Joey Molland (Badfinger) Interview - March 5, 2009 Mar 8, 2009 23:13:39 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Mar 8, 2009 23:13:39 GMT -5
Joey Molland of Badfinger
JOEY MOLLAND (BADFINGER) INTERVIEW
modern guitars magazine
by Rick Landers
March 5, 2009
When Badfinger's first record was released rumors ran amok that the Beatles were the artists behind the songs and that the Fab Four had playfully renamed themselves to see if the album would do well without the Beatles magic to help lift it up the charts. This wasn't a far fetched notion. The album, Magic Christian Music, was released in 1970 on the Beatles' Apple label and the harmonies and style captured the pop spunk of Paul McCartney's work. In fact, McCartney penned the group's first U.S. charted hit, Come and Get It.
Badfinger's first U.S. hit, "Come and Get It," written by Paul McCartney. (2:49 minutes)
Badfinger would enjoy all the spoils of fame, but would also suffer through a litany of stereotypical rock 'n' roll collapses from bad management, financial entanglements, legal disputes, poor record sales and the tragic suicides of Peter Ham (vocalist, guitar, keyboards) and Tom Evans (vocals/bass/guitar).
From left to right are Joey Molland, Tom Evans, Peter Hamm (sitting down) and Mike Gibbins
Joey Molland (guitarist/vocalist) joined the group at the time the group changed its name from The Iveys to Badfinger. Molland hailed from Liverpool and had played the clubs while with Gary Walker & The Rain, The Masterminds and The Fruit-Eating Bears. Heading down to London to audition with the Iveys would be a turning point in his music career that would take him to the heights of rock and pop stardom, as well as the painful depths.
Molland would punch out solid guitar riffs on such Badfinger pop classics as, Come and Get It, Baby Blue, Day After Day, and No Matter What. Badfinger's hits are joyful and stand up well to this day. But, during the group's career things fell apart and with bad blood brewing between the members Joey left the group to pursue a solo career.
Without Badfinger, Joey would find the vagaries of the music business a tough road and at one point found himself laying carpet for a living. Still, he was a musician at heart and loved playing guitar and performing. It became self-evident that in order to reclaim his musical aspirations, Badfinger was his ticket to ride.
With the original Badfinger defunct, Molland would set out to reform the group in 1984. With Joey at the helm Badfinger joined a 20th Anniversary of British Invasion acts tour, alongside The Troggs, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer (Dakotas) and Herman's Hermits. By 1990, the group would disband and Joey would resurrect Badfinger, sometimes as Badfinger featuring Joey Molland, to keep the flame alive. He would also produce three solo albums, After the Pearl, The Pilgrim, and in 2001, This Way Up and others on his Independent Artist label.
Modern Guitars met Joey Molland backstage at the Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center, Vienna, Virginia a few years ago and in 2008 while he toured with the entourage of Hippiefest, along with Eric Burden & the Animals, Jack Bruce, the Turtles, Melanie and other hit makers. Joey's upbeat spirit is infectious. After over 40 years in the rough and tumble of the music business, he's amazingly upbeat and enthusiastic. Watching him on stage in front of thousands of fans singing Badfinger songs along with him, there's no doubt that he's a man that not only needs, but fully believes in the uplifting spirit of music.
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Rick Landers: Joey, how about giving us a run down on your music interests and career before you joined Badfinger.
Joey Molland: I joined them on the crossover in November '69. I got a call to go down and audition for them. I actually got a call from the Iveys and that was who I went to audition with. It turns out, and there's a bit in Richard DiLello's book, The Longest Cocktail Party, which talks about Bill Collins coming into the press office that day with Derek Taylor, and they asked him about the new name and he says, "Yeah, we've just got it now. We're Badfinger." They say, "Great!" Then they say, "What about the new member?" They said "We've got a guy coming down from Liverpool this afternoon."
So, I think they got the name the same day I came down to do the audition for them.
Rick: I've read that the name Badfinger came from John Lennon.
