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Randy Bachman

Posted by phduffy on 2006-02-20 23:04:31
4 forum posts
I was able to get a ticket to see Randy Bachman's Every Song Tells a Story tour last Friday. Not having paid for this show, or even had much of an interest in going, I wasn't expecting much, nor did I really know what was going to happen at the show.

We got there and got our seats, and out came Matt Anderson, the very large opening act. Apparently he's a blues singer from the East Coast, and is nominated for an East Coast music award. He came out, told some jokes and played some blues.

There was nothing wrong with his performance. Some might even say it was good. But he suffered the same fate as most opening performances, namely, Who the Fuck is Matt goddamned Anderson? He kept it short and made us laugh though, so it's all good.

Next up was slimmed Randy Bachman, who came out with 3 other band members. They immediately broke into Prairie Town, the acoustic version. After that Bachman told the story of how he came to write Prairie Town, and told us what the night would contain: he'd tell us how he wrote a song, then he'd play it.

This might seem like a boring way to do a rock concert, but in actual fact, it is quite kickass. Particularly for someone like Bachman, who actually has interesting stories. I'm not sure how much fun it would be if all the stories revolved around getting high and writing a song, or thinking about how much you hated high school and calling your song Shut Up!

Anyways, about one third of the stories he tells are basically about how he ripped off song ideas, names, and music from other bands. Bob Dylan is mentioned a couple of times. He also plays one of his songs (I think it was No Time), then tells the story of first playing that on tour with the Doobie brothers. Then he plays a Doobie brothers song that opens with the same rift and makes the comment that he's not the only one to rip someone off.

There's lots of interesting stories, and part of the fun is guessing which song he's talking about when he's telling a story. And you'd be surprised at how many songs you'll recognize, even if you're not a Guess Who/BTO fan: These Eyes, No Sugar Tonight, Let it Ride, Laughing, No Time, American Woman, Takin' Care of Business, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet... even if you don't recognize all those songs, you'll recognize the music.

The story of Takin' Care of Business is particularly interesting... Bachman was a huge Beattles fan, and wanted to write a song like "Paperback Writer" that detailed the life of a man. While recording in New York, he worked with a producer who had to leave every night to take the train home, and get up early in the morning to take the 8:15 into the city. The original chorus was "White... Collar Worker..." in the style of "Paperbaaaack Wriiiiitteerrrr", ie, very high pitched.

When he pitched the song to his bandmates in the Guess Who (yes, the Guess Who) they said "Randy, you can't straight up steal a song like that, think of another idea". Years later, while with BTO, he figured out Takin' Care of Business, while performing at a club and needing a song for people to dance to. (Also, the guy who came up with the piano part for TCB was the pizza delivery guy at their Seattle studio, who asked if he could lay down some piano, after he heard them playing. He left the tape overnight, and they used it. They had to order some pizzas first though, so they could figure out his name)

Oh yeah, apparently Bachman came up with the music for American Woman while in Kitchener at the Glen Briar curling club. This kind of sounds like the story you'd change in each locale, but he knew the name of the old curling club, and he knew that it had been changed into a hardware store, so I'll give him that.

Alot of the songs, particularly from the Guess Who period, weren't actually song by Bachman, since he didn't sing the originals, Burton Cummings did. So he had his keyboard player do it, and he did a fantastic job. Also, Bachman doesn't have any old in his voice. He's still a strong, powerfull speaker.

Anyways, this show kicked ass, and I'd recommend that anyone who likes the Guess Who/BTO (who composed 2 of the 3 parts of the infamous Canadian AssKick Triple Pack) go see this show. it was excellent.
  4 forum posts