l-r Frank Ludwig, Chris Leighton, CF Turner, Randy BachmanFollowing the temporary demise of BTO, Randy Bachman retreated to his home in Vancouver to ponder his musical future. He formed Ironhorse in 1978 but 2 albums later amid problems with Scotti Brothers Records, they found themselves shopping around for a new label in 1980.

Later that year after changing the group’s name to Union, Bachman scored a deal with Portrait – label to Heart and Burton Cummings, whose partnership with him in The Guess Who is legendary. The band consisted of Bachman, CF Turner, who’d played with Bachman in BTO and Brave Belt, drummer Chris Leighton and Frank Ludwig, who gained notoriety as Trooper‘s keyboardist. The band began work on what would turn out to be their only album the next spring and travelled to Lynden, WA to record it at Legend Studios.

With Bachman at the controls, ON STRIKE was released in time for the summer rush of ’81 amid trepid anticipation from the critics. Backed by the lead-off single “Mainstreet USA”, the record followed the path Bachman was leading his previous projects with Ironhorse down. “Next Stop London”, a tale of life on the road was released as the second single, though the label’s limited patience was already growing short. Other noteable tracks included “Keep The Summer Alive”, co-written with Bachman by Beach Boy Carl Wilson and “All Night Long” and the title-track, Turner’s only contributions.

When Portrait opted out of a deal for a second record due to a lacklustre response, Bachman chose to go it alone for good, though his bands have always been regarded as predominately ‘HIS’ anyway. Turner would re-form BTO, one version of which saw Randy join as well. Ludwig would go on to form Body Electric and become one of the country’s most sought-after session players, also writing the score to The Urban Peasant TV program. After spending the 80’s in reunions with The Guess Who & BTO and working with other groups, Bachman returned with ANY ROAD in ’92 – his first solo effort since ’76, and then reformed The Guess Who again in 2000 before going on to other projects.

  • With notes from Frank Ludwig

    on strike
    ON STRIKE (1981)
    Mainstreet USA
    Next Stop London
    Stay Away From The Honky Tonks
    Care Of Me
    Keep The Summer Alive
    On Strike
    Texas Cannonball
    Pacific Northwest Blues
    All Night Long


chad allan & the expressionsRandy Bachmanbrutusbtobody electricBrave Beltguess whoIronhorseTrooper