Joey: Well, I believe it was a working title to the song With A Little Help From My Friends. I think John Lennon played piano on the Rhodes and after that they thought he wasn't the greatest pianist in the world, so they called it Bad Finger Boogie. So, that Bad Finger Boogie was roaming around the offices. It was Neil Aspinall who suggested Badfinger.
Rick: So, you were part of the Liverpool sound, I guess. Did you play at the Cavern?
Joey: Oh yeah! I grew up there and I started going out, you know, downtown when I was about 13 or so. I started playing the guitar when I was 11 in '58. I started going to downtown, during my school weeks, actually. I'd go in the Cavern and stop in there. It was a non-drinking club, so kids could go in it.
Rick: Non-drinking, I didn't know that.
Joey: Yeah. So, we're kinda hanging around Liverpool and going into the movie houses and stuff. It was a great place to go. It was a great place to grow up in and still is now, actually. When I go back there, it seems the same to me.
Rick: Yeah, I'm familiar with the Chester area.
Joey: Whoa! Okay.
Rick: I understand that several names had been offered up, like the Glass Onion and I guess The Prix and The Cagneys, before landing on the name that John Lennon came up with for the band.
Joey: Yeah, that's right. Of course, I wasn't privy to all that stuff and I was told that John wanted to call the band The Prix, The Pricks. That was his contribution to it. Paul wanted something like Mother's Little Helpers or something.
Rick: He had something else too?
Joey: Oh yeah, Home. He wanted to call the band Home.
Rick: So, when you went down you actually thought you were gonna go for an audition with the Iveys?
Joey: Yeah, I'd seen The Iveys on TV and everything. They were a very famous pop star group, so I was a little loathe to go, but my friends talked me into it. They told me they were working with the Beatles and stuff and really I'd do well to go on down and at least have a look at it. So, I did.
When I got there they told me that their name was being changed to Badfinger you know, blah, blah, blah. I didn’t get what was going on. I auditioned and did a couple of these songs and they gave me the job.
Rick: I saw you guys around 1971 or '72. You played at Eastern Michigan University. Any recollection of being there?
Joey: Oh, near Ann Arbor, yeah, I remember that.
Rick: I guess we were both young boys back then.
Joey: It was a lot of fun for us; I'll tell you that. You know, going to a city like Detroit. We'd go into a big city like that and go start looking into pawn shops for cheap guitars. That was fantastic there. We bought Les Pauls and dobros and stuff like that.
Rick: You probably got them pretty cheap.
Joey: Oh yeah! Les Pauls were, I don’t know, 200 bucks, 300 bucks.
Rick: And Detroit was such a great rock and roll town.
Joey: It's a fantastic, fantastic city, yeah. Years later I became friends with Mitch Ryder, you know.
Rick: The bass player [Mark Gougeon] in my '60s garage band was his bass player in the '80s.
Joey: We talked about those old days, about fans coming in and the life he had growing up there and stuff.
Rick: I recall when Come and Get It hit America. A lot of people thought it was really the Beatles and they were just playing a game with everybody, especially with the Apple label association. Did that surprise you? Did the group hear that similar McCartney pop sound and Beatle-like harmonies?
Joey: Yeah, it was a surprise to us. Everything was a surprise to us in those days, though. But, we didn’t really think of it like that. We never certainly approached it like that, trying and get some kind of sound like them. They were, of course, a big influence in our band and in our lives at the time. But, certainly no more than Chuck Berry or whoever else you wanna mention. They were the song writers.
Of course, Paul produced our first record so it was gonna sound like that. You know what? We all grew up with the same influences. Like I grew up in Liverpool, listening to the same radio, going to the same record stores, the same guitar shops, playing at the same clubs, eventually, as the Beatles and all those other bands.
We all sounded pretty much the same. You know, the rhythm and blues band obviously sounded different than a rock band who sounded different than a pop band, who sounded different than a jazz band. But, inside all those kinds of music, all those genres, there was a standard, a similarity about all the players in those days. I guess Rick, you could say the same thing happens today.
The bands now, whether it's Maroon 5 or Tool or any of the bands that are out there now, there's a certain similarity going on with them, because they all have the same influences, because they all listened to the same radios. Only now its on like a worldwide scale.
