Obituaries, May 4, 2023
Tim (Timothy Gregg) Bachman, a Canadian guitarist and vocalist best known for his work with rock bands Brave Belt and Bachman–Turner Overdrive, died on April 28, at age 71, of canc
By Kerry Doole
Tim (Timothy Gregg) Bachman, a Canadian guitarist and vocalist best known for his work with rock bands Brave Belt and Bachman–Turner Overdrive, died on April 28, at age 71, of cancer.
News of his passing came from Tim Bachman’s son, Ryder Bachman, who posted to Facebook, “My Dad passed this afternoon. Thank You Everyone for the kind words. Grateful I got to spend some time with him at the end. Grab yer loved ones and hug em close, ya never know how long you have.”
Bachman-Turner Overdrive, also known as BTO, formed in 1973 from the ashes of Brave Belt, which Randy Bachman formed after leaving the Guess Who. The original BTO lineup comprised Randy Bachman (lead guitar, lead vocals), Fred Turner (bass, lead vocals), Tim Bachman (guitar, vocals) and Robbie Bachman (drums).
Following the departure of Tim Bachman and the addition of Blair Thornton on lead guitar, the band’s commercial prospects brightened with the back-to-back single hits Takin’ Care of Business, which reached #12 in the U.S., and Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, a #1 hit.
Tim Bachman's death follows that of his drummer brother Robbie just three months earlier.
According to his Wikipedia entry, Tim Bachman “wrote or co-wrote several songs during his tenure with Brave Belt and BTO, including Put It in a Song (with Turner) for the Brave Belt II album, Down and Out Man (with R.B. Charles) for the first BTO album, and Blown (with Randy) and I Don’t Have To Hide for Bachman–Turner Overdrive II."
Tim Bachman left BTO in 1974 but rejoined 10 years later for a reunion tour. He subsequently led touring versions of the band in 1987-88. In 2008, Bachman experienced a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He was also charged on more than one occasion with sexual assault, although the charges were dropped in each case.
BTO would ultimately place 12 singles on the charts in the U.S., and 11 albums, including the 1974 #1 Not Fragile. In Canada, meanwhile, they were superstars, winning several Juno Awards and entering The Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Sources: Best Classic Bands, Loudersound, Wikipedia, Noise11
Chris (Christopher Robert ) Brookes, a founding pillar of theatre in Newfoundland and Labrador, author, broadcaster and storyteller known around the world for his audio documentaries, died on April 10 at the age of 79. His family is calling his passing a tragic accident.
Chris Brookes was born in 1943 in London, England during the Blitz. His father, a Captain in the Newfoundland Regiment, married in London and returned home with his war bride and infant son. Brookes grew up in St. John’s, attending Memorial University and Nova Scotia Technical College, where he earned a Bachelor of Engineering Science in 1965. Then, following his real love, he studied theatre, radio and television production. Brookes's professional work took him around the world, beginning engineering studies at Memorial University before pursuing theatre at Yale University and the University of Michigan.
He made radio documentaries as early as the 1990s, which included work with the CBC in Newfoundland and Labrador, and did much of his later work at Battery Radio — an independent company that creates broadcast documentaries and sound design.
He was known for his storytelling ability and creativity, being a key part of several recent podcasting projects around St. John's. He received the Order of Canada for his contributions to Newfoundland culture in 2000 and an honourary doctorate from Memorial in 2007.
St. John's actor Andy Jones worked with Brookes over the last few years to produce the audio version of the children's books he wrote. "He is a major figure in that world in terms of passing on the stories of Newfoundland," Jones told CBC News.
Brookes was also a founding member of The Mummers Troupe, known across the province and the country for their plays performed in the 1970s and early '80s. Many of the works were community-based and controversial, such as What's That Got To Do With The Price of Fish? and They Club Seals Don't They? The Troupe also founded the Resource Centre for the Arts in St. John's, helping to purchase, renovate and develop the LSPU Hall in St. John's as a marquee local performance space.
Read a Globe and Mail tribute here
Robert George Johnston (aka “Georgie Fab”), a Hamilton-based producer, guitarist, and singer/songwriter, died on April 23, at age 73.
His production credits include work with Darcy Hepner, the King Biscuit Boy CD, Biscuits 'n' Gravy, the Poisoned Aeros song Puss n' Boots (recorded with Sylvain Sylvain of The New York Dolls), Sonny Del-Rio, Jack Pedler, Skip Prokop, and many more. He also co-wrote and produced 2010's Canadian Heroes, in dedication to the families of fallen members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
In high school, Johnston performed in The Canadian Museum before he became a founding member of Buxton Kastle, his first major group. Signed to RCA Records in 1970 with bandmates Jerry Doucette, Jack Pedler, and David Kastle, the group scored a major hit with the single Kagie hitting #2 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart RPM in 1971.
When Doucette left the group later in 1971, Johnston switched from Hammond Organ to guitar. The band then changed labels from RCA to Reprise Records, and then Warner Bros where they again hit the charts with the singles Red Red The Rocking Horse, Shorty McKenna, Lovin Games, and Love is Life.
