Robbie Bachman the Bachman–Turner Overdrive drummer who powered the band’s biggest hits, including “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Takin’ Care of Business,” has died. He was 69.
Randy Bachman, the drummer’s brother and bandmate, confirmed the news on Twitter Thursday evening. “Another sad departure,” he wrote. “The down beat behind the BTO, my little brother Robbie has joined mum, dad and 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.” Further details of Robbie’s death have not yet been released.
Robbie and Randy started playing music together as kids growing up in Winnipeg, Canada. Eventually, guitarist Randy asked Robbie to be the drummer for the band Brave Belt, which he had formed with musician Chad Allan, Randy Bachman’s former Guess Who bandmate. Together, the band recorded two albums released in the early 1970s before eventually adding middle brother Tim Bachman on rhythm guitar and bassist C. Fred Turner and changing their name to Bachman–Turner Overdrive.
While their first self-titled album Bachman–Turner Overdrive in 1973 was not a hit upon its release – although it did boast the gem “Hold Back the Water” with a rare credit for Robbie – they quickly found real success with their second album later the same year. LP, Bachman-Turner Overdrive IIfeatured their most famous song, “Takin’ Care of Business,” as well as the hit “Let It Ride.” Not fragile followed in 1974 and with it another hit “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.
The group continued to make music through the mid-1970s, releasing a handful of albums, before Randy Bachman left the group in 1977 after the release of Expresswaysand leaves Robbie as the only Bachman still in Overdrive.
BTO briefly disbanded in 1979, but in 1983 the band reunited with Randy and Tim Bachman returning, albeit without Robbie; BTO’s 1984 self-titled semi-reunion album is the band’s only album not to feature Robbie on drums.
However, Robbie would later rejoin Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1988, and when Randy left the band again in 1991, Robbie continued with “BTO” – the band’s legally accepted name when Randy was not involved – until 2005. When Randy revived Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 2009, it was once again without his younger brother.
In 2014, Bachman-Turner Overdrive were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.