Rick: Did you know the Beatles growing up since you were from their area?
Joey: I only knew them from a distance. I didn’t know them personally. Liverpool is quite a big city. You know 350,000 to half a million people living there. So, I didn’t necessarily know everybody in the village.
Rick: I thought you might bump into them at the Cavern or you'd seen them at the Cavern playing.
Joey: Well, I was a generation after them. I’m four or five years younger than the Beatles are. Teenagers don’t knock around with kids. You know what I mean? [Laughing]
Rick: How about telling us about your first impressions and maybe your current impressions of the Beatles. I don’t want to make this too Beatle-focused, but that was a big deal back then.
Joey: This happens to me all the time because I am one of the only people on the planet now who actually worked with them, you know, and got to play with them and saw them from both sides of it. So, I really don’t mind. I don’t want to mislead anybody, though, I wasn’t a great friend of the Beatles or anything like that. But, I did get a chance to see them.
My impression of them when I first heard them was how good they were, how great these two guys who were the singers. I didn’t know what their names were, and how good they rock and rolled. They weren't me favorite band in Liverpool then. My favorite band at the time was a group called Nomads, which was a rhythm and blues band. They turned into the Mojos eventually, had a couple hits on their own. My impression of the Beatles was that they were very good. You know they rocked like mad and they could sing like crazy. That was it.
I saw them years later at a big awards concert in London, at Wembley, and my attraction to them was the same. But, of course, now there was the magic of them being the Beatles. You know what I mean? People were going mad in the auditorium. It held about, I guess, 15,000 people. The people were going crazy stomping on the floor and yelling for the Beatles. This is quite a wild reaction on the stage.
You know, all the bands go on and perform for a half an hour so, you know, and this is like the Rolling Stones were on and they were stomping their feet and yelling for the Beatles and the Beatles came on and you know what? They struck me exactly the same. They were great singers and they had a great rock band and they seemed really natural, really normal people like when they were playing. They didn't seem to be hoity-toity.
Of course, when I met them years later, that must have been in like '63 or '64 or something, at the award concert, maybe '65. But, then I actually met them in '69 and they were the same. They were very regular guys, liked to talk about music, liked to talk about, you know, "Where'd you get those pants?" Stuff like that. "I liked that song," and…you know, stuff like that, normal stuff the musicians talk about.
Rick: What impressed me, when I'm talking with younger kids today about the Beatles, I talk about how joyful they seemed onstage compared to with a lot of people today who seem to be posing to be cool.
Joey: Yeah, onstage they were very natural and having a bit of a laugh and a joke. Having a laugh and a joke with each other and wondering what's going on, it looks to me a lot of the time. Just doing the very best they could and they considered themselves a great band. You know what I mean? Like every band does really.You know all the bands in Liverpool, when you put a band together in Liverpool, you've got to put it together with the attitude that we're great. You know what I mean?
Rick: Well, there were a lot of great groups that came from the '60s from Liverpool.
Joey: There were a lot of the bands coming out of the town. We had about 300 bands playing around the city.
Joey: So, there were a lot to choose from. The criteria, like I was talking about before, was you needed to be good singers. You needed to really take your music and learn the songs. A lot of bands didn't do their own versions of songs. They did the records, you know, so we tended to learn parts, note-for-note, or as close to note-for-note as we could get, you know, learning to sing harmony, getting to, eventually, how they arranged their songs, you know the parts, and how to make parts up. We went to like an informal school in Liverpool. It was like a list of the best singers, like Little Richard, Elvis, of course, all the great American r&b singers.
We drilled ourselves with that stuff, learned or tried to sing like that, tried to play guitar the way that Steve Cropper played or the way the Mojo band played music or the way Chuck Berry and his band played. That's what we were about.
Rick: The Badfinger hit, No Matter What, was originally rejected. What did the group do to change it so it landed in the No Dice album?
Joey: You know, it was the third song we recorded as Badfinger. The original take on it, I did a slayer guitar solo on it and you know just duplicate [Joey sings a guitar impression] and just bending the notes up and down. When we went to mix it over at Abbey Road, I picked up a lap steel that was sitting there. And we decided to try the lap steel for the solo, and so I played lap steel on it.
