Bachman & Turner's FRED TURNER - "I'm An Old Wrench-Turner From Way Back" Page 2
by Martin Popoff
"I think that was caused by Randy bringing me into the group at the time," notes Turner, on the shift towards riffs. "Chad Allen was with him, and like I said, it started off as a country thing. It started off as Brave Belt, and when I came into it, it got a little rougher edge on it, and then Chad didn't like where it was going and he left. And we ended up in Thunder Bay, having to play for a university there, and we're kind of bombing out; the first night we got fired because it just wasn't happening. And the second night, we had to go on stage and make it look like we were excited and get the people who were coming excited. So we ended up doing a lot of rock stuff that we had. And that kind of switched the band."
And yet, despite the power chords - most prevalent on records like Not Fragile and BTO - II - there was always a bit of a southern rock vibe to the band. Or was there?
"No, I don't think that I really agree with that. Southern rock is a little more gritty than we were. But we were a little influenced by them because we played with a lot of those guys. When we were getting going, some of our first shows were with ZZ Top, which was kind of Texas-y blues rock, and Marshall Tucker, who was really a knockdown band live - these guys were just out of control. They were a very good band. Allman Brothers, bands like that, we played with a lot. But I think we already had our influences by that time. But of course, it's like anything else. If you spend time with someone or something, you do pick up things from them. It's just a natural thing to happen."
But there was the rhinestone cowboy, or "Nudie" suit, look as well, which Fred blames on manager Bruce Allen. "Yeah (laughs). Well, just because he thought we needed to do that. And of course, Bruce can be persuasive at times, if you've had any dealings with him. No, he's very persuasive, and of course he was our manager and we were kind of depending on him. And he was pretty close to Bill Ham, ZZ Top's manager. And of course you know which way they went (laughs). But we did quite a few jobs with them. And as a matter of fact, we would be support for ZZ Top down south, and then we brought ZZ Top into Canada and they were support for us, because they weren't known in Canada."
Bachman & Turner's FRED TURNER - "I'm An Old Wrench-Turner From Way Back" Page 3