Ticket Stub: Bachman-Turner Overdrive in Chicago, March ’74

They say that all work and no play makes Jack Matt a very dull boy indeed.  I can confirm that recently, this has definitely been the case, and it seems like the cruel gods that like to throw the occasional curve ball to keep things interesting for you at work, have been very busy working overtime of late.

Which made me think of those Canadian dudes that like to work at nothing all day, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Now, if you’ve heard “Takin’ Care of Business,” and any live performance by BTO, you might agree with me that the lyrics totally deliver truth in advertising.  Is it just me, or did rehearsals for live performance get left by the side of the highway as a result of their adopted profession of being self-employed, working at nothing all day?

I’m sure that smart aleck do-gooder Matthew Boles will be by here soon enough, to tell us all about that awesome BTO show that he saw, back in the day when his homeland still had power.  For the rest of you, did you ever get to see a really awesome live show from BTO that didn’t involve being heavily under the influence of scooby snacks to provide maximum enjoyment of the experience?

Just curious.  One music fan’s comment on the Wolfgang’s Vault site recalls the BTO show that he saw with new band Styx as the opening act as one of the best concerts that he ever went to.

They did make at least one awesome video.  Let’s roll the video tape, and check that one out, right now:

I’d love to believe that these dudes had a great live show, because I’ve certainly enjoyed many tunes from their catalog through the years, and that moment when I discovered “Takin’ Care of Business” was one of the top 10 most awesome days ever on my planet.  Because the discovery of that one, led me to pick up a copy of BTO’s Greatest, which is one of the greatest, greatest hits compilations ever to be released upon the unsuspecting public.  (And apparently, Young MC was a fan, too.)

But the live performance.  Oof.  Take a listen to “Earache My Eye” “Welcome Home,” captured during the band’s 1974 Chicago performance, and tell me that it sounds polished.  Okay, I guess you’re right – “polished” isn’t quite the word, is it?

Still, I love me some Randy Bachman, whether it’s with the Guess Who, or BTO – the man wrote some catchy little ditties. (And he’s got new music with former BTO partner Fred Turner, billed for legal reasons as Bachman and Turner, no “Overdrive.”)

Too bad they didn’t have Auto-Tune in the ’70s.

Listen to this entire show at Concert Vault by clicking here.




  • ozarkmatt

    Hah, I did catch the reformed BTO on one of those Sounds of the Seventies package tours in the early 80's. With a reformed Guess Who opening (awkward!!).

    I remember nothing about it. Scooby Snacks abounded.