Robbie Bachman, co-founder and drummer of Bachman-Turner Overdrive rock group, dead at age 69

January 14, 2023

Robbie Bachman, the original drummer and a co-founder of Canadian rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive, has passed away, USA Today reported.

Bachman was 69 years old at the time of his passing on Thursday, and no cause of death has been revealed as of yet.

"The pounding beat behind BTO"

The sad news was shared Thursday night on Twitter by Robbie's older brother and fellow co-founder, Randy Bachman, in a post to Twitter.

"Another sad departure. The pounding beat behind BTO, my little brother Robbie has joined Mum, Dad & brother Gary on the other side. Maybe Jeff Beck needs a drummer! He was an integral cog in our rock 'n' roll machine and we rocked the world together," he wrote.

The quip about Jeff Beck maybe needing a drummer was in reference to the unexpected death days earlier of the legendary British guitarist at age 78 following a bacterial meningitis infection, according to the BBC.

The formation and success of Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, the Bachman brothers began playing music together as kids before making a career out of it as adults, according to Rolling Stone.

Singer/guitarist Randy had first formed the famed rock group Guess Who but left that band in 1970 to form a new group with fellow Guess Who singer/guitarist Chad Allen and his younger brother Robbie on drums that was initially known as Brave Belt.

The group was later renamed as Bachman-Turner Overdrive, or BTO, following the addition to the lineup of bassist Fred Turner and brother Tim on rhythm guitar.

The band's first self-titled album in 1973 was generally unremarkable but the group found success on their second self-titled album with hits like "Takin' Care of Business" and "Let it Ride," as well as the hit "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" on their third album, 1974's "Not Fragile."

One brother or the other

Rolling Stone noted that BTO began to undergo various lineup changes following its initial success in the mid-1970s as brothers Randy and Robbie seemingly took turns coming and going from the band to pursue solo careers or work with other artists.

For instance, after completely disbanding in 1979, the group reformed in 1983, albeit without Robbie on drums. Robbie eventually returned in 1988, only for Randy to then leave in 1991.

The Robbie-led group continued to perform until 2005, but then was reformed once more in 2009 by Randy, again without his younger brother behind the drum set.

In the end, however, the brothers got along in spite of the alternating departures and returns, and their famed rock & roll group was honored in 2014 with an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

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