As a member of The Guess Who, Bachman was part of the first ever No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 by a Canadian band with “American Woman / No Sugar Tonight,” and then topped the Hot 100 again in 1974 with another band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”
“That’s a pretty rare thing for a recording artist who gets two No. 1s with two different bands,” notes John Einarson,” biographer and music historian, at the start of the new documentary, Bachman, chronicling the life of this 74 year old who is still regularly making music and performing. The film follows Bachman as he looks to the past for inspiration from rarely seen footage, pictures and documents that have been stored at the National Archives in Ottawa for decades.
Among the other hits Bachman has written or co-written are “These Eyes,” “No Time,” “New Mother Nature,” “Takin’ Care of Business,” “Let It Ride,” and “Roll On Down The Highway.”
“He was like my biggest influence when I was a kid,” says Neil Young in the film. “Watching him play guitar, he had an amazing sense about the way he played. And the feeling that you got when you listened to him. It was more than just chops.”
Young, who has known Bachman for about 55 years, added, “I hear Randy – when I see him, I hear him, and I feel him.”
The documentary made its world premiere in Toronto at Hot Docs 2018 before a festival run, and eventual airing in Canada on CBC’s Documentary Channel. Incorporating numerous present-day interviews with family, management, and fellow musicians, director John Barnard (2012’s The Sheepdogs Have At It) touches on everything from Bachman’s childhood to his various rock bands — The Guess Who, Brave Belt, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bachman-Turner — and solo work.