He rocked American Woman with The Guess Who - now Randy Bachman's waxed a down 'n' dirty blues album with Bonamassa...
"Cutting this with Anna Ruddick [bass] and Dale Anne Brendon [drums] was amazing. Playing with those ladies was like playing with John Entwistle and Keith Moon, or John Bonham and John Paul Jones. So I got to be, at different moments, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton or Pete Townshend. I didn't want guests on every song. I wanted to show I could still play.
"It was all done across the airwaves, because everyone was on tour. There's such a variance of styles. The first guy onboard was Joe Bonamassa, whose solo on Bad Child blew me away.
"When I gave Peter Frampton the song Heavy Blues, I knew there'd be little tastes of Django in there. [The late] Jeff Healey's licks on Confessin' To The Devil are very BB King. And nobody sounds like Neil Young. He hardly plays on Little Girl Lost - just moments of noise and feeling, almost like Jimi Hendrix."
"I didn't want the normal sound, so I bought these guitars on eBay. A lot of the blues guys used to have Supro, Harmony and Silvertone guitars before they could afford the Gibsons and Fenders, because they were in all the mail-order catalogues.
"They have this incredible, weird sound. But they're tough to play. They all have different numbers of frets: some have 21, some 20, some 18. The scale length and string tension is different, and because I used heavier strings, I was really pushing to hold my bluesy notes, and get a little shake on it, like BB King, so I have blisters like I haven't had in years.
"You can hardly bend a note without hitting the next note because of the small necks. So these guitars made me play different licks, which I wanted to do. I didn't want you to hear this record and say, ‘Oh, that's just Randy Bachman doing an American Woman thing...'"
"I bought these old Silvertone piggyback amps from the 50s and 60s, and they were on full. When you plug an old guitar into an old amp and crank it up, you get this distortion that is such a familiar sound of old blues and rock 'n' roll.
"In the room, I had two Silvertone amps, then two National lunchbox amps that just have one big knob. We had these amps up on chairs, and we put mics on each one, and I used the old big Roland chorus [CE-1] as a signal splitter.
"When I played, it would come out of four amps at once, and we got such an ambience that when you hear a song like Learn To Fly, it sounds like a whole bunch of guitars playing. But it's just me, playing once. It sounds gigantic."
"We mixed in four days at Kevin Shirley's studio in Malibu. I said to him early on, ‘I want it to sound like late-60s blues' and he said, ‘Fabulous, that's what I'm into'.
"Everything is so fine-tuned and auto-corrected now, even the timing. A lot of music now is just too damn clean and sterile. But I mean, rock 'n' roll and old blues is dirty. It's like going into a club in the afternoon and you can hardly breathe from the stench of old tobacco fumes, hops and liquor. So we kinda had that in mind.
"Everything we did, I said, ‘I want it dirtier, I want more distortion'. We recorded pretty much live, then went into Pro Tools and mixed on tape. Kevin got all the solos, from Frampton and Neil Young, and he just flew them in. But it sounds like we're all there in the room."
"When I asked Kevin if he'd work with me, he said, ‘Yes, but I want you to do something'. And I said, ‘What?' And he said, ‘Shut up and listen to me'.
"I've been producing myself for so long, and you get to a point where you say, ‘I'm great, I'm fab, that's enough, I'm gonna have dinner and go to sleep'.
Kevin told me, ‘I'm gonna pull you past that Stop sign. I'm gonna push you down a road you haven't gone down in a long time'. And he did it. He pulled me and pushed me, and I was so amazed, because he did it so gently and so quickly."
"You can hear how thrilled I am with this album. I'm blown away by the whole thing. I only got the final mixes about five days ago, and they're just amazing, face-kicking, home runs.
"This is a real guitarist's album, and if you're any sort of a guitar player, it's gonna be a great CD to get. And I have enough songs for the next album. I'm gonna reach out to Brian May, Eddie Van Halen, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Billy Gibbons, and see what I can get out of that. I've got some commitments already..."
Heavy Blues will be released in Spring 2015 through Linus Entertainment