Soon following the break up of Buxton Kastle, Johnston began his relationship with Skip Prokop, founding member of the Juno award-winning rock orchestra Lighthouse. As well as contributing material to the Lighthouse project, he and Prokop co-wrote the #1 Hit It Just Occurred To Me for A&M Records artist Peter Pringle. The song remained at #1 for the weeks of 2 and 9 May 1981, and earned the boys a BMI award for one of the top ten most-played records of the year, and garnered a Gold Record for Pringle.
Johnston was then approached by Atlantic Records' Chairman of the Board in order to collaborate with Juno Award winner, Kim Mitchell, to write material for his first LP, Akimbo Alogo. The record went platinum and the co-writing efforts produced the Top 40 hit, Feel It Burn, the Go For Soda B-side entitled Caroline with Pye Dubois, and the #1 song, All We Are. His final solo album was 2011's The Terra Nye Experiment
He was co-founder of the record label Race Records, as well as the recording studio, A cellar full of noise.
Hamilton concert promoter Lou Molinaro remembered Johnston fondly on Facebook. His post recalled that "I worked with Georgie as we brought in Sylvain Sylvain to record a song with the Poisoned Aeros. Aside from Georgie being a true professional, he was so laidback and fun to be with. Always hospitable too. A memory that comes to mind was when Teenage Head recorded a song for TSN's hockey presentations. Nothing was a challenge for him. I sat back and just watched him work his magic.
"I will always remember him for having such a big heart. A couple of years before This Ain't Hollywood [the Hamilton club Molinaro co-owned) closed, Georgie told me that he wanted to throw a surprise party for Bill Dillon. He had this impressive list of players who were going to perform. The way he orchestrated the planning was just like his work in the studio - professional and effective..... without a glitch."
"We had some great chats about The Move/Roy Wood, The Kinks, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and The Rutles. When we had Neil Innes play at This Ain’t Hollywood, Georgie was like a kid watching one of his musical heroes. Same with Carmine Appice's 2 visits at This Ain't Hollywood. Thanks for everything, Georgie! You're in a class of your own."
A funeral was held in Hamilton on May 1.
Sources: Wikipedia, Discogs, Lou Molinaro, Legacy.com
Don (Donald John) Sebesky, a Grammy and Emmy award-winning American composer, musician, arranger, and conductor, died on April 29, at age 85. According to a Facebook post from his son, his death followed "a struggle with post-stroke Parkinsonism."
Sebesky won the 2000 Tony Award for Best Orchestration for his work on Kiss Me Kate. His Broadway theatre credits include Porgy and Bess (London production by Trevor Nunn), Sinatra At The Palladium, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate (2000 Tony Award), Bells Are Ringing, Flower Drum Song, Parade, The Life, Cyrano, The Goodbye Girl, Will Rogers Follies, and Sinatra At Radio City.
Sebesky worked with such orchestras as the London Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Pops, The New York Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic of London, and the Toronto Symphony.
Among his film credits are The Rosary Murders, The Last of the Belles, Let's Get Lost (starring Chet Baker - Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival), The People Next Door, and Time Piece (Academy Award nomination for Best Short Subject).
For television, Sebesky's work has included Allegra's Window on Nickelodeon (Emmy nomination), The Edge of Night (Emmy nomination), and Guiding Light (Emmy nomination).
As a recording artist, Sebesky's work includes nine recordings under his own name, all of which were Grammy-nominated, including Joyful Noise (winner of two Grammy Awards in 2000).
Sebesky arranged for hundreds of artists, including Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, John Pizzarelli, Michael Buble, Liza Minnelli, Seal, and Prince.
He is the author of the best-selling orchestration textbook, The Contemporary Arranger.
Sources: Broadway World, Wikipedia
Broderick Smith, an acclaimed Australian singer, songwriter and actor, has died at age 75. No cause of death has been reported.
Smith found success domestically in three Australian groups, blues band Carson (1971 to 1973), The Dingoes (1973-1979) and Broderick Smith’s Big Combo (1979-1988). Noise11 notes that "Smith is also the father of keyboard player Ambrose Kenny-Smith of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. King Gizzard’s second album, Eyes Like the Sky (2013), featured all lyrics written and narrated by Broderick."
Smith and Carson released one studio album, Blown’ in 1972 and a live album On The Air (featuring a Sunbury Fest performance) in 1973. Smith then formed The Dingoes with Country Radio’s Kerryn Tolhurst in 1973 (Tolhurst later wrote Pat Benatar’s big hit All Fired Up). The Dingoes were a country rock group best known for what is now considered an Australian classic Way Out West.
After the demise of The Dingoes, Smith formed Broderick Smith’s Big Combo. In 1981 Big Combo released its self-titled album with the radio hits My Father’s Hands and Faded Roses.
Smith dabbled in film and TV acting in the 90s. He published his book (and simultaneously released an album), Man Out of Time, in 2018. Source: Noise11
April Stevens (born Carol Lo Tempio), an American singer who charted with her brother Nino Tempo as a singing duo, died on April 17, at age 93.
Stevens and Nino Tempo charted 17 times on the U.S. charts. She charted twice as a solo artist including Teach Me Tiger (written by Nino) which was banned in many areas for its suggestive lyrics and Wake Up and Love Me (written by her, her brother Nino and Jeff Barry).
She was also a songwriter--charting 3 times with songs she wrote--including #41 in the U.K. with A Woman's Story by Marc Almond in 1986, a song co-written with Phil Spector and Nino Tempo.