Monday, March 30, 2015

Badfinger

Today's post comes by way of request from reader, Bill Cunningham. Thank you, Bill, for your request. While I had heard most of their music, I did not know much else about this band until I did the research.


Badfinger were a British rock band that originally consisted of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Ron Griffiths. The band evolved from an earlier group called The Iveys that was formed in 1961 by Ham, Ron Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales. They were signed by the Beatles' Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys. In 1969, Griffiths left and was replaced by Joey Molland, and the band renamed itself Badfinger. In 1970, the band engaged American businessman Stan Polley to manage their commercial affairs. Over the next five years the band recorded several albums for Apple and toured extensively, before they became embroiled in the chaos of Apple Records' dissolution.

Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1972: "Come and Get It" (written and produced by Paul McCartney), "No Matter What", "Day After Day" (produced by George Harrison) and "Baby Blue". In 2013, "Baby Blue" made a resurgence onto the "Hot Rock Songs" Billboard 100 chart at number 14, due to its featuring at the end of the series finale of the hit TV show Breaking Bad. Their song "Without You" has been covered many times, including a Billboard number one hit for Harry Nilsson.


They signed to Warner Bros., but Polley's financial schemes resulted in a lawsuit by Warner over missing escrow account money. Warner's consequent withdrawal from market of the 1974 album, Wish You Were Here (seven weeks after its release), cut off the band's income. Three days before his 28th birthday, on 24 April 1975, Ham committed suicide by hanging himself, leaving a note that included damning comments about Polley.

Over the next three years, surviving members struggled to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits. The albums Airwaves and Say No More floundered, as Molland and Evans see-sawed between co-operation and struggle in attempts to revive and capitalize on the Badfinger legacy. Having seen Ham's body after Ham's wife had called him, Evans reportedly never got over his friend's suicide, and was quoted as saying in darker moments, "I wanna be where he is." On 19 November 1983, Evans also took his own life by hanging.


"No Matter What" was recorded by Badfinger for their album No Dice in 1970, written and sung by Pete Ham and produced by Mal Evans.

https://youtu.be/Xoke1wUwEXY





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