Robbie Bachman Dies: Bachman-Turner Overdrive Drummer & Co-Founder Was 69

Robbie Bachman, the drummer and co-founder of the hit-making 1970s rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, has died. He was 69.

His death was announced by brother and bandmate, the guitarist and singer Randy Bachman. A cause of death was not immediately available.

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“Another sad departure,” Randy Bachman tweeted last night. “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.”

Playing the drums since childhood, Robin Peter Bachman was recruited at age 18 by his big brother Randy, who had already found international success in the band The Guess Who. After Randy left that group in 1970, he formed a short-lived group called Brave Belt, with 18-year-old Robbie on drums.

Brave Belt, with other members including bassist/singer Fred Turner and a third Bachman brother, Tim, would soon change its name, along with a musical style that grew from country-style rock to what would come to be defined as classic rock, to Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

BTO’s 1973 self-title album included the song “Blue Collar” that would receive some FM radio airplay, but it was 1974’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive II and Not Fragile that would explode with such hits as “Let It Ride,” “Takin’ Care of Business,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” and “Roll On Down The Highway.” In all, the band released eight albums during the 1970s and a self-titled set in 1984, with Garry Peterson drumming on that one.

BTO, a remained a top rock act throughout the 1970s, with Randy Bachman leaving the group in 1979 and returning, off and on, until his retirement in 2004.

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