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Robbie Bachman, Drummer of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Dead at 69

Bachman co-founded the band alongside his brothers Randy and Tim, as well as Fred Turner

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Robbie Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive
Robbie Bachman, photo by Fin Costello/Redferns

    Robbie Bachman, co-founding member and drummer of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, has died at the age of 69.

    Randy Bachman announced the death of his brother and bandmate in a social media post: “Another sad departure. The pounding beat behind BTO, my little brother Robbie has joined Mum, Dad & 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.”

    Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s core lineup consisted of Randy and Robbie Bachman and Fred Turner, following a previous run under the band name Brave Belt (which Randy formed after he quit The Guess Who). Another Bachman brother, Tim, was also a founding member of BTO, but was replaced after a couple of years by Blair Thornton.

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    During their heyday in the 1970s, BTO released several hit albums, including 1974’s chart-topping Not Fragile. Among the Canadian band’s most popular songs are the ubiquitous “Takin’ Care of Business,” the No. 1 hit “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” and their breakthrough single “Let It Ride.” Another one of their memorable tunes, “Roll On Down the Highway,” which Robbie co-wrote, peaked at No. 14 in the US.

    After BTO disbanded in early 1980, Robbie didn’t return to the band when they reunited in 1983 due to business conflicts with Randy and the other members. However, he did come back in 1988 and remained with the band until 2005.

    Our condolences go out to Robbie Bachman’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time. See the drummer and the rest of Bachman-Turner Overdrive performing their biggest hits in the clips below.

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