BTO’s Fred Turner Retiring from Touring

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According to a March 2018 post on the social media pages of Randy Bachman, the guitarist’s partner in Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Fred Turner, is retiring from touring. Bachman posted: “After touring for over 50 years, singer/bassist Fred Turner of Bachman Turner Overdrive and Bachman & Turner has decided to retire from the road. This talented man has been a friend of mine for a long time. I’m grateful for the joyful music and years we’ve had together. While he has earned a well-deserved break, I’m going to keep going for as long as I can. Hats off to Fred for a tremendous legacy of rock. Not many can shriek like this man!”

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, also known as BTO, formed in Canada in 1973 from the ashes of a band called Brave Belt, which Randy Bachman formed after leaving the Guess Who. In 1973, BTO was created, with an original lineup that included Randy Bachman (lead guitar, lead vocals), Fred Turner (bass, lead vocals), Tim Bachman (guitar, vocals) and Robbie Bachman (drums). Following the departure of Tim Bachman and the addition of Blair Thornton on lead guitar, thee band’s commercial prospects brightened, with the back-to-back single hits “Takin’ Care of Business,” which reached #12 in the U.S. and “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” a #1 hit.

Related: Best Classic Bands’ interview with Randy Bachman, on BTO and the Guess Who

Fred Turner (left) and Randy Bachman (Photo from Bachman’s Facebook page)

BTO would ultimately place 12 singles on the charts in the U.S., and 11 albums, including the 1974 #1 Not Fragile. In Canada, meanwhile, they were superstars, winning several Juno awards and being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

Randy Bachman left the group in 1977 and the group continued without him, its name abbreviated to BTO. Several full and partial group reunions have taken place in the years since, and the Bachman and Turner reunited in 2010, simply calling themselves Bachman and Turner, using other musicians to fill out the lineup. Bachman and Turner were also inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2011.

Watch BTO perform “Takin’ Care of Business” live in 1974

Robbie Bachman died on Jan. 12, 2023.

Best Classic Bands Staff

6 Comments so far

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  1. Rob
    #1 Rob 13 March, 2018, 00:12

    Not Fragile was the first rock album I ever bought in the early 70s. Man, I still love Sledgehammer. I bought an Overdrive fuzz box just to sound like them, my parents hated that thing, and I’ve still got it and it works like a beauty.

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  2. Guidopm7
    #2 Guidopm7 13 March, 2018, 10:00

    I also loved Not Fragile and even tolerated Four Wheel Drive thanks to “Hey You” – probably my favorite BTO song. They were a part of the soundtrack of my youth!

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  3. ZEDBRIT 1
    #3 ZEDBRIT 1 13 March, 2018, 13:35

    Randy Bachman is an authentic genius. As co-founder of two relatively successful bands, there are few musicians of any genre who can make this claim. Wonderful to see that his home country, Canada, has recognized his greatness by inducting both GW and BTO into their music HOF. Unfortunately, their American equivalent has failed to do so. However, I believe BTO, my all-time favorite rockers, deserves the nod to be in the RRHOF.

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  4. Peter from Holland
    #4 Peter from Holland 14 March, 2018, 16:00

    Pitty ! We loved the sound op CF ! Respect for good old Fred, 50 years of R&R is a long time, not many artist can say the same. For me BTO and BT are one of the most important bands in my life.

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  5. Fid
    #5 Fid 1 September, 2019, 18:45

    I can’t believe “Not Fragile” went to number one but their previous 2 albums did not. Their first two albums had all great cuts on them – no fillers and no bad songs. IMHO, Not Fragile had three awful songs “Sledge Hammer” (yuk! why do they continue to perform it?), “Givin’ It all Away” and “Freewheelin'” – all should have a Mr. Yuck sticker on them. The rest of the album is pretty good.

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