Original Bachman-Turner Overdrive Drummer Robbie Bachman Has Died at Age 69
Robbie Bachman, the original drummer for '70s hitmakers Bachman-Turner Overdrive, has died at the age of 69. The news was confirmed by Bachman's brother and longtime bandmate, Randy Bachman.
"Another sad departure," wrote Randy. "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," adding the hashtags #RIP #littlebrother #family.
Robbie Bachman was born on Feb. 18, 1953 in Winnipeg, Canada as part of a musical family. Often playing along with his brother Randy, Robbie's initial foray into music came through Randy to play in the band Brave Belt. By 1973, with another Bachman brother Tim Bachman joining the band, the group officially changed their name to Bachman-Turner Overdrive. In addition to drumming with the group, Robbie was also credited with designing the band's "gear" logo.
The same year that BTO claimed their new name, the band released their self-titled debut album which hit No. 70 in the U.S. but climbed to No. 9 in their native Canada. While the song "Blue Collar" had some modest U.S. play, it wasn't until their second album, Bachman-Turner Overdrive II, that they scored their first major radio hit with "Let It Ride," which hit No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Bachman remained with the group through their first iteration when ended after 1979's Rock 'n' Roll Nights album and yielded such radio smashes as "Takin' Care of Business," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," "Roll On Down the Highway" (co-written by Robbie), "Hey You" and "Take It Like a Man."
Robbie Bachman initially declined when the band reunited in 1983, but eventually rejoined the group in 1988 alongside his brother Randy, bassist C. Fred Turner and guitarist Blair Thornton and he remained as part of Bachman-Turner Overdrive lineup through a second band dissolution in 2005. When Randy Bachman and C. Fred Turner decided to tour as Bachman & Turner in 2009, Robbie did not return for the most recent incarnation.
Revisit some of Robbie Bachman's work on some of BTO's biggest songs below.