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Bachman-Turner Overdrive Drummer, Co-Founder Robbie Bachman Dead At 69

Robbie Bachman, the drummer and co-founder of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, has died. He was 69.

Randy Bachman, the drummer’s brother and bandmate, confirmed the news on Twitter.

“Another sad departure,” he wrote. “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.”

Robbie was was the original drummer for both the Brave Belt and Bachman-Turner Overdrive bands.

When Robbie was age 18, Randy offered him the Brave Belt drumming job, and Robbie accepted. Other members of Brave Belt were Chad Allan and Fred Turner. In 1972, another Bachman brother, Tim, joined Brave Belt after the departure of Allan.

Brave Belt changed their name to Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1973. They released their self-titled debut album in 1973, followed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive II later that year.

BTO enjoyed a period of peak popularity between 1973 and 1976, releasing five Top 40 albums and six U.S. Top 40 singles. Robbie co-wrote with Fred Turner one of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s biggest hits, “Roll On down the Highway.” He remained with BTO until late 1979, after their tour supporting the 1979 album Rock n’ Roll Nights had ended.

(Photo: Mercury Records)

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