Canadian Press A judge in British Columbia was told this week that Tim…
- Posted on Jul 15th 2010 4:00PM by Pat Pemberton
"Many years after his death, I saw a special on HBO or Showtime or something like that, where they were interviewing Priscilla Presley at Graceland," Bachman tells Spinner. "They asked her where Elvis got 'taking care of business' and she said, 'Oh, we were driving in our Cadillac to the airport in L.A., going to fly back to Memphis, and a song came on the radio by a Canadian band -- 'Taking Care of Business" -- and Elvis said, "Quick, turn that up -- I love that song."'"
For Bachman, who is currently singing the song in a reunion tour with Fred Turner, that interview with the King's ex-wife was a joyous revelation.
"I was blown away," says Bachman, who once received a TCB necklace from one of Presley's old bandmates. "Elvis was the reason I started to play rock 'n' roll guitar in the first place. I was a kid playing classical violin from the age of five to 14, and I saw Elvis on TV and went, 'Wow -- that's rock 'n' roll!'"
Not long after that, a cousin taught him three chords on guitar, which allowed him to play 'I Walk the Line' by Johnny Cash, 'Tutti Fruitti' by Little Richard and two Elvis songs: 'Hound Dog' and 'Don't Be Cruel.'
After finding success with the Guess Who in the '60s, Bachman formed BTO with Fred Turner, brother Robin Bachman, and another brother, Tim Bachman, who would leave the band after a year (Tim Bachman recently appeared in a Canadian court facing charges of sexual assault against a child).
While BTO had a string of hits, 'Taking Care of Business' became the band's signature song -- and an anthem for the working class.
"We all take care of business in our own way," Bachman says. "We all need each other, so every single job is important, from janitors and nurses to school teachers and cops and firemen. Most people are underpaid, and they get along. They're blue collar workers but they take care of business."
While Bachman and Turner -- for legal reasons, they can't use their old band name -- plan to release a new album in September, they're playing the old hits live, including 'Taking Care of Business.'
The song's signature piano part, by the way, happened serendipitously, Turner says, when a composer and pianist named Norman Durkee happened to walk by the studio during the recording process.
"We thought that it needed something just to give it a little more life," Turner tells Spinner. "As we were trying to get that done, this fellow stuck his head in the door and he says, 'I think that song needs a little bit of piano on it to lift it up.'"
When Bachman asked what he could do, Durkee -- a former child prodigy who went on to produce music for ballets, national TV commercials and dinner theatre -- offered to do a Little Richard or Elton John-style composition.
"He picked up a big pizza box -- I remember that -- and he scored the song on the pizza box," Turner says.
And since he scored it, the guys from BTO had him record it as well.
"He walked into the studio and knocked it off in one take," Turner says.
Elvis, at least in his heftier years, probably would have appreciated that.