Sixties Music Secrets

“Do You Want To Know A Secret” ?

Badfinger….(Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Joey Molland and Mike Gibbons).the band “you didn’t know, you didn’t know”! Of course you loved their multiple hit singles. “Come and get it” No matter what” and “Day after day”….. But, did ha know the strange and sad saga  of this incredible English  band whose connection to The Beatles is mythic. Hailing from Wales and originally known as The Iveys. They scored their first hit which  you may recall  “Maybe Tomorrow” ( yes  you remember that one) With their tight three part harmonies, melodic  guitar fills and natural ability to write simply great pop music They  scored big in the U.K. As  the band started getting attention in the U.S And the comparisons to The Beatles began. It doesn’t take long before Paul gets wind of  The Iveys, just as Apple records opens for business. Paul and The Beatles decide that “The Iveys” (Badfinger) will be the first act to sign with Apple.

The Iveys are thrilled. McCartney intervenes writing and producing their first single as Badfinger “Come and get it” This is where the tensions within the group and Paul McCartney began. Sides were being taken as to how this new record should sound. The band found themselves at odds with Paul McCartney ( not good dear reader) But McCartney prevailed and Badfinger recorded “Come and get it” literally note for note as Paul had done on his demo. “Come and get it becomes a world wide smash, is featured in the new Peter Sellars Movie “The Magic Chritian” which also stars Ringo Starr! and the Badfinger/Beatle connection grows deeper,. Just prior to the release of “Come and get it” The band is encouraged to change their name from The Ivey’s to Badfinger. Pauls idea,  “Badfinger” comes from the original working title to the song John and Paul wrote for Ringo….”With a little help from my friends” was originally called “Badfinger Boogie” The saga continues with their next hit, “No matter what” written by Badfingers Pete Ham, the record however was produced by long time Beatles road manager Mal Evans! Most of us remember Mal as the big burly “fifth Beatle” who protected the band, carried their equipment and insured that there were never to many or not enough girls for “The Lads” But in Badfinger/ Beatle land, Mal is the record producer?…Yup! Credit, however must go to the band and Mal because they delivered another Worldwide smash with “No matter what”…….The third and final international hit for Badfinger  intensified the Beatle connection with George Harrison producing and playing lead guitar on “Day after day” George’s solo comes straight away from “All things must pass” and catapults Badfinger back on the world stage. Meanwhile, dear reader, see if any of the following sounds familiar. Badfinger struggles with their money, business, and management. They eventually sign up with an American manager of dubious background and practices. He causes a great division in the band resulting with internal lawsuits within the band and of course multiple lawsuits with the manager,  record label and Music Publisher. Heard that one before? But wait! It gets deeper.

At the peak of their success and height of their internal struggles, one of the original band members Joey Molland meets a girl. He becomes consumed by her. She’s with Joey and the band constantly, rehearsals, recording sessions band meetings etc. eventually, she and Joey marry and it is suggested by Joey and the Mrs. That she manage the band! It’s rather “Uncanny” isn’t?………However, amid the turmoil, in fighting and lawsuits Pete Ham and Tom Evans sit down and write what Paul McCartney called “The killer love song of all time”…..

“Without you” ( yes, that “Without you”) Badfinger recorded and released it on their 1970 album “No Dice”,  but it received no support or interest from anyone including the band. Until a short time later.  Harry Nilsson, in the middle of producing his album Nilsson Schmilsson, heard the song at a party and was told it was a new Beatle song (unbelievable ain’t it ? ) Straight away, Harry took the song into the studio with producer Richard Perry. In no time ” Without You” shot to number one in the U.S.A.  and  several other countries around the world, where it stayed for six weeks and sold just shy on 1,000,000 units! Giving Harry, Pete and Tom the biggest hit of their careers.  To date over 180 artists have recorded “Without You” including Mariah Carey in 1994

Finally, The Saga and Story of Badfinger could be dismissed as “The usual trappings of a successful band. However what makes them unique is their unregognized abilitys and their resemblence, irony and close proximity to the biggest band in history. AND…..The final Grim chapter that history will write and read over and over. Something only unique to one band. Badfinger.

In 1975 after years of fights, lawsuits and financial problems Pete Ham( no question, the bands creative source) committed suicide by hanging himself in his home. Petes wife urgently called Pete’s band mate, friend and creative partner Tom Evans to rush over with help. Tom got to Pete’s side, but to late Tom only witnessed his dead friends body hanging lifeless!

Tom Evans went on struggling with all the same demons his friend Pete dealt with.., only without Pete and with the horrible vision he witnessed……..In 1983 Tom began muttering out loud, things like “I want to be with Pete”, and by the end of the year Tom was found dead in his home, DEAD, suicide by  Hanging…..

 

Happier Times…”Come and get it”…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk57K4OGrAg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 comments on ““Do You Want To Know A Secret” ?

  1. Rick (aka: Mr. IS ) says:

    Mr. Shoe , That was really great info on Badfinger. Never knew a lot of that, especially with the part where Harry Nilsson took “Without You” to the studio and made that song a huge hit.A lot of real uncanny stuff between Badfinger and the Beatles. Some I remember way back in the day. Thanks Rick for some real interesting history of these guys. Sad ending for Badfinger though.

    1. Rick says:

      Hey Rick (Mr. Is)…We’re happy to hear you liked the piece on Badfinger ( The band you didn’t know, you didn’t know) And yes we agree with you about “The uncanny stuff between Badfinger and The Beatles. However, we have always believed that the unusual and close ties with The Beatles got in the way of Badfinger being recognized as the unique and incredibly talented band that they were! As a fan we’re curious as to your thoughts about their unusual association with “The Fabs”
      …..Meanwhile, here’s a curious factoid about Badfinger, you’ll only read here at SMS…..
      Badfinger is the only band in history where you can take the titles of their three Worldwide hit singles, write them in a line, and they form a sentence. But, here’s the best part. It works, FORWARD…BACKWARD….and INSIDE OUT ! Follow this…
      Forward: “Come and get it, no matter what, day after day”
      Backward: “Day after day, no matter what, come and get it”
      Inside Out: “No matter what, come and get it, day after day”
      How do you like that? Vital information you’ll only find here at Sixties Music Secrets ! Thank you Mr. Is for your contribution, patience and sense of humor…

  2. Great piece Rick! Truly a very under appreciated band with many great deep tracks. The Malibooz had the pleasure of opening for Joey Molland’s latest Badfinger lineup last year.

    1. Rick says:

      Hey John, glad you liked the piece….I must say The Malibooz have played with more cool bands than any other 10 bands I know of….BUT BADFINGER….That just blows us away. And we agree with you. It’s all about the deep tracks that make them so great. I have a fond memory of picking up “No Dice” their second L.P. And dropping the needle on the first track “I Can’t Take It”….My Jaw dropped and I thought “No Way” ! These guys can’t be this good….But they were!
      Thanx John, always great to see you here
      Rick
      P.S. We’re dyin’ to know, How’s the 2016 version of Badfinger?

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