Badfinger biography

 

Few bands have attracted tragedy like Badfinger. From a promising start as a late 60s pop act through to the messy legal problems that dogged their later years, it was an unfortunate fall from grace.

Formed in Swansea in 1968, Badfinger - though originally The Iveys - were named after Bad Finger Boogie, the working title of The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends. They settled on the name after rejecting The Glass Onion and (John Lennon's suggestion) The Prix.

The following year they signed to The Beatles' Apple label, and their first single was
Come And Get It, a bitter song about Apple's finances written by Paul McCartney. It reached the top five in the UK, and also appeared on the soundtrack to The Magic Christian film, starring Ringo Starr.

Badfinger's links with The Beatles lasted well into the 70s. George Harrison co-produced their album Straight Up in 1971, the same year that Joey Molland and Tom Evans played on John Lennon's Imagine. Additionally, Ham, Evans and Molland played key roles in Harrison's All Things Must Pass and Concert For Bangla Desh.

They released the No Dice album - considered by the band to be their best album - in 1971, from which came the massive hit song
Without You. The song, written by Ham and Evans, later became an international hit for Harry Nilsson.

In 1973 their manager Stan Polley negotiated a multi-million pound deal with Warner Bros, which soured relations between Apple and Badfinger. The band released a final album on Apple - titled Ass - and their debut for Warners, the Badfinger album, in quick succession.

However, the groups finances were in disarray thanks to gross mismanagement, with millions missing from the band's accounts. The members of Badfinger were in personal debt, and relations with Warner Bros had deteriorated to the point where their third album for the label, 1974's Head First, was never released.

In early 1975 Badfinger's contract with Warner Bros was terminated. On 23 April 1975, in despair at the turmoil within and around the band, Pete Ham hanged himself.

Over the next few years, the remaining members of Badfinger tried to control their increasingly complex legal and financial problems. In 1978 Tom Evans and Joey Molland kickstarted the band again, with ex-Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye and former Stealers Wheel drummer Peter Clarke. They released the album Airwaves, which was followed by a second album, Say No More, in 1981.

But tragedy hit the band again on 19 November 1993. Following an argument with Molland, and as the result of years of unhappiness with the band's business dealings, Tom Evans hanged himself. The band officially broke up that year.

Since then, a number of live and radio recordings have surfaced, in response to the still-high demand for the music of one of Wales' most popular and sorely missed groups.