Bachman & Turner's FRED TURNER - "I'm An Old Wrench-Turner From Way Back"
by Martin Popoff
Legendary Bachman-Turner Overdrive hollerer Fred Turner is a big part of why BTO are so beloved by the bikers, and that wrench-turning comment underscores the whole BTO vibe with bikes and cogs and trucks and truckers, as do the band's songs about rollin' down the road to terrorize the next town with big riffs at high volume.
And what's inspiring to say the least, is the fact that Fred and cohort Randy Bachman have been touring together, playing the hits as well as songs off their recent self-titled studio album, both anti-solitudes captured on the band's new double CD and DVD called Live At The Roseland Ballroom, NYC.
"Actually, we've been doing four songs off that," begins Fred, referring to the 2010 studio album. "I wish we were doing more, but when you get out, you get on stage, and people want to hear a lot of the past, because that brings back the memories. So we're doing a lot of the older songs and a few of the new songs. 'Rollin' Along': Randy wanted to do that one. 'Moonlight Rider'; those two were mine, and Randy does 'Waiting Game' and 'Slave To The Rhythm'. It's fun - all of it's fun. I've just been doing it so long that it's just a great thing to get on stage and sing the songs. It's a great feeling."
Despite the valiant attempts at new music, it is indeed heavy-ish hits like 'Let It Ride' and 'Sledgehammer' that have created the perception of BTO as a contributor to the pile of hard rock in the '70s. But it sure didn't start that way... "No, well it started out as more of a country rock thing, and then it just kind of graduated into a little heavier. But with Randy's background, and his past, through guys like Lenny Breau and Chet Atkins and things like that, there was a lot of jazz influences that came into it, and so it never stayed with one direct thing, which maybe was a good thing for us, because I don't think that you get bored with the music. It changes all the time, all the way through."
Bachman & Turner's FRED TURNER - "I'm An Old Wrench-Turner From Way Back" Page 2