road and in the studio.


He has now released a book containing many of these stories and took the stage last night to share some of them with us.

Randy seems to have an endless pool of material and the man is a fantastic raconteur!


Tales of his travels, how his songs came to be, dropping names of some of the greatest rock-and-roll stars of the world; all told in full colour and humour to spare kept us all rapt, keen and hanging on every word.


He is the type of person that you could imagine yourself sitting in the pub with over a few cold ones and just be mesmerized for hours on end by his stories. One interesting fact that I did not know was that Randy has never smoked, drank alcohol or taken drugs of any sort - definitely not the picture you may have of your typical rock and roll star. So Randy, if we ever do end up in that pub one day, I'll buy you endless glasses of Ginger Ale or Cola!


Of course Randy had his guitar with him and he demonstrated how some of his greatest hits came to be by showing us the initial chord progressions and even a song that came to be by simply tuning his guitar.


It was a great night and I enjoyed myself immensely as I'm sure everyone else did.


You can catch Randy on the CBC here:


And be sure to be on the lookout for his book: