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Classic Rock  Memoirs


Rock Journalists Hanging Out Backstage with Rock Stars




Rock ’n Roll Memoirs

Stories Behind The Stories. Rock Journalists relate tall tales and amazing adventures, what it was like hanging out backstage with world famous rockstars back in the day.

bachman turner overdrive, the band that laffs last


Bachman-Turner Overdrive
The Band That Laffs Last


Published October 24, 1974
Zoo World


by Jim Esposito


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In September, 1974 I flew into San Antonio to meet up with Bachman-Turner Overdrive. I’d met the band before. Earlier that year they’d played at the University of Miami. I’d written a stock formula piece wrapped around an interview with Randy Bachman, with quotes from C.F. Turner and Robbie Bachman.

They were great guys. Canadians. Down to Earth. Randy and Fred were in their 30s, a bit older than most other bands of that era. In addition, BTO were Mormons: did not smoke, drink, do drugs or consort with loose women. A very business-like approach, they attacked the U.S. Music Market through a series of guerilla raids. Booking a string of dates through a region, Bachman-Turner flew in to play the first night. Next morning they’d hop in a rental car, drive to the next. They did 4-5 shows in a row, then flew home to Vancouver, spent a week with wives and families. The week after they’d fly out again, hit a string of dates through the Midwest, California, or the Northeast.

This swing through Texas was a perfect example. They’d played Dallas and Odessa. I met up with them in San Antonio. They had a show in Austin the next night, Houston the night after. The opening act on these gigs was REO Speedwagon.

It was like being on tour with the Marines. I was usually throwing stuff into my suitcase when the hotel room phone rang. Their Manager, Bruce Allen, asking where I was. The car was leaving in five minutes.

Booked at the same hotel I met up with the band and Manager Bruce Allen when they were leaving for the gig. Six of us piled into a car, headed for the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium.

As it happened I’d just read an article in Creem Magazine about Bachman-Turner touring Texas opening for REO Speedwagon. In those days you wrote a story, mailed it to the magazine. It hit the stands 3-4 months later. Riding from the hotel to the show I mentioned how interesting that was...

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