Loading...

`They Sold A Million` Badfinger BBC documentary

530,413 views

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Feb 16, 2014

Badfinger were a British rock band that originally consisted of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Joey Molland. The band evolved from an earlier group called The Iveys that was formed in 1961 by Ham, Ron Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales. They were signed by the Beatles' Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys. In 1969 Griffiths left and was replaced by Molland, and the band renamed itself Badfinger.

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". Their song "Without You" has been covered many times, including a Billboard number one 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 over missing escrow account money. Warner's consequent withdrawal from market of the 1974 album, Wish You Were Here (seven weeks after its release), cut off the band's income. Three days before his 28th birthday, on 24 April 1975, Ham committed suicide by hanging himself, leaving a note that included damning comments about Polley.

Over the next three years, surviving members struggled to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits. The albums Airwaves (1978) and Say No More (1981) floundered, as Molland and Evans see-sawed between cooperation and struggle in attempts to revive and capitalise 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, and was quoted as saying in darker moments, "I wanna be where he is." On 19 November 1983, Evans also took his own life by hanging.

After receiving an invitation from Collins, Beatles' roadie/assistant Mal Evans and Apple Records' A&R head Peter Asher saw them perform at the Marquee Club, London, on 25 January 1968. Afterward, Evans consistently pushed their demo tapes to every Beatle until he gained approval from all four to sign the group. The demos were accomplished using a mono "sound-on-sound" tape recorder: two individual tracks bouncing each overdub on top of the last. Mal Evans' support ultimately led to their signing with Apple on 23 July 1968 -- the first non-Beatle recording artists on the label. Each of The Iveys' members were also signed to Apple Corps' publishing contracts.

The group's first single, "Maybe Tomorrow", was released worldwide on 15 November 1968. It reached the Top Ten in several European countries and Japan, but only number 67 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and failed to chart in the UK. The US manager of Apple Records, Ken Mansfield, ordered 400,000 copies of the single—considered to be a bold move at the time in the music business—and pushed for automatic airplay and reviews from newspapers, which he secured. Nevertheless, Mansfield remembered the problems: "We had a great group. We had a great record. We were missing just one thing ... the ability to go out and pick up people, and convince them to put their money on the counter" A second Tom Evans composition, "Storm in a Teacup", was included on an Apple EP promoting Wall's Ice Cream, along with songs by Apple artists such as James Taylor, Mary Hopkin and Jackie Lomax. The chart success of "Maybe Tomorrow" in Europe and Japan led to a follow-up single release in those markets in July 1969: Griffiths' "Dear Angie". An LP titled Maybe Tomorrow was released only in Italy, Germany and Japan. This was thought to be the work of Apple Corps' president, Allen Klein, as an Apple Corps' press officer, Tony Bramwell, remembered: "He [Klein] was saying, 'We're not going to issue any more records until I sort out this mess'

Ham's suicide and a break-up

With their current album suddenly withdrawn and their follow-up rejected, Badfinger spent the early months of 1975 trying to figure out how to proceed under the unclear legal situation. Salaries were no longer arriving and panic set in, especially for Ham, who had recently bought a £30,000 house in Woking, Surrey, and whose girlfriend was expecting a child. According to Jackson, the band tried to continue without Polley's involvement by contacting booking agents and prospective managers throughout London, but they were routinely declined because of their restrictive contracts with Polley and impending legal actions. Ham reportedly tried on many occasions to contact Polley by telephone during the early months of 1975, but was never able to reach him.

  • Category

  • Song

  • Artist

    • Harry Nilsson
  • Album

    • The Rules of Attraction (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Writers

    • Tom Evans, Pete Ham
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • INgrooves (on behalf of Lions Gate Records); UMPG Publishing, EMI Music Publishing, PEDL, Sony ATV Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing, and 5 Music Rights Societies

Loading...

Advertisement
When autoplay is enabled, a suggested video will automatically play next.

Up next


to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...