Randy Bachman, singer, songwriter and lead guitarist of the legendary rock bands “The Guess Who” and “Bachman Turner Overdrive”, made a rare Iowa City, Iowa appearance on September 29, 2018 at the “Englert Theatre” before going on a three month hiatus back to his native Winnipeg, Canada on Sunday.
It was a musical night to remember while hearing the back stories of favorite songs. The darkened stage was lit only by faint hues of electric blue, violet and red. Sitting under soft spot lights on a stool, his guitar in hand, flanked on either side by his long time band members, Brent Knudsen, Marc LaFrance and Mick Dalla-Vee, Randy Bachman created an intimate setting to envelope the audience on his colorful journey through time.
Concert goers were treated to a night of warm, often comical, storytelling followed by singing which described the origins of familiar iconic hits that are regularly played around the world. At the tender age of 16, he and his band mates persevered until soon they hit it big and ended up rubbing elbows with emerging musical giants such as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Robert Zimmerman who later would be known as Bob Dylan. He richly weaved stories which were decidedly humbling . He paid his dues traveling from gig to mediocre gig, making it to the big time but still not raking in the dough until later. He has a life time of incredible, “everyday” rock star stories in his arsenal to share. He is still a regular guy, from a small town atmosphere who loves music and happened to make music that people love. He mentioned “It doesn’t matter if you have a good voice if you write great lyrics”. Being an intuitive observer of mundane situations and turning them into songs like “These Eyes” and “American Woman” is his gift. Storytelling by a legend was an added bonus.
An audience member who had done their homework yelled “Happy Birthday Randy” and being the friendly guy he is, he replied “Thank You, I’m trying to forget that”. His Birthday was on September 27. Ironically, he was playing this tour in honor of “The Beatles” George Harrison’s 75th Birthday whom he greatly admired and was born in the same year. He included personal inspirational advice by saying “Go into the darkest room in the house, which is usually the bathroom. Light a candle and look at yourself in the mirror with just your eyes and then have your significant other do it”. He followed his advice with “The main thing in life is peace and love”.
The night went quickly ending with “Takin’ Care of Business” and the story related to it’s history. The audience of 30 to 70 year olds seemed to be thoroughly pleased. Here’s to many more years for Randy Bachman. I highly recommend you to see Randy Bachman if he is in your city or near.
photos by Nick Knedler
Review by Lanie Fritz