Bachman-Turner Overdrive: “Takin’ Care of Business”
ALBUM: Not Fragile
WRITER: Randy Bachman
Peaked at number-12 on the Billboard Hot 100
BTO’s Randy Bachman says that one way he liked to inspire himself as a songwriter was to take a song that was popular at the time and try to write a follow-up to it. Back in 1967, when he was still in The Guess Who, he did that with The Beatles‘ “Paperback Writer.” He explains how even though his attempt at a song was unsuccessful, it produced the lyrics to one of his next group’s signature songs, “Takin’ Care of Business.” “I sat down and wrote a song called ‘White Collar Worker.’ And I played it for The Guess Who and they kind of said, ‘Aah, it’s too much like ‘Paperback Writer’ and it’s got too many chords.’ But the words in the verses were, ‘You get up in the morning from the alarm clock’s warning, take the 8:15 to the city.’ Now, we had just seen commuting in New York and Chicago, where The Guess Who were recording – they didn’t have it in Winnipeg – but we saw guys getting on a train and commuting and that’s what I was writing about. Nobody liked that song back in the Guess Who era, but I kept those words and never again referred to the song as ‘White Collar Worker.’”
Randy Bachman quit Bachman-Turner Overdrive 40 years ago today (August 9th, 1977).