That's what that is, the guitar is lap steel, played slide guitar on the record. That was the only real difference between the original version and the actual record that came out. It was the same take and everything, the same back track, the same vocals and everything, but it had the slide guitar solo on it.
Rick: That's a good solo there. In various forms, Badfinger went through some internal agitation over finances, leadership and, I suppose, direction and I don’t want to marginalize the tragedies that were felt by some members of the group, but for years it sounds like the experiences were pretty dramatic. I've read that some people called it a nightmare. How do you move from that type of a situation and lead a happy, forward-focused life after going through all that?
Joey: It was a little tough and life did get hard for us a few times. You know, my wife and I had been homeless once or twice. We were bankrupted for a while and it was hard. But, you still got through it, support the family and everything. You do everything that you can, that's what we did. We took it all as a game. None of us in the original band I don’t think got into this game, in this business, to make a lot of money out of it. We never thought about that.
None of us really thought about how to make records and stuff. It was a lot of fun. It was something to do and, you know, a lot of people say that they got into it for girls and stuff. I can honestly tell you that wasn't my motivation at all in it. I just really enjoyed it and I was really flattered to be asked to join the group. I always thought bands sounded great, you know what I mean? And I always felt that there was no chance of me getting in a band. I just didn’t think I’d be able to play good enough, and I didn't even think I'd be able to sing well, you know. I wasn't really confident about any of that stuff so it was just the fact that it was so much fun to do it and people kept on asking me did I want to join bands? I would think the Badfinger band was like that basically. We looked at life of course and when we realized that we could meet girls and everything, that was great, too. We weren't about to turn that down. But, really it was because we loved it and we're great with each other because we actually loved each other.
Rick: Yeah. That's nice.
Joey: So, I think coming from that kind of background and then you enjoyed something so much. Yeah, we got ripped off. But, everybody else got ripped off.
Rick: Yeah, that's true.
Joey: The fact that we were painted in an uncharming view and the fact they committed suicide, both of them, was really kind of heartbreaking for me. Even to this day, it makes me feel badly. I just wished they were here because it's been such a great life. After we got away from the lizards and the crooks and the weirdos, it went back to being a regular game, a regular life, a good bit of fun. And it's still fun today.
I enjoy it. I love the people. I like my friends sitting up there and the songs are great. You got to go a long way to find a better song than Day After Day, and I mean a long way.
Rick: Oh, I agree.
Joey: And all the things in a stadium, playing with the Beatles, meeting Eric Clapton and Bangladesh , watching Bob Dylan do the sound check. Things like that they're just real magical things that happened to me. It's actually fantastic, you know what I mean? Out of all the people in the world, it's happened to me. So, I've got nothing but really good memories. There were some bad things, of course, to that. Even today there are bad things. But, the majority of it now is a happy life and great things going on.
Rick: The book draft for Joey Molland: Badfinger and Beyond by Michael Cimino. Where does that stand?
Joey: It's sitting on the shelves. Mike liked to shop it for a while, a year or two. You know the book is sitting out there, there's a copy of it sitting on my book shelf here. I don’t think that there's a market interest in the band really right now. Maybe there is. Maybe we're completely wrong. But, he hasn't shopped it for a few years. My wife is in the throes of just starting a book now with some people who actually worked with Badfinger management and Bill Collin's assistant. There's another book in the works. I've got two books and I advised Mike Gibbins to write a book, but he passed away.
I can only tell you that Mike Cimino's book is a good book. It tells a story and everything. But, for some reason it just wasn’t a publishing interest.
Rick: I guess it's maybe a matter of timing. Sounds to me like it'd be a pretty interesting book to read and a real good book for people who are in bands today to see what you went through, both the good and the bad.
Joey: I hope so. I think there are things that the young bands could read and might be interested in reading about, about how we used to make records and stuff like that, you know what we did to work albums out, but I don’t know what to say about that really. I suppose somebody someday will publish it. I've also done one with a guy named Billy James. And he's done stuff on Alice Cooper, on Grand Funk Railroad. He's done a lot of that kind of work. Billy's done a book that's just about the Badfinger years.
