Robbie Bachman, Drummer For Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Dies at 69

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Bachman Turner Overdrive in 1974 (L–R: Fred Turner, Robbie Bachman, Randy Bachman, Blair Thornton) (Photo from their Wikipedia page)

Robbie Bachman, the drummer for ’70s hitmakers Bachman-Turner Overdrive who scored a #1 single with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. The news was shared by his older brother, Randy Bachman, via his social media accounts.

Randy Bachman’s post read, in part: “Another sad departure. The pounding beat behind BTO, my little brother Robbie, has joined Mum, Dad & brother Gary on the other side. Maybe Jeff Beck needs a drummer! He was an integral cog in our rock ‘n’ roll machine and we rocked the world together.”

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, the 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

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 Bachman and Turner reunited in 2010, simply calling themselves Bachman and Turner, using other musicians to fill out the lineup. Randy 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

Robin Peter Kendall Bachman was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Feb. 18, 1953. He was credited with designing BTO’s “gear” logo and co-writing (with Fred Turner) the BTO classic rock song, “Roll On Down the Highway,” a #14 pop hit in 1975.

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