Friday, February 27, 2015

Classic rock guitarist Randy Bachman talks more shop (exclusive interview)

NORWALK, Ohio — Classic rock guitarist Randy Bachman has been living in Toronto for the last several years.

And it's even colder than it is where this reporter and blogger lives in the Northern Midwest of the United States.

Classic rock guitarist Randy Bachman smiles and gestures
during a 2007 concert at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
(Photo courtesy of
"It's minus 40 here in Toronto," Bachman said Tuesday during a phone interview with Cary's Comics Craze.

Before moving to Toronto, the co-founder of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive lived in Salt Spring Island on the west coast of Canada near Vancouver Island.

"I was governed by the ferry," Bachman said.

 Since he had to use the ferry to and from his Salt Spring Island home, he said he would have to leave a day early to reach a gig on time.

And on the return trip, there was no guarantee the ferry would be there when he arrived. Now living in Toronto, Bachman said it's a relatively easy drive to Buffalo, New York City, Detroit and "even Nashville."

"Musicians don't mind driving after a gig because you're coming down (from it)," he said.

Using the fitting moniker Bachman, his new band will play at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on April 4.

The guitarist was straight forward in how he locked in the concert.

"They asked me to do the gig," Bachman said.

He then added: "Every gig is a challenge," since people can get sick up or fail to show up or there's a blizzard.

"But the show goes on," Bachman said.

* * *

Frampton connection: British guitarist Peter Frampton plays on the title track of Bachman's upcoming album, HEAVY BLUES.

"It's some of the best playing I've heard from him," Bachman said in the first part of my exclusive interview.

Peter Frampton appears in one-time schoolmate
David Bowie's 1987 video "Time Will Crawl."
Frampton, who played lead guitar on Bowie's
NEVER LET ME DOWN album, is featured on
the title track of Randy Bachman's HEAVY BLUES.
Bachman played with Frampton during his Guitar Circus at the Hollywood Bowl, which featured other famous guitarists.

"He'd have Don Felder for two days," Bachman said, about The Eagles' lead guitarist.

"He'd have Kenny Wayne Shepherd for two days," he added.

When discussing his line-up of guitarists on HEAVY BLUES, Bachman said he's known for asking musicians to play with him.

"If you don't ask, you don't get (them)," he added.

The album, released April 14, features Frampton, Neil Young and the late Jeff Healey.

Robert Randolph plays on the track "Oh My Lord."

"He played amazing on that," said Bachman, who is pleased with everyone's performance and the way the songs sound.

Bachman said a version of the album will be released in which fans can play guitar along with the songs. He believes HEAVY BLUES is a great album for guitarists and guitar lovers.

"You sit along and play with it," Bachman said.

* * *

Good luck from a rock god: As our approximately 15-minute interview wound down, I admitted to Bachman I hadn't had a chance to hear any of the tracks, given my coverage of the criminal justice beat, Norwalk City Schools and collecting college news for the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper. I told him I often feel like my head is just above water.

Bachman understood and recommended I listen to some YouTube clips.

"You'll get an idea of what the album sounds like," he said.

Earlier in the interview, Bachman mentioned how the music business is a close-knit community in which many producers, musicians and songwriters either know each other are or are very familiar with each other's work.

In response, I told him it's not too different with criminals in Huron County, Ohio and used his earlier quote about "nobody has met just once." We had a short laugh together and Bachman wished me luck covering "the criminal underworld."

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