Rick: Oh, that would be pretty interesting.
Joey: So, we're kind of working on that, too. I had a bit of a tragedy three years ago. My son was in a car accident.
Rick: Oh I didn’t know that. Sorry to hear that.
Joey: He was very severely injured. I kinda put all of that side of everything on hold since that happened. I think he's just been letting me get over it. I've taken two or three years to get over the trauma of that happening. Joe, thank God, recovered.
Rick: Good, good.
Joey: And he's in great shape. But, just getting a hold of that whole trauma, it was just devastating for the family and myself.
Rick: Yeah, I can imagine. You're living in Minnesota. What's life like up there for you?
Joey: We lived out in California when we first immigrated to America and after about five or six years living out in L.A., we had a couple of children, Joe and Sean, until we decided a couple of years after that, we moved back to England for a short while and then we moved to Minneapolis. So, we raised the kids a bit, this was in 1983, then we came back here. My wife is from Hopkins, Minnesota, the Raspberry Capital of the world. She was actually a Raspberry princess. She was a model in the area when I first met her. She was doing TV commercials and all that.
Rick: Really? Didn't know that.
Joey: So, we had a very successful young couple here.
Rick: Yeah. [Both Laughing]
Joey: Anyway, we went back to Minnesota and we raised our family and right now we are uprooting again. We've got our house for sale up here. We're going down to Nashville. That's where everybody will spend the rest of our days, I think.
Rick: I was in Nashville where NAMM was held, so that was fun and that's where I met with Scotty Moore, he lives just outside of town.
Joey: I'm really hoping I can get to meet him. He's one of me heroes. You know, everybody tells me he's a lovely guy.
Rick: He is. Yes.
Joey: My goodness, what about that guy, playing lead guitar for Elvis? It all looks great.
Rick: Just amazing.
Joey: It is amazing!
Rick: I stopped and saw George Gruhn. Do you know George Gruhn?
Joey: George Gruhn? Yeah, I've been to the Gruhn shop. I met him about 25 years ago, maybe 30 years ago. I don’t know him very well, but I know of his store, of course. Been in there several times. Very pricey; very exclusive guitar shop here.
Rick: Yeah, nice place. When you were starting out the thing to do was get on a label and get a hit record. Today kids seem to be skirting that and they're going direct to their fans, to their websites, and direct CD sales like CDbaby.
Joey: That's true.
Rick: Have you moved toward that type of marketing?
Joey: A little bit. I put me down a bit on MySpace. My past couple of CD's I've done myself. I've stopped shopping my tapes to record companies. I get the same response now all the time. It doesn't matter, because in the '80s...and you get the "this is not we're looking for at the moment" record racket, you know. But, I don’t bother with them anymore really. I'm still writing songs, of course, and doing much getting downloads. But, I don’t shop record deals really so much.
I think there are things to be said for the old way of doing it. Like in the old days, a couple of things had to go down: one was either with a band that worked itself around a local area and then a region of the country, and got themselves popular or started to develop notoriety and those would develop interest from the record companies.
So, they'd come in and work with a band. That's gone away it seems to me. You know the other way, of course, is a marriage of sorts. Here's a band, or somebody's got a bit of a head on their shoulders, sees a band in the club, sees something and then goes and sells them to the record companies. I'm not sure if that goes on at all anymore. I think a lot of bands probably go by the wayside because they don’t have that. They don’t have that conduit, if you like, into the business.
Rick: I think that's true.
Joey:To think about doing records and stuff at home and making records in the basement, I don’t necessarily think it’s a good thing. Not everybody's a songwriter. Not everybody's a producer. Not everybody's an arranger, especially when you're young like that. I mean there's one thing for young energy, great, you know, love it. But, what about the experience? What about how you put songs together? What about how it works? What about tradition? You know what I mean?
Rick: Yeah. Exactly.
Joey: I don’t know. I'm not really sure that it's as vibrant a music scene as it was back then. Put it that way.
