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When you're a naive band from Winnipeg touring the racially divided United States in the 1960s you learn some valuable coping mechanisms.
For Randy Bachman, who did that touring with The Guess Who and its predecessor Chad Allen And The Expressions, the one useful tip he learned — don't stop playing when a fight breaks out.
Bachman told George how he learned about that.
"When we went to New York for the Shakin' All Over tour, which was '64-'65, The Kingsmen 'Louie Louie' tour, they found out we were a great jukebox band," Bachman began. "We could copy any song on the radio because we were playing dances in Winnipeg, three hour dances, and you gotta sound like the radio. You're basically taking the place of records being spun.
"And when they found out we could copy anything we got asked to back The Crystals, The Ronettes, The Shirelles... and we could replicate the music exactly. So we went on tour with them.
"But on the tour there'd be knife fights in the audience between black and white guys with blood everywhere," Bachman continued. "And you're told when the fight starts, never stop playing that song. So we played 'Da Doo Ron Ron' with The Crystals for, like, an hour and a half while the National Guard came in and the police came in... 'cause most people are still dancing. The minute you stop and they know there's a scuffle, guys get in and people really get hurt."
George's interview with Randy Bachman airs Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. on CBC.
Randy Bachman will perform at Toronto's Massey Hall on Saturday, March 15, 2014. For more Bachman appearances go here. Bachman-Turner Overdrive will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame at the Juno Awards on March 30.