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A British Rock Group Called Badfinger

Updated on September 17, 2017
Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

I'm a writer, a poet, a dreamer. Born and raised in New York City. I live in the suburbs of Riga, Latvia. I have a wonderful cat named Sid.

A British rock band with a really odd name is Badfinger. The original band line-up was Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Joey Molland. They had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1972. They included “Come and Get It” (written and produced by Paul McCartney), “No Matter What”, “Day After Day” and “Baby Blue”.

Badfinger’s very first single was “Maybe Tomorrow” released in 1968. This resulted in the release of an album by the same name. Other songs on this album included “Dear Angel” and “Angelique”. This was the only one of their albums that was released under the name The Iveys.

It was in 1969 that they changed the name of the group to Badfinger. Their choice was made due to a song titled “Bad Finger Boogie” which was the choice for a Lennon – McCartney song which later would become “With a Little Help From My Friends”.

The band reached popularity when they released their song “Come and Get It”. It was included in their debut album under the name Badfinger and the album went on to sell over a million copies all over the world. Other songs on the album included “Crimson Ship” and “Midnight Sun”.

It was in 1971 that they released their album Straight Up which included two of their most popular hits “Day After Day” and “Baby Blue”.

All of these albums were release under Apple Records and before the band made a switch to Warner Records they released their last album title Ass. This album included such songs as “Apple of My Eye”. All of their albums recorded on Apple Records have been re-released.

Their first release on Warner Records was a self-titled album. This album included two songs which became popular “I Miss You” and “Love Is Easy”.

After returning from an American concert tour Badfinger released Wish You Were Here. This album was liked by Rolling Stone magazine. It included songs like “Your So Fine” and “Got to Get Out of Here”.

Badfinger arranged to have American businessman Stan Polley to manage their commercial affairs. As it turned out when they signed on with Warner Brothers Polley had made some financial schemes resulting in a lawsuit by Warner over missing escrow account money. Due to this Warner withdrew the band’s 1974 album Wish You Were Here from the market just seven weeks after it was released thereby cutting off the band’s income. Then on April 24, 1975 just three days before his 28th birthday Pete Ham committed suicide by hanging himself.

The remaining band members struggled to rebuild both their personal and their professional lives. Badfinger had come under the influence of a dark shadow. Band member Tom Evans also went through some problems and on November 19, 1983 Evans hung himself as well.

It is interesting to note that Badfinger had their final studio album released in 2000. This was because they recorded it 26 years earlier in 1974 at The Beatles’ Apple Studios in London. It remained unreleased. This album includes the songs “Lay Me Down” and “Saville Row”. The songs are on two CDs.

Then since 1990 band member Joey Molland has performed in the U.S. under the name Badfinger and has released three solo albums. In 1997 and 1999 posthumous collections of Ham’s home recordings were released.

A Badfinger convention took place in Swansea which featured a performance by Jackson This event brought together Jackson, Griffiths and members of the Ham, Evans and Gibbons families and on January 1, 2008 BBC in Wales broadcast an hour documentary about Badfinger. A blue plaque was unveiled to honor Pete Ham in his home town of Swansea.

Today Joey Molland tours under the name Joey Molland’s Badfinger in the U.S. Then in 2015 another group member Bob Jackson formed his own version of this group and went on a U.K. tour.

© 2016 Gypsy Rose Lee


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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Glad this brought you some pleasant memories.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I had no idea Badfinger experienced such tragedies during its career. Very sad. Nevertheless, you've brought forth some good memories once again, Rasma.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Yes, Missy Smith they could have gone so much farther if only tragedy hadn't stepped in the way. At least their music lives on.

      Glad you enjoyed this Ann.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I remember Badfinger well; loved 'Come and Get It' and enjoyed their music. What sad lives, especially as the monetary downfall was not their fault. At least their music lives on.

      When I read that Paul McCartney wrote for them I realised why I liked their music so much!

      Interesting, as always!


    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      I didn't know who they were by name, but the songs they came out with in the 70's I knew. I had heard them growing up. I also think the connection with The Beatles was a cool thing to know about this band.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      If not for the tragedies it was written that it was thought Badfinger might follow in the footsteps of the Beatles. What happened was another thing.

      The music was wonderful Bill. Sorry the group fell apart.

      No I believe there were financial troubles among other things Ruby. They were thought to follow the Beatles but tragedy made it otherwise.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a group I didn't know. Were drugs involved in their suicides? Sad this happened. Great review....

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The title should say "Tragic British Rock Group." They were one of my favorite groups back then....great songs, sad lives.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Sad story. So young! So many good people needed direction in the sixties. Alas! Alas!

      Their music has a sixties feel to it. Funny I did not know them. Perhaps they haven't been played so much. Nice Hub.