Rick: Hey, when you get to Nashville, if you get to see Scotty Moore, he's got a studio in his home and he produces CD's on his own now.
Joey: It’s become pretty simple to own a studio now, hasn’t it? It's not like the old days where, you really can do it in the den now. All around, for a guy like Scotty Moore, he's got load of stuff he wants to get on tape.
Rick: I remember back in the '70s when I worked with Virgin, I visited Abbey Road Studios with Roy Harper...
Rick: I went downstairs in the canteen and behind us is Pink Floyd, so it was pretty amazing; huge place compared to people working in their basements these days. [Both laugh]
Joey: It was lovely down there in the old tea shop, getting a cup of tea and cheese sandwich. It was great then. I liked it a lot. The whole atmosphere recording at Abbey Road was dead normal. You never really got the impression that it was really anything special, it was just a regular workaday place. We had good times there. Phil McDonald engineering, Jack Everett engineering. We'd see Beatles coming in and out and all the other great stars. People would stop in, Billy Preston. It was a great thing back then.
Rick: Who else was on tour with you at Hippiefest?
Joey: Jack Bruce, he's the bass player from Cream, of course. Eric Burden and the Animals. I played a little show with them downtown. Godfrey Townsend and the guys I know they do a fantastic job with Jack. Godfrey is a big Eric Clapton fan and knows a lot of his works note-for-note kinda stuff.
Rick: He's a great guitarist, Townsend is.
Joey: Oh yeah, he's a first rate guitar player. We’re getting a bit on confusion on the tour because they billed the band as Badfinger, and they have Badfinger featuring Joey Molland, because the Badfinger band isn't on the tour.
Rick: Ah, I see.
Joey: So, we're getting a lot of e-mails from fans and stuff, kind of chagrined, you know, they don’t necessarily like that, you know what I mean?
So, we'll see what happens, we'll see. Some of the places are billing the band Badfinger and they've got dead people listed as appearing. They don’t what they're talking about. Such are the trials that we have to deal with on the road.
Rick: Yeah, because people will blame you for that, not knowing how that all works.
Joey: Yeah, that's right. I mean, capitalizing on Tommy's death, on their names or something like that. Some bitchy people really, really go for it, any kind of excuse like that. They don’t think I should be doing this and I don’t really know why. But, it sounds a bit crazy, it's a little frustrating. We've gotta talk about it and hope it works out okay.
Rick: Some of the artists on Hippiefest they must be lifelong friends of yours, right?
Joey: Yeah. You know in 1968, I cut Jack Bruce's hair.
Rick: Did you? [Laughs]
Joey: I wasn't a hairdresser. He was a bit paranoid about going to a hairdresser because he was in Cream then. So, my mates who work for him asked me would I do it for him. They brought him over and I cut his hair. It was just one of those weird things all those years ago.
Rick: He recently did an album with Robin Trower.
Joey: Robin Trower?
Rick: It's called Seven Moons with Robin Trower.
Joey: Really? I wonder what it was like?
Rick: Sounded pretty good. Some of the cuts are really good.
Joey: Did you hear it?
Rick: Yes, we interviewed Robin. Jack must have a lot of stories.
Joey: I'm sure he does man. I got somethings to talk about him, but I'd prefer if he told it himself. I'm looking forward to it. The energy from these guys, that's the first thing I want to see. I want to see the energy on stage. If you don’t bring that energy then it means I'm really not gonna be watching it much. I've gotta see life on stage, you know what I mean? It's not enough to be just go sing the songs. You gotta be alive. You gotta mean it. You gotta be up for it every day.
Rick: I think the audience feeds off that and you guys feed off the audience. Sort of a circular energy thing going on.
Joey: Exactamundo. I'd like to think we're all part of it, we're all after the same energy.
Rick: The last time I saw you, I think you were playing a Gibson SG. Are you using the same guitar on tour?
Joey: The Standard SG, I put those pickups in it. They really worked good for me. I've got a Deluxe, the Hot Rod Deluxe I'm playing through.
Rick: Good amp.
Joey: Nice new Fender; new, reliable, good sound, single 12. It's good for me. More on the SG; I'm using the lead pickup more and more on it, especially for the jamming solos, the extended stuff we did on the Badfinger concerts. So, I'm really enjoying it. I picked up a beautiful Strat. It's a '62 reissue, a Japanese one.
Rick: Those are great guitars!
Joey: Oh, it's a monster. And I took a chance with the new Fender Noiseless. I got to really enjoying them. Just having a good time. I just picked up an Epiphone Les Paul Custom that I completely rewired with the capacitors. I put some Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers in it.
Rick: They make great pickups.
Joey: They're hot. Because it's a little bit hot I might change over to a milder pickup, just a bit smoother sound for me. I’m enjoying myself and still getting guitars and taking the insides out of them and doing all that stuff. I've still got me Firebird, back from the old days, a '64.
Rick: That's a great guitar.
Joey: It's a knockout. It’s the one we used on all the records.
Rick: I think Johnny Winter plays a '64 Firebird.
Joey: We both played the same guitar, Firebird. I know Johnny. I met him in my youth years ago. He was fantastic. He was such a really bold guy, just on it, you know what I mean? He pulled the crap out of the guitar, he played the Firebird, as well, which was really unusual. I never saw anybody play Firebirds in those days. So, it was great to meet him. That was a good time.
Rick: Those Badfinger hits are really timeless. Is the love of them still with you when you're up on stage and your fans are singing along?
Joey: I'm really happy to be able to do those songs. I really am. You know, I do these gigs at the Hippiefest. That's all I do is singles, big hit records and reaction to them is really phenomenal. You can't help but get excited. And they always recognize the song within eight bars of you starting it. You know, they know what you're doing and got the stories that go with them, the guys who played with us on those records and produced them for us. I'm sure the audience likes to hear that stuff. I enjoyed me self singing and I'm happy that I can sing them. You know, we don’t lower the keys or anything.
Rick: They sounded great last year.
Joey: Well, with a bit of luck, it will sound just as good this year. [Both laugh]
Rick: Hey, when you were younger, did you ever think that you would be rocking the stage to large audiences in 2008?
Joey: Not really, never really looked that far ahead. One day, one show at a time, I guess. I never really thought about it much. I'm 61 this year, so I certainly didn't sit around and think, "Boy, when I'm 61, what will I be playing?" Right now I'm thinking I'll be playing till I die.
Rick: You probably will.
Joey: You know it just feels good. I'll stop when I can't play or sing anymore. If you can't sing a song, I don’t wanna be embarrassing anybody, you know what I mean?
Rick: Yeah, understood.
Joey: Songs have been great to me. The business has been good to me. The career has been good to me. So, when I leave, I wanna leave it on that note. Not that I got to be a big fat guy who couldn’t sing. [Both Laugh]
Rick: What else do you have going on musically for those of us who want to continue to track your career?
Joey: We're continuing to do the Badfinger concerts around the world. We're continuing to do gigs, both Badfinger and Joey Molland shows. I'm producing records. I just finished up a friend of mine, Tim Schools’ new CD. I’m always looking for new stuff to do in that way, I write me own songs, new songs. I'm really looking forward to going down to Nashville and trying to get involved in the songwriting scene down there. I really am excited about that.
I've met a lot of people down there, such as Bill Lloyd and Matt Ricks, just a lot of guys down there. And I know they get together and I know they write songs together and they listen to each others stuff and throw suggestions at each other. I'm dying for that kind of scene.
I've never had that scene, really since I was in Badfinger where we all talk and write down songs. So, it's gonna be a very exciting time for me. My wife is looking forward to it. Kathie's a very creative woman, we're a lot alike and a lot of people down there I know are gonna be bringing her in and including her in the scene. So, that's really good and exciting for both of us.
Rick: It’s a great town, Nashville.
Joey: I'm looking forward to it in so many different ways. I can tell you that. But, we're taking our time. We're gonna sell our house up here. We don’t want to drive ourselves crazy trying to get ourselves down there. We've got a little time.
Joey Molland MySpace website, Badfinger featuring Joey Molland
Joey Molland: Badfinger And Beyond by Michael Cimino