Robbie Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive dies at 69
At age 69, Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s drummer and co-founder Robbie Bachman passed away. Hits like “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Taking Care of Business” were produced by the ’70s rock band.
The news was confirmed Thursday night on Randy Bachman’s official Twitter page, the band’s leader and guitarist and Bachman’s older brother.
“Another depressing exit. My younger brother Robbie has joined my parents, brother Gary, and the thumping beat behind BTO on the other side,” he wrote. “We rocked the world together, and he was a crucial component in our rock ‘n’ roll machine.”
It remained unclear what caused his death.
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. #RIP #littlebrother #family pic.twitter.com/XASj6CVXzA
— Randy Bachman (@RandysVinylTap) January 13, 2023
According to Pitchfork, Robin “Robbie” Peter Kendall Bachman, who was born in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1953, grew up playing the drums with his musical family, which also included his older brothers Randy and Tim Bachman. Before Randy asked him to play the drums for Brave Belt, his new band with Chad Allan, who left the group after the group released two self-titled albums, he played in a few bands in Winnipeg.
The Bachman brothers are natives of Winnipeg and have been involved in music since they were little.
In the early 1970s, after leaving the top-selling group Guess Who, Randy Bachman, a singer, composer, and guitarist collaborated with his older brother Robbie Bachman to form the band Brave Belt.
The two Bachmans created Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1973 with their brother Tim Bachman on guitar (eventually filled by Blair Thornton) as well as Fred Turner on bass. Over the next three years, they sold millions of records with their combination of gritty guitar riffs and appealing tunes. The band’s other singles were “Takin’ Care of Business,” “Hey You,” and “Roll On Down the Highway,” with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” topping the charts.
Midway through the 1970s, Randy Bachman departed the group and offered the surviving members permission to use the name BTO (But not Bachman-Turner Overdrive so as to distance himself from the band). Robbie Bachman and the rest of BTO continued to perform and release music, but as their fame waned, they disbanded in 1980.
The band sporadically reformed throughout the ensuing decades, and Randy Bachman and Robbie Bachman occasionally engaged in court disputes around royalties and the band’s name. After the early 1990s, the brothers hardly ever performed together. According to Robbie Bachman, Randy once “belittled” the other band members and compared them to the fictitious parody group Spinal Tap.
Tim Bachman, the middle brother of the Bachmans, played rhythm guitar, while bassist Fred Turner also played in the group. Later, they changed the name of their band to Bachman-Turner Overdrive, commonly abbreviated as just BTO.
BTO launched their self-titled debut album in 1973, and later that year, they followed it with “Bachman-Turner Overdrive II.” One of BTO’s most well-known songs, “Taking Care of Business,” appeared on their sophomore album, but their biggest hit wouldn’t appear until the 1974 release of “Not Fragile.” It included “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” their most popular single in the country.
Both songs have appeared on the soundtracks of films, including Will Ferrell’s “The Campaign” and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” respectively.
The group split up for a while in 1979, but they got back together in 1988 and continued touring until 1991.
A member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame since 2014, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
According to Allmusic.com, singer/guitarist Randy Bachman, a former member of the Guess Who, created the band, first known as Brave Belt, with his brother Robbie, bassist C.F. “Fred” Turner, and singer/guitarist Chad Allan.
The Winnipeg-based band, which changed its name to Bachman Turner Overdrive in 1973 and briefly included Tim Bachman, scored two successes off of their album “Bachman-Turner Overdrive II” in 1974: “Let It Ride” and “Taking Care of Business.”