Is Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” about herpes?

Well, with lyrics such as “she took me to her doctor and he told me of a cure,” you might think so. Here’s the problem: “The song’s from the early 1970s. Herpes wasn’t even around then,” Randy Bachman said to me, genuinely flabbergasted by the question. (Actually, herpes has been around for millennia–the Roman emperor Tiberius outlawed kissing because of it–but it became epidemic again in the early ’80s.) The song was never intended for release: Bachman used it to test the audio levels in the studio, and made up the lyrics off the top of his head. The famous stuttering was to tease his brother Gary, who suffered from a speech impediment; Bachman intended to press just one copy of the song and give it to Gary. Over his objections, the record company released it as a BTO single instead, and it hit #1 around the world in 1974. “Then Gary stopped stuttering,” Bachman told me.

(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)