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Guitarology 101 With The Randy Bachman Band

Posted by Matthew McAndrew / January 31, 2010

 Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert Randy Bachman is in town this weekend, bringing his critically-acclaimed radio program Randy's Vinyl Tap to a live audience for a three night stand at CBC's Glenn Gould Studios. Dubbed "Guitarology 101," the two-and-a-half hour event was as much an educational experience as it was a rock'n'roll concert.

Alongside the Randy Bachman Band, the internationally renowned Canadian rock icon showcased the evolution of the guitar through recreating songs popularized by some of the greatest musicians of all time.

With eight beautiful guitars to work with, Bachman rolled through tracks from Duane Eddy, The Beatles, The Shadows, Curtis Mayfield, Cream, The Police, Stevie Wonder and AC/DC, as well as a few of his personal hits with The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert From Chuck Berry's 'Oh Carol' on a Gibson Jazz ES-127 to Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be The Day' on a Fender Stratocaster, Randy intertwined personal stories with lessons about the creation, structure, limitations and variations of the eight guitars.

 Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert  Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert The dynamic between Randy and his wife had the audience laughing throughout the show, with Denise McCann Bachman rolling her eyes each time she had to remind Randy to name the guitar he was speaking about for the benefit of the future radio listeners.

 Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert With Mick Dalla-Vee on bass and Brent Knudsen on second guitar, Bachman was able to replicate the notorious opening chord of 'A Hard Day's Night' with a Rickenbacker 12-string.

Randy could barely contain his excitement as he reminisced about the time he spent in Abbey Road studios alongside producer Giles Martin, where he was fortunate enough to hear selections from the Beatles' master studio tapes.

 Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert An extended rendition of T-Bone Walker's 'Stormy Monday' saw Bachman playing a solo on each of the eight guitars proudly displayed on stage. While eight priceless guitars may seem impressive now, consider the fact that Randy owns over 400 in total.

 Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert Bachman claimed that the guitar is the most popular instrument in the world because it is the only instrument you put your arms around to play. He joked with the crowd, asking "Do you hug your grand piano or your drum kit?"

Even after such a prolific career, Bachman remains down-to-earth, approachable and modest. Before playing Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition,' Randy went off on a tangent about how the song was originally written for Jeff Beck, a guitarist whose talent makes Bachman "want to quit" playing the instrument.

While Randy claims to be surprised by the success of his award-winning radio show, it comes as no shock to me that Vinyl Tap has gained international recognition, as his earnest approach, legendary career and lifelong passion for music make for an intimate and authentic experience.

 Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap - Guitarology 101 Concert Check out Randy's Vinyl Tap every Saturday at 7pm on CBC Radio One, and again on Sundays at 6pm on CBC Radio Two.

Words & photos by Matthew McAndrew.



Ratpick / January 31, 2010 at 05:23 pm
Why do you say Randy Bachman is "infamous"?

Matthew replying to a comment from Ratpick / January 31, 2010 at 05:33 pm
Poor word choice - thanks for the correction. Couldn't be further from the truth in Randy's case.
Kevin / February 19, 2010 at 03:50 am
Loved this show! Randy put a unique spin on this showcase of guitars and the sounds they made famous. The 2-1/2 hours slipped by in a heartbeat ..... I'm waiting for Guitarology 102!!
Alwin Cawston / July 9, 2011 at 08:04 pm
I would have loved to have seen this show.
Is there a Video or DVD available?
Robert Grosman / July 23, 2011 at 02:48 pm
Last week I was driving through the night from Cape Breton to Quebec. I was born in Montreal and had live in Florida. Hadn't been back to Montreal for 57 years. I listened to Randy's entire show "Guitarology" as I drove through the night. One of the most interesting radio shows ever. I have 7 guitars myself and learned quite a bit from the show. It was unique and paired a concert with an education.
How can I acquire a copy?
George Nose / August 5, 2013 at 02:14 am
As seen in a facebook post of Mike Isenberg:

"George Harrison described the chord himself - Bachman is wrong. I've studied The Beatles since 1963 and I'll take George's version any day. Here is the way it actually goes on the twelve string - anyone can do it and hear perfectly that it's absolutely correct as George described it. Add onto it Paul's bass note of D and George Martin's piano chord and there you have it. Of course everyone will believe as they wish, but that IS the chord, and again, I'll take George's word over Randy Bachman, who doesn't seem to add into the mix the fact that A Hard Day's Night was recorded on a four track machine that would make it impossible to pull out separate tracks. Here is the chord - try it. You'll hear the proof. First finger on the first fret of the sixth string. Second finger on the first fret of the second string (it's a stretch). Little finger on the third fret of the first string. Strum all of the strings - and there you have it. It's the same way George did the song in concert with The Beatles, and he said it was the same chord he used when they recorded the song."
George Nose / August 5, 2013 at 02:16 am
Essentially, Randy Bachman may or may not be accurate in saying how Giles Martin or someone else in post-Beatles times re-created the sound. But, he is certainly wrong in saying that what he describes is how The Beatles made the sound.
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