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Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories Paperback – September 25, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rock ’n’ roll is a crowd thing, and Bachman is all for sharing and broadening the experience."
The Globe and Mail

"Bachman, the founder and main songwriter of two wildly successful rock groups—the Guess Who in the 1960s (“American Woman”) and Bachman-Turner Overdrive in the ’70s (“Takin’ Care of Business”)—who has played with everyone from fellow Canadian Neil Young to ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, has great stories to tell in this memoir. The strength of this entertaining book is that it isn’t really a typical rock autobiography—it expands on the weekly Sirius XM radio broadcast Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap, in which Bachman plays music and tells tales based on his own songs or different themes like “Randy’s 25 Favorite Vehicle Songs.” So, instead of a drawn-out history of the well-known tension between Bachman and Guess Who cofounder Burton Cummings, the reader gets a wry, funny, and well-written story about how “No Sugar Tonight” got its title from his diminutive girlfriend yelling at her hulking biker boyfriend. And in explaining the recording of “Takin’ Care of Business,” which became “BTO’s signature song,” Bachmann gets straight to the good part: how a Fidel Castro look-alike pizza delivery man shows up at the wrong studio, offers to add a piano track that gives the song a classic hook, and turns out to be a classically trained pianist delivering pizzas between gigs."
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Randy Bachman has become a legendary figure in the rock ’n’ roll world through his talents as a guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer. Known best for his work in the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, he has earned more than 120 gold and platinum album/singles awards around the world for performing and producing.

Randy has written rock and pop classics—“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” “These Eyes,” “American Woman,” “Taking Care of Business,” “No Sugar Tonight.”

Randy maintains a home in Los Angeles, CA. Vinyl Tap, his radio program, is broadcast on Sirius Satellite.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pintail; Reprint edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670066591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670066599
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to admit I have only rarely heard the Vinyl Tap radio show, but the isolated bits I have experienced of Bachman talking about song origins have been intriguing to a long-time fan of his music. I eagerly purchased Vinyl Tap Stories for my new Kindle, anticipating some detailed background to tie in with the music I so enjoy. To some degree I got it, but not nearly to the extent I had hoped for. Unfortunately, this book has quite a bit of repetition, the introduction section seems to cover much of his career path, and subsequent chapters make mention of the same events without much additional information to add flavor. I was also puzzled by the number of Top Lists, which seem to largely act as filler. Perhaps it was something to do with it being my first Kindle read, but I felt the lists also seemed repetitive. None of this lessens my admiration for Bachman's music or respect for his moral decision to not publish a tell-all down-and-dirty typical rocker biography, but I find myself feeling something is missing. I understand that the book is made from a collection of radio productions and would therefore expect some lack of continuity, but I found the lack of chronology sometimes confusing and frustrating. There are some background gems in there, but not enough to warrant the price I paid for the book.
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Format: Paperback
Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Sto­ries is a non-fiction book by the famous rocker. Randy Bach­man, a musi­cian from Win­nipeg who was in the Guess Who, BTO and other bands tells about his career and the peo­ple he met.

This is a short book with many short sto­ries. Mr. Bach­man has sat down and wrote down great mem­o­ries from a great career, read­ing the book I felt as if he would play a song after each story.

My favorite story is one of the longer ones about Les Paul. Mr. Bach­man saw Les Paul play at his home­town in Canada where he watched through the kitchen door since he was too young to enter the premises. Mr. Paul talked a bit with the young gui­tarist and showed him how he played a song. Fast for­ward years later when, now estab­lished musi­cian Randy Bach­man was intro­duced to Les Paul who actu­ally remem­bered the-kid-from-the-restaurant and about an encounter even later when they got to play together.

Appro­pri­ately enough, but less inter­est­ing to me, the longest sec­tion in the book is the one where Bach­man talks about gui­tars and goes into details about the sound the struc­ture of them. I am not a musi­cian, never was, never will be, but I found that part inter­est­ing because my ears can­not hear those sub­tle differences.

I did enjoy the book very much and I had an advanced reader's copy (ARC) but I do think the book need to be tighter. I enjoyed the infor­mal style which, I'm sure, works great if you know Mr. Bach­man (I don't) or lis­ten to his radio show (never did) but for me, some of it sim­ply didn't work. Many short anec­dotes end with sen­tences sim­i­lar to "what a great guy" and such, leav­ing the reader hang­ing in the air.
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever noticed that most rock biographies seem to feature the subject waking up from a month-long heroin jag in bed with his best friend's wife, two empty bottles of Remy-Martin, and a loaded Mauser?

Kinda nice that Randy Bachman never arrives at that sorry pass in Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories.

Bachman, a major creative force behind two of Canada's greatest bands and arguably the most versatile guitarist alive today, may also be the best-known case since Frank Zappa of a rock musician who has always chosen to "play it straight," eschewing drugs, alcohol, and even caffeine. As such, he has spent his career much as Zappa did: waking up sober next to the same woman every morning, practicing the guitar, and writing reams and reams of great music. How many people can't hum a few bars of "These Eyes" or "Laughing" or "American Woman" (from Bachman's years with the Guess Who)--and can there be anyone left on this planet who doesn't know the chorus of Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business"? ("Skip to the 'working overtime' part!" Homer Simpson barks, on a "Simpsons" episode dedicated to his musical hero.)

Always taciturn and self-deprecating, it is wonderful to finally hear Randy Bachman's account of the rock n' roll world through the bracing senses of someone who survived it sober. Growing up in the remote prairie town of Winnipeg, Manitoba--where kids would drive "down to Fargo" to buy records--we hear of Randy's coming of age in a surprisingly vibrant music scene that allowed him to befriend both Neil Young and jazz guitar great Lenny Breau while still in his teens (not to mention Guess Who vocalist Burton Cummings, with whom Bachman formed a Lennon-McCartneyesque songwriting partnership).
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Format: Paperback
I enjoy rock 'n roll memoirs; they usually relate great musical tips, and Randy Bachman's book is no exception.

Bachman is best known for his founder days and runs with the bands The Guess Who and B.T.O. (Bachman Turner Overdrive). They still perform at times, but Randy has an ongoing podcast on Sirius radio called "Vinyl Tap" where he spins records and tells stories related to them. The popularity of the radio program sparked the release of this book.

The chapter "Randy's Guitar Shoppe" shares many stories about how he and others crafted those special tones that take more into account than just notes and chords; here is one about Stratocaster guitars: "If you take that same guitar and run it through a small tweed Fender amp cranked up right, you can get a really great bluesy sound." Or, in another section, he mentions how if you moved the heads of an analog tape recorder and ran your guitar through it, you could achieve a very special echo tone.

And of course, there are always those great explanations behind song lyrics, as well as takes on rumors of the time, and anecdotes about the business we call music.

Although a thin book, the info inside at times is as thick as Randy's waist measurement. A "Brave Belt" indeed does he wear.
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