WINNIPEG – The relationship between Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s four core members was once so frosty, the band couldn’t even agree long enough to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Well, that long-awaited honour finally came at Sunday’s Juno Awards in the group’s hometown of Winnipeg after an apparent thawing.
Backstage afterwards, the band — whose 1974 lineup of guitar wizard Randy Bachman, powerhouse vocalist Fred Turner, drummer Robin (Robbie) Bachman and guitarist Blair Thornton was officially ushered into the hall — was in a joking mood.
Even the Bachman brothers, who had not spoken since their father’s death prior to the gala (according to Randy), were riffing together when asked when the band might reunite next.
“The Grey Cup’s here next November, 2015,” Randy offered.
“The 80th anniversary of ‘Not Fragile,'” Robin chimed in, referring to the band’s landmark 1974 record, before miming creeping along with a walker.
“If you want to make an offer, the guy’s right there,” Randy added, motioning offstage to his manager.
“Yeah, what are you asking us for?” Robin fired back.
The hitmakers behind such hard-chugging cottage classics as “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Takin’ Care of Business” had other clever one-liners loaded. Their collective relationship had been marred by decades of bickering over who had the rightful claim to the band’s name, and asked when they finally realized they could stand onstage together, Robin replied: “Noon.”
Still, they at least made peace long enough to shake hands onstage, and that truce extended to their interviews afterwards.
Particularly, Robin and brother Randy seemed to agree about most things on Sunday — including how the centrepiece induction felt.
“A lot of stress,” Robin said. “I think I’ve (had) stage fright once, and that was tonight. It’s just a whole different experience really, to have that many people, you’re on a tight timetable, you’re live on TV.”
Added Randy: “It’s fun now that it’s over.”