|Randy Bachman. (Supplied)
Randy Bachman is looking out for No. 1 — by getting No. 2.
The rock legend is about to be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame for the second time, earning his own personal star to go with the one The Guess Who received back in 2001.
“This one is much sweeter,” admits the hardworking Winnipeg-born guitar hero, who gets his star Sept. 22, along with several other prominent Canadians. “The first one was sweet, but it’s great to be recognized just for all my ongoing efforts.”
Coincidentally, the only other Canadian with two stars on the Toronto attraction is his old bandmate Burton Cummings, who got his second tribute last year. Not that Bachman feels competitive.
“Only in that I want to crush him!” he jokes. “But that’s just a friendly rivalry. I want to do better than him. But I know that whatever he gets, I will eventually get and vice versa. Everything can’t happen at once. Whether it’s the Lieutenant Governor’s Award, the Order of Canada, all those things. I know they’re bound to run out of people eventually and get to me and him sooner or later.”
But Bachman isn’t sitting around the house counting accolades. At age 68, the rocker, author and radio host remains one of the most tireless figures in Canadian music. He and his other longtime musical partner Fred Turner recently cameoed in the Will Ferrell comedy The Campaign. They’re heading Down Under to tour Australia and New Zealand in the winter. A Bachman/BTO documentary is in the works. He’s composing music for several movies and TV series. And he’s putting the finishing touches on his upcoming Canadian Vinyl Tap Tour, a spinoff of his longrunning CBC Radio series. The live show — which will cross Canada next March and April after previewing Sept. 20 at this year’s Walk of Fame Festival — will see Bachman performing his CanCon classics like American Woman, These Eyes, Undun, Takin’ Care of Business, Let it Ride and You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet while telling the stories behind their creation.
And while he has no plans to slow down anytime soon — “I had my first vacation in about 25 years this last spring,” he says. “I went to Jamaica … and after two days I was going crazy” — he will pause just long enough this weekend to savour his victory.
“I’m just going to enjoy the moment — and then I’m going to get back to work.”
Bachman will receive one of six stars being awarded on Saturday.
The other honourees are:
• Phil Hartman (Brantford, Ont.), the late comic actor who starred in Saturday Night Live, NewsRadio and The Simpsons;
• Russ Jackson (Hamilton, Ont.), former CFL quarterback who led the Ottawa Rough Riders to a trio of Grey Cup victories in the ’60s;
• Sarah McLachlan (Halifax, N.S.), internationally known singer-songwriter and creator of the all-female concert tour Lilith Fair;
• Sonia Rodriguez (Toronto, Ont.), principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada;
• Team Canada 1972, who played an unforgettable eight-game Summit Series against Team USSR, highlighted by Paul Henderson’s series-clinching goal.
In addition, Juno and Grammy-winning R&B artist Melanie Fiona will win the 2012 Allan Slaight Award, presented annually to a young Canadian making a positive impact in the arts, sports, innovation or philanthropy. Previous recipients include Drake and Nikki Yanofsky.
Late Night With David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer — a native of Thunder Bay who was inducted to the Walk of Fame in 2006 — will host the event. The ceremony will air Sunday Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on Global and Slice.