Tim Bachman, Co-Founder of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Dies

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BTO II, with Tim Bachman at lower right

Guitarist Tim Bachman, who co-founded the Canadian rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive along with his brothers Randy and Robbie Bachman, and Fred Turner, in 1973, died yesterday (April 28, 2023) after battling cancer. The announcement was made by Tim Bachman’s son, Ryder Bachman, who posted to Facebook, “My Dad passed this afternoon.😓 Thank You Everyone for the kind words. Grateful I got to spend some time with him at the end. Grab yer loved ones and hug em close, ya never know how long you have.”

No details were shared regarding the place of death. Bachman was 71. His death follows that of his drummer brother Robbie just three months earlier. Both Randy Bachman and Fred Turner survive. On May 1, Randy Bachman wrote, “my heart [is] heavy. I am the last of my family on this side with all my memories of our life growing up in Winnipeg. So grateful for that. I’m sure my parents welcomed him home with my other 2 brothers who have passed in quick succession since the pandemic. I was the oldest. Rest in Peace, Timmy with mummy, daddy, Gary & Robbie.”

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

Timothy Gregg Bachman was born August 1, 1951, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. According to his Wikipedia entry, Tim Bachman “wrote or co-wrote several songs during his tenure with Brave Belt and BTO, including ‘Put It in a Song’ (with Turner) for the Brave Belt II album, ‘Down and Out Man’ (with R.B. Charles) for the first BTO album, and ‘Blown’ (with Randy) and ‘I Don’t Have To Hide’ for Bachman–Turner Overdrive II.

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. The original BTO lineup that 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.

Tim Bachman (Photo from Ryder Bachman’s Facebook page)

Tim Bachman left BTO in 1974 but rejoined 10 years later for a reunion tour. He subsequently led touring versions of the band in 1987-88. In 2008, Bachman experienced a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He was also charged on more than one occasion with sexual assault, although the charges were dropped in each case.

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.

Related: Musicians we’ve lost in 2023

Best Classic Bands Staff

4 Comments so far

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  1. Batchman
    #1 Batchman 29 April, 2023, 18:50

    Another band that fit the same pattern as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Dire Straits — lead vocalist is also lead guitarist and his brother is rhythm guitarist but not lead vocalist — and that brother always ends up leaving the band. Wonder why. Maybe it’s a feeling that the big brother is “allowing” the little brother to play, but is not really respected. Most bands (as opposed to solo artists) are more balanced in that the rhythm guitarist (if there is one) is the lead vocalist and the lead guitarist is not the lead vocalist.

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  2. LowPlainsGrifter
    #2 LowPlainsGrifter 30 April, 2023, 00:57

    1973 was another phenomenal year for Rock music,and the first two albums from
    BACHMAN TURNER OVERDRIVE were released in that year. And they were excellent.
    Tim Bachman was an integral, original member in the band for those long players.
    By the next one Not Fragile, he had departed. Despite and amid personnel problems and
    decisions going forward, he did manage to appear in a few ensuing reunion settings.
    Well,they found their sound early on, and they sure nailed it, didn’t they?
    R I P Tim Bachman

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  3. 122intheshade
    #3 122intheshade 30 April, 2023, 15:43

    BTO II and Not Fragile were both knock-you-in-the-head and demand-you-listen great LPs. Not a bad track on either.

    I love the way Randy would slip jazz runs into songs with the Guess Who and BTO. For me, the last great BTO tune was “Lookin’ Out For Number 1”.

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