Hot Docs 2018: Bachman

The life and career of Canadian musician Randy Bachman is told in Bachman. Developing a love for music very early on growing up in Winnipeg, Bachman joined Chad Allen & The Expressions in the early 1960s, which evolved into The Guess Who, which generated hits such as “American Woman” and “These Eyes.” After leaving The Guess Who, Bachman would go on to form Bachman-Turner Overdrive with Fred Turner, which would lead him to bigger success with songs such as “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Taking Care of Business.” Now in his 70s, Randy Bachman continues to record, while also hosting his CBC radio program Vinyl Tap.

As a member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Randy Bachman is one of the rare musicians to have had a number one hit with two separate bands. In Bachman, filmmaker John Barnard tells the story of Randy Bachman’s nearly six decade career, while also following him as he shows off his large guitar collection and records a tribute album George Harrison. The film also features interviews with fellow artists Neil Young, Peter Frampton, Fred Turner, and even wrestler/musician (and fellow Winnipeger) Chris Jericho.

It is undeniable that Randy Bachman is one of the legends of Canadian music. In fact, he is so legendary, that it is hard to tell his story in an 80 minute documentary. Bachman is very much the “cliff notes” version of Randy Bachman’s career, focusing mostly on the highlights, as well as some lows, such as how he left both The Guess Who and BTO over creative disputes and how Bachman’s dedication to music resulted in a divorce from his wife. However fans of Randy Bachman’s work should still be satisfied to this ode to the elder statesman of Canadian music.

8 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).