Reggae Music News

Guess Who rocker Randy Bachman says he’ll write with anyone, anywhere

By Nick Patch



TORONTO _ Randy Bachman is open for business.

Though the 71-year-old Winnipeg native will receive a lifetime achievement honour at Monday’s SOCAN Awards, he wants to make one thing exceedingly clear: we ain’t seen everything yet.

“It’s obviously a huge honour to get a lifetime achievement award _ I just don’t want it to signify that my life is over,” the chatty Bachman said in a telephone interview this week.

“As you write songs and be a musician, if you don’t self-destruct with drugs and alcohol _ which I never have _ you get better and better and better.

“It’s not like an athlete that has their prime and their knees go bad or their shoulder. As a songwriter, I get more intuitive, I write more.

“I will go anywhere and write with anybody. My publishing is called Write Songs Will Travel. If you’ve got a new artist or an old artist and you want me to write a song, I will be there.”

As Bachman gathers steam on this topic, it becomes clear it’s a track he’s been riding a long time.

Although his catalogue of hits with the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive has inspired impersonations from the likes of Lenny Kravitz and Mavis Staples, he’s found less success peddling his own solo tunes to established artists.

And it’s not for lack of trying.

“I’ve sent songs to everybody: Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Sheena Easton, Tina Turner,” he recalled.

“They’d be playing Vancouver, I would buy a cassette player when they were brand new _ the little ghetto blasters in bright pink and bright turquoise _ put my cassette in there and deliver it with 12 roses to their dressing room.

“Anything to get a song to these artists,” he added. “But no one’s ever done one.”

Though perhaps mainly known for his supple guitar work, Bachman has three U.S. No. 1 hits to his name (and seven at home in Canada) and he’s certain that there’s more gold lurking within his ample vault.

“I’ve got such great songs that nobody has heard _ all they’ve heard are my greatest hits,” he attested cheerfully.

“If you look at the home run kings _ Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron _ they were also strikeout kings.

“They went to bat, they swung, and struck out. But when they hit it _ blam!”

And, Bachman says, he’s recently been seeing the proverbial ball better than ever.

“I’ve been writing up a storm,” he enthused. “I have all these songs just pouring out of me. I’m like an artist with an attic full of paintings.

“Somebody’s gotta call me and say: ‘Do you have a painting of an apple?’ ‘Yes, I have a song for you Celine Dion! It’s about having children. It’s about the joy of motherhood. It’s about loving your husband forever.’

“If I get a call like that,” he added, “I’m ready for it.”

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