May 19, 2024

Instead of Badfinger, they should have called themselves Bad Deal because that’s what they got.

Badfinger was signed by The Beatles’ Apple Records. Paul McCartney wrote their first worldwide hit “Come and Get It” for Ringo Starr’s film (with Peter Sellers), “The Magic Christian.”

The Beatle connection haunted the band. If you didn’t look too close they sorta looked like a younger version of the Fab Four. And people tended to hear Beatle trappings in Badfinger songs but the comparisons were usually unflattering.

Starting in late ‘70 Badfinger produced four great songs, “No Matter What” (from “No Dice”)” “Day After Day” and “Baby Blue” (both on “Straight Up”).

The fourth, the ballad “Without You,” was composed by guitarist/singer Pete Ham and bassist Tom Evans.

While originally recorded by Badfinger, it was covered by John Lennon’s buddy Harry Nilsson. His version went to #1 on the pop charts. That didn’t really sit too well with the group.

Leaving Apple in ‘74, or walking away from the label’s self-demolition, Badfinger signed with Warner Records. Of course, the six-figure advance disappeared. No real mystery, their management took it.

Now consumed by financial troubles, Ham left the group. The following year, depressed over everything that had happened, he visited his accountant who told him he was broke. He then went home and hung himself.

Badfinger was done. Drummer Mike Gibbins did session work and guitarist Joey Molland formed a band that opened for Peter Frampton.

In the late ‘70s there were attempts to revive Badfinger. The surviving members even hit the road.

Following an ‘83 U.S. tour, Evans, exhausted from battling for his share of songwriting royalties, especially for “Without You,” followed Ham and committed suicide by hanging.

Decades later, the song “Baby Blue” was heard during the climatic finale of the AMC crime drama series “Breaking Bad.” As a result, the song and band had a brief revival.

Leave a Reply