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Takin' Care of Schaumburg

By E1 Music

Randy Bachman has become a legendary figure in the rock and roll world through his talents as a guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer. He has earned over 120 gold and platinum album/singles awards around the world for performing and producing, and he's coming to Schaumburg on September 5th at the Septemberfest. He's available for advance phoners on Tuesday, August 18th from 1 p.m. EST to 3 p.m. EST - please let me know if you're interested in talking to one of music's greatest performers, need any jpegs, tickets, and we'll talk soon!

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Have songs, will travel. That's Canadian music icon Randy Bachman's motto. As one of the most respected songwriters in popular music, the legendary guitarist and founder of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive has logged a lot of miles over the years.

Whether rock, pop, country or jazz, Randy has worked with many of the finest tunesmiths in the music business. His track record as a songwriter is staggering with more than a dozen Top 20 singles to his credit including three Billboard #1 singles - "American Woman," "No Sugar Tonight," and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (a #1 record in over 20 countries) - and two Billboard #1 albums: American Woman and Not Fragile.

He has received more than 120 silver, gold and platinum albums in his career, and is a member of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Quite simply, as a songwriter Randy Bachman's been "takin' care of business and workin' overtime" for more than 40 years.

"Randy is a true writer and a true musician," insists former Van Halen singer/songwriter Sammy Hagar, who has collaborated with Randy.

"He has remained true to what he is and what he does. He is one of those guys who will be a writer his whole life. You have to find other avenues if you are a true writer and musician and that's Randy. I love that about him. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next ten years all of a sudden there is this number one song on the radio, a song I just love to hear, and I come to find out it's a Randy Bachman song. He definitely has that talent and ear for a hook."

Respected Toronto-based songwriter Stephan Moccio, whose credits include songs recorded by Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban and Olivia Newton-John, collaborated with Randy on the poignant jazz composition "Our Leaves Are Green Again," destined to become a standard.

"What's so great about writing with Randy," notes Stephan, "is that he still has such an amazing sense of wonder. He's still excited about music, all kinds of music. It's almost a childlike sense of wonder about him and that's a beautiful quality. I hope I'm like that when I'm his age.

"I think we sort of achieved something that was outside of the two of us. That's what great songs are, often times. You don't know where they come from, they just come through you. He showed up with a guitar and left with a song. As a songwriter you can't really ask for anything more."

Besides his enviable accomplishments with the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Randy's songs have been recorded by an impressive list of artists past and present including The Beach Boys (whose hit "Keep the Summer Alive" was composed by Randy and Carl Wilson), the Stray Cats, Lenny Kravitz, jazz stars Kurt Elling and Sophie Milman, Juno award winners Serena Ryder and Corb Lund, soul hitmakers Junior Walker & the All-Stars, and rockers like London Bus Stop, Big Sugar, Krokus, and Soundtrack Of Our Lives.

Randy's songs are among the most in-demand in Sony ATV's massive publishing catalogue. "Takin' Care of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" alone receive dozens of requests each week to license for use in movies, television, commercials, you name it. "Takin' Care of Business" has become synonymous with Office Depot worldwide. Burger King, Officeworks and Vodafone are also among a long list of businesses that have employed Randy's songs in their ads and jingles.

Countless movies have also featured Randy's songs including A Knight's Tale. "Takin' Care Of Business" even spawned a 1990 movie of the same name. The song has also appeared in The Simpsons. Both the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves play it as their victory song at home games. Following the tragic attacks on New York's World Trade Center on 9/11, firefighters at ground zero adopted "Takin' Care of Business" as their theme song and inspiration.

The list of Randy's songwriting collaborators is equally remarkable covering the gamut of genres and musical styles including rock icon Neil Young; Carl Wilson; Sammy Hagar; Stephan Moccio (songwriter for Celine Dion and composer of the theme to the 2010 Olympics); Britpop rising star Alex Hepburn; Rob Davis (Grammy-winning UK songwriter for Kylie Minogue); Bill Padley (writer of Atomic Kitten's UK #1 "Whole Again"); Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle; The Rankin's Jimmy Rankin; country songwriter Sonny Tillis; rockers Theory of a Deadman; Stan Meissner (composer for Celine Dion, Lara Fabian, Eddie Money, Lee Ann Womack); country singer/songwriter Willie Mack; UK hitmaker Tony Hiller (responsible for hits for Brotherhood of Man, Cliff Richard, The Fortunes, Anne Murray, Lulu, The Hollies, Cleo Laine, and Georgie Fame), to name but a few.

