Randy Bachman Revives the Spirit of BTO and the Guess Who



Backstage at the Commodore after Friday’s sold-out show, Randy Bachman gazed in wonder at an undated concert photo that an autograph-seeker had brought to his dressing room. It pictured Bachman jamming with Elvin Bishop and Steve Miller sometime during the ’70s. “I bet that was at the Cave!,” remarked Bachman’s wife, Denise McCann, who just minutes before had joined her hubby and other family members in a rousing rendition (is there any other kind?) of “Takin’ Care of Business”. For his part, Bachman just stared intently at the snapshot, no doubt wondering what rock ‘n’ roll stories might lay behind it.

Earlier that night, Bachman had unraveled a few tales of his own, describing how songs like the Guess Who’s “Laughing” and Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Let It Ride” had come to be. The show consisted mainly of old Guess Who and BTO tracks, which were driven forth by his crack band, which included the three members of veteran local cover act Cease & Desist. Bassist-vocalist Mick Dalla-Vee came in particularly handy for the parts Burton Cummings used to sing on rowdier Guess Who tracks like “American Woman”.

But it was Bachman himself who everyone had come to see, and he didn’t disappoint, especially when it came time to lay down the hot guitar licks on BTO gems like “Rollin’ Down the Highway”, “Blue Collar”, and a funked up “Lookin’ Out for Number One.” He was definitely the rockingest 65-year-old in tha house.

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