Back in the day I was your typical hit driven fan of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. I never bought any of their albums though (just the hits,) so I never became familiar with those BTO deep tracks that fans just swear by. Last night I was driving around in my car listening to the radio and this song came on that sort of reminded of BTO but wasn’t quite sure.
So I called the DJ and he promptly told me the song was “Rock Is My Life, And This Is My Song” by BTO. It’s on the album Not Fragile released in 1974 that contained two of BTO’s hits including “Roll On Down The Highway” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”
When I tuned in to my radio during this song it was just at the time when Turner (who sings lead on the song, not Randy Bachman) sort of talks the title: “Rock Is My Life, And This Is My Song” in a very battle charged, non-ironic, sort of cliche kind of way, but it totally worked. I guess I had one of those OMG I love rock and roll moments that we all have around a song, around a moment that says: THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN THE WORLD.
I turned up my radio.
I listened more closely and heard some great lines like: “When we come into a new town/Everybody’s there/When we play our music/Hands are in the air.” I can feel that!
And this line: “I’m not tryin’ to come like Hollywood/But Hollywood is what I am.” So “rock star.”
And this line: “You’re only as good as your last record/I know that someday we’ll be gone, gone.” And I guess ain’t that the truth. When I got home I immediately bought the song and have had it on repeat. It’s one of those undiscovered classic rock anthems that bands and fans of rock and roll must hear. If I was in a band I would play it through the house system before I came on stage. I can see The Hold Steady or Free Energy covering this song in a new indie-ironic kind of way. It may tend towards the cliche side of rock, but there is a timeliness to the song that still holds up.
“When the music’s over, over/you wonder where we are
I’m standing in the silence/With my old guitar, my only friend
Rock is my life and this is my song”