"Randy is a very good writer who can adapt to many styles of music," attests longtime UK collaborator Tony Hiller. "He's an amazing man and has a tremendous aptitude for work and is always writing. And he's never changed in all the years I've known him. All he really lives for outside of his family is the music, the work. Randy is very well-liked and popular in the music industry and that's why people like to work with him. He has a humility that comes across even though he's a tremendous star."

Together with Guess Who lead singer Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman composed some of the greatest pop/rock songs of the latter 60s to early 70s including "These Eyes," "Laughing," "No Time," and "American Woman."

Theirs was a unique creative chemistry.

"Randy would write half-finished songs and I would write half finished songs," acknowledges Burton, "and nine times out of ten we'd put them together and they would work. We had an invisible language that we could talk to each other with that was intuitive, like a pipeline to each other's brain."

Adds Randy: "When we tried it and it worked we immediately knew the sum was greater than the individual parts; one and one made three. There was something special there. I became McCartney to his Lennon, the missing piece to his puzzle and he to mine. We would take the strengths of each song and piece together a completed song. It was the excitement of creating our own music that spurred us on. We wanted to be like Bacharach and David or Lennon and McCartney, those really great songwriting teams and the result was some great music."

And yet, as a solo songwriter, Randy's list of successes is second to none with hits like "Undun," "No Sugar Tonight," "Takin' Care of Business," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," "Hey You" and "Looking Out For #1."

"Randy is a very driven writer, extremely determined, and single-minded," points out former ASCAP Nashville head Ralph Murphy, whose own songwriting credits include hits for Cliff Richard and James Royal. "He is totally committed to his craft and that's the kind of writer that publishers want. Randy is pursuing songwriting first and foremost and he is the kind of guy who will do whatever it takes to be successful. He's proven that many times as an artist. Nashville is a story town; the songs have to tell a story and a convincing one, and one of Randy's strengths is his ability to frame a story and set it up in a song."

Never reluctant to mentor young songwriters, Randy has shared his experience, expertise and enthusiasm along with imparting the skills essential to good songwriting.

"One of the things that's really neat about Randy is that he's so gung ho about writing," states Juno award-winning country/roots artist Corb Lund. "He's pretty pro-active about it. At this stage in his career he doesn't need to do that but he obviously is really into the songs and the writing despite all his success over the years. He genuinely likes the process. The biggest thing I learned from writing with Randy was the focus. It was inspiring to see someone who's still got that drive in him after all these years. It kind of instilled a little discipline in me."

Not content to rest on his extraordinary body of work, songwriting remains Randy's passion. He continues to hone his craft whether working in Nashville, London, Toronto or from his home base in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. He is both dedicated and determined. "I don't take no for an answer," he emphasizes. "Never give up, that's my philosophy. I believe in myself and my songs. If I get a refusal I analyze it. 'Why did this song not work? How can I take this and use it?' It's a learning process but I'm writing more intuitively now. I feel I'm a far better writer now and I'm proving it with the material.

"I think I am writing the best songs of my life right now. There is so much living and life, my own life, in them. I'm writing about realism, my own realism. Before I was writing about other things. Writing with these people all round the world who are pretty much the best in their profession has been an incredible learning experience. Much different than when I wrote songs with Burton Cummings because we wrote separately then picked the best pieces and stitch them together. But now when I write with someone, we go into a room and they might say, 'I want to write a song about this,' a situation or circumstance and I'll say, 'Wow, this happened to me and my wife.' Then it becomes, 'That's the right sentiment, now let's find the right words to say it.'"

"Randy has an unparalleled string of successes and quite frankly it wouldn't surprise me tomorrow for him to have another hit record," asserts Billboard's Larry LeBlanc.

"Randy Bachman will never write a bad song," adds Ralph Murphy. "They will always be good."



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Posted on August 11, 2009


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