Badfinger To Play At Hippiefest 2008 Michigan Aug 2, 2008 21:27:37 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Aug 2, 2008 21:27:37 GMT -5
Joe Molland of Badfinger
BADFINGER KEEPING THE MUSIC ALIVE, TO PLAY AT HIPPIEFEST
The Flint Journal
by Timothy Flynn
Friday August 01, 2008, 7:04 AM
Nearly 40 years after the debut of his band Badfinger, guitarist Joe Molland still is trying to emerge from the shadow of another well-known power-pop band.
While the Swansea, South Wales-based group never reached the heights of mentor and labelmate band The Beatles, Badfinger still managed to hit the charts with melodic, Fab Four-influenced numbers that eventually would become pop standards. "Without You" would become the biggest of those hits, covered through the years by the likes of Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey.
Harry Nilsson with Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger.
He also sang "Without You," a song written by Pete Ham.
Harry Nilsson died on January 15, 1994 of heart failure.
He was 52 years old.
Harry Nilsson singing "Without You." (3.02 minutes)
Mariah Carey singing "Without You." (4.11 minutes)
Badfinger singing "Without You." Pete Ham sings lead. (3.35 minutes)
As he hits the road with "Hippiefest 2008," Molland said there's a high recognition factor for those tunes these days, even if it's somewhat off the mark.
"A lot of people aren't familiar with the name Badfinger, but they know the songs," Molland said, referring to FM radio standards including "No Matter What," "Day After Day" and "Come and Get It."
Badfinger singing "No Matter What" live. (2.55 minutes)
Badfinger singing "Day After Day." (2.53 minutes)
Badfinger singing "Come and Get It," written by Paul McCartney. (2.30 minutes)
"They come up and say, 'Boy, I love that song! I thought that was the Beatles! I didn't know that was you!'
"And me being me, I say, 'Yeah, well, we did 'Ticket to Ride,' too. 'I Feel Fine'? That was us," Molland said with a laugh.
The Liverpool, England-born guitarist will attempt to set the musical record straight once again at DTE Energy Music Theatre on Saturday. As the sole surviving member of the group's classic early '70s lineup