Randy Bachman and Fred Turner seem anxious to get back to work. While the two rockers have planned a tour sometime next year and have been working together on material for a new album, not everyone is happy about the notion of them teaming up as Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
Bachman’s younger brother and former BTO drummer, Rob Bachman, has teamed up with someone himself, although don’t expect any new albums from this duo. He has joined with former BTO guitarist Blair Thornton in a bid to prevent the name Bachman-Turner Overdrive being used. Their side of the argument is that Randy Bachman gave up any right to use that name when he embarked on a solo career way back in 1977.
It’s not often that we hear of brothers facing off in a lawsuit, but there are obviously strong feelings on the part of the younger Bachman and Thornton about resurrecting the BTO name when it involves a guy they might see as someone who walked away from the group over thirty years ago.
Still, Turner and the elder Bachman sound excited about the prospects of their new project, and are talking about some new material that, according to them, sounds like they’re in their 20’s again. That’s a pretty bold statement coming from a 66-year-old, but fans will judge for themselves when their planned album, Rock ‘n’ Roll is the Only Way Out, is released.
The album, which the duo hopes to finish up by next fall, is something that seems to have surprised even Bachman himself. Following the recording of the title track, the recording engineers in the studio were said to have called Bachman and reported that, “We can’t believe this. This is the greatest thing ever.”
When Bachman got to hear the track himself, there was little doubt about his opinion on how it turned out. “Holy cow, no one has heard anything like this since the ’70s. It’s amazing,” he is quoted as saying.
Well, between “This is the greatest thing ever” and “It’s amazing,” this better be one hot album. That’s not to suggest it’s impossible, but capturing that old BTO magic from the 1970’s would be an impressive achievement.
Suggesting that they prefer to steer clear of any lawsuit trouble, Bachman and Turner have been tossing some other names around, including Bachman-Turner or Bachman-Turner United, which is technically true but has kind of a half-way-there feel to it since, after all, there will be a Bachman missing.
Part of the motivation to form up as much of BTO as he could muster seems driven by Randy Bachman’s feeling that he might be missing out. Having been asked on various occasions by contemporaries like Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Mick Jagger over the past six years whether he planned to do anything with BTO again, Bachman has obviously decided the time was right to have a go at turning back the clock and rocking like a twenty-something again.
Billboard has more on this story.