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Badfinger Biography

Home > Music > B > Badfinger > Biography

Birth Place: Swansea, Wales, Liverpool, England
Years Active: 1969-1975, 1978-1984, 1986-1989, 1990-present (as Badfinger featuring Joey Molland)
Genres: Power Pop, Rock, Pop Rock

Badfinger was a British rock band consisting originally of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Joey Molland. They were originally known as The Iveys which was formed by Ham, Ron Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales, in the early 1960s. Joey Molland joined the group in 1969, following the departure of Griffiths.

Signed by the Beatles' Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys, they adopted the name Badfinger in 1969. 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” and “Baby Blue.” The Ham/Evans-penned Badfinger song "Without You" in 1971 became a Billboard #1 hit for Harry Nilsson.

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

The next three years saw surviving members trying to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits. The albums, “Airwaves” released in 1978 and “Say No More” released in 1981, floundered as Molland and Evans see-sawed between cooperation 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. On November 19, 1983, Evans also took his own life by hanging.