Miscellaneous Rumbles

Randy Bachman Tells Great Guitar Stories

1

I happened to stumble upon this video of Randy Bachman giving a lengthy in-studio interview with a radio on-air personality friend of his. He tells some great stories about guitars. After hearing this, you will always remember the band The Contours.

There are some Neil Young stories, a Jimmy Page story, and lots of talk about guitars -- Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Gibson, Danelectro, Hofner, and more.

It's a quick 35 minutes or so.

2

Very fun interview. Thanks for posting. "...the dream was always an orange Gretsch...."

3

"No Time", "American Woman", and "No Suger Tonight" got a lot of play around our house.

BTO was really popular in our area, just not as curious to me...

Randy is looking pretty good in that vid, better than I ever remember.

The LP story reminded me of the Christopher Cross/Duane Allman connection.

4

Randy has a DVD/CD called Every Song Tells a Story or something like that. It was a semi-intimate concert where he went through his bigger hits that he wrote or co-wrote and tells the back story on them. Very entertaining. His band had a pretty good Burton Cummings imitator.

6

Great interview! I really appreciate you posting this Ric, the LP story is very interesting, and I also like the story about Willie Nelson, Neil Youngs and Bob Dylans singing voices. I totally agree with his assessment of their singing. Neil and Bob, in particular, have terrible singing voices but I love listening to them.

I have a personal story about The Guess Who's song American Woman. Years ago I dated a Canadian lady from Nova Scotia, we were on a drive and American Woman came on the radio. She pointed out that the song was a jab against American women because the band perceived them to be more worldly, and dangerous to them. Apparently the they preferred home grown Canadian women, who were a bit more naive.

8

He does tell very good stories and I like much of his music and guitar playing, particularlly his more mellow stuff.

I have a funny Gretsch story about Randy. He tried to trade me a 6120 body that had been sunk in a boat along with the hardware, for my 64 Tennessean and a 40s era student model archtop Gretsch with a P-90. That's one hooped 6120 for two working vintage Gretschs. The 6120 body had serious delammination everywhere, was coming apart, had several large cracks in the ebony fretboard and the finish was hooped. Hilarious! He let me show it to my guitar-making teacher who promptly started rowing around room with it saying "Nice oar!" Needless to say....

Without doubt the man is a canny businessman!

9

He does tell very good stories and I like much of his music and guitar playing, particularlly his more mellow stuff.

I have a funny Gretsch story about Randy. He tried to trade me a 6120 body that had been sunk in a boat along with the hardware, for my 64 Tennessean and a 40s era student model archtop Gretsch with a P-90. That's one hooped 6120 for two working vintage Gretschs. The 6120 body had serious delammination everywhere, was coming apart, had several large cracks in the ebony fretboard and the finish was hooped. Hilarious! He let me show it to my guitar-making teacher who promptly started rowing around room with it saying "Nice oar!" Needless to say....

Without doubt the man is a canny businessman!

– Toxophilite

I tried out a Gibson mandocello from the '30's at a local shop. Amazing instrument and so beautiful sounding.The owner said that he was not going to sell it to David Grisman because he knew that Grisman would "own" it for a few months then flip it for more money. Being a full-time musician is a hard road for sure.

10

Here's a terrific video of the Guess Who of modern vintage. Randy and Burton tell great little stories behind the tunes played. These are 4 of my favorites, particularly Undun. Couple of things to note about that song. This rendition is just Randy and Burton, minus all the rest of the instruments from the hit album version. What a stunning duet! and you don't even miss the lack of other instruments!! A side note about this song is that all those delicious jazz chords and progressions Randy plays he learned from Lenny Breau!! When Randy was in High School, every afternoon he'd go over to Lenny's place and get lessons from him. He said Lenny was his inspiration to want to learn to play guitar extremely well.

So now in this video, we hear Randy say that Lenny, in showing Randy jazz progressions, inspired the son Undun.

11

Thoroughly enjoyable, thanks Bob. Randy is just like your favourite uncle, ain't he?

12

Randy has a great weekly show on CBC Radio “Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap”. He tells a lot of stories while playing great music from the 40s through the 90s and also noodles on guitar, playing licks and such.

Well worth checking out.

www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/ran...

13

I love his dissection of the chord opening to "hard day's night". When the three of them hit that those 3 different notes in unison, it's the Beatles pure and simple.

14

Are they still good friends?

They really seem to be while reminiscing.

Great stories from both of them.

Thanks for posting.

15

I finally watched this video. Randy is one cool dude!

16

Great Stuff!! Thanks for sharing Ric/Bob!!!

17

I knew he collected Gretsch guitars, but I didn't realize how extensive his collection was. Great interview.

18

Thanks for the performance video, WDave.

It's great to see Randy and Burton so engaged in these performances - taking them seriously, really pouring their hearts into them, playing music and not just going through nostalgic motions.

There was nothing about the Guess Who I didn't like - but the rockers were most motivating at the time. A local man in my hometown (who apparently knew me well enough from when I'd delivered his morning paper to remember I was learning guitar) worked in some capacity for RCA; he gave me a promo copy of Randy's Axe album. It became a major touchstone of instrumental guitar music for me. I'd never heard anything like it - and really it remains a unique fusion of styles and approaches.

I don't recall now if "No Time" or "Livin' Lovin' Maid" was the first overdriven rock lead part I tried to cop, but I had both down as verbatim as I could manage - and overdriving the reel-to-reel tape deck in Dad's stereo, I nailed the "No Time" tone. I found Bachman's phrasing and timing much easier to emulate than Page's too - so when I played "No Time" and "American Woman" in my garage bands of the day, it was a blast to hear myself sounding (more or less) like the records.

His lead tone on those records had a huge impact on me, helping set me up to appreciate Robt Fripp's and Steve Howe's fuzz excursions. I still like that tone, and strive for that liquid phrasing and clean execution.

It was good to hear Randy honoring the parts by playing them as they were - and also bringing them alive musically.

20

I want to see that picture of the Contours, (I want it on a T shirt)


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