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Bachman

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"Bachman" is a nice documentary about the professional life of Canadian musician Randy Bachman, famed for his contributions to rock music as a member of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. The part of the film focusing on Bachman's youth is brief yet thorough and has two interesting takeaways, one of which is that Randy had a twin that was stillborn, with Randy's daughter suggesting that maybe that's why Bachman seems to have talent for two. The other thing viewers will glean from the early part of the film is a great trivia nugget, the fact that the line "I love to work at nothin' all day" from the BTO hit "Takin' Care of Business" came from Randy's hard-working dad, who often uttered the phrase. Besides Bachman himself, others offering commentary throughout the film include Neil Young, Alex Lifeson of Rush, Paul Shaffer, Peter Frampton, Buffy Saint-Marie, Susan Jacks of the Poppy Familly, Chris Jericho and scion Tal Bachman, also a guitar player. The film traces Bachman's career beginning with the Winnipeg group Chad Allan and the Expression, which eventually morphed into the Guess Who. Allan was more or less forced out of his own band when Burton Cummings was brought in, and while the addition of Cummings on vocals and teaming with Bachman on songwriting led to many hits, differences between the pair caused Bachman to leave the band. As Randy puts it, "He (Cummings) wanted to be Jim Morrison and I wanted to be Eric Clapton. It just didn't work." Bachman-Turner Overdrive was formed after Bachman heard Fred Turner sing for the first time; after many hits they too would have creative differences that led to the band's break-up. A bit of time is spent exploring Bachman's time with Ironhorse, a band he formed with Frank Ludwig of Trooper. There's also "the making of" coverage of Bachman working on By George, his tribute to the music of George Harrison. Near the end of the film Bachman shows off some of his guitar collection which is housed in "a secret location" in Lethbridge, Alberta. Randy is like a kid in a candy store as he opens select guitar cases from walls full of them, beaming widely as he marvels at the instruments. Also included is lots of vintage footage featuring all the bands along with shots of rarely-seen still photos.


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