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Randy Bachman Ponders Rock Hall Snub: ‘Why, Because We’re Canadians?’

Randy Bachman
Donald Weber, Getty Images

Randy Bachman and Fred Turner are out promoting their new live album and concert film ‘Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC,’ hitting stores soon. Bachman tells 97.1 WASH FM how he and Turner ended up getting back together, and didn’t mince words when asked how he felt about not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Over the years we kept getting, what do you call it, tweets, twitters — email requests,” recalled Bachman, responding to a question about the genesis of the Bachman & Turner project, which kicked off with a self-titled studio album in 2010. “There was this one persistent guy over in Sweden, who runs Sweden Rock, which has been going on for 22 years,” he explained. “He kept emailing myself and Fred Turner, saying ‘I really want to see you two guys on stage. I don’t want anyone else to have you — I want to be the first.’”

Continued Bachman, “I was doing a solo album — I just wanted to get back to rock and roll. And I sent Fred this track to sing on, and it sounded incredible, so I called him and said, ‘Do you have any other songs? Let’s just change this to be a Bachman & Turner album.”

The duo hit the road at Sweden Rock and beyond, and they were amazed by the fans’ response. “We did the High Voltage Festival in London, in front of 30-40,000 people who — we were kind of stunned — knew every word to every album track and single,” Bachman remembered. So when they had the offer to play the Roseland, they saw the opportunity for what it was: “It was shot in high definition with 12 cameras and 3D and that whole thing. It was a chance to be maybe amazing again, so we said ‘Let’s take the chance,’” he explained. “We’re thrilled to be back.”

Less thrilling for Bachman is his continued exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “It really pisses me off every year,” he admitted. “I don’t begrudge the groups that get in, but…being in the Guess Who in their peak years, the ‘American Woman’ years, when I wrote the songs, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive during the peak years, when we were selling 30, 40 million records — to not get a nod from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and other bands who have had lesser artistic or commercial success get in there, it does really tick you off.”

In fact, Bachman wonders if there might be some anti-Great White North prejudice at play. “Why, because we’re Canadians? What is the bias against us, you know? My ‘American Woman’ guitar has been on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for the last three years. They just renewed it for another three years, because people want to see it — that’s the guitar that made the sound of ‘American Woman.’

“And yet the band is not recognized by the Hall,” Bachman pointed out. “Either is Rush, or a lot of other Canadian bands who stayed in Canada. The ones who left — I’m friends with them all. Guys like Neil Young, they’re in there two or three times. Neil’s probably in three times, for Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and himself.”

Still, Bachman recognizes what’s really important. “We’re still together, and still rocking and rolling, and we still have our fans. Everything else is really great,” he pointed out. “It would just be nice to get that recognition. It’s like your mom and dad coming to your show, or your graduation, or your baseball game, saying ‘I’m proud of you, son.’ It’s that kind of thing, you know?”

Randy Bachman on the Bachman & Turner Reunion

Randy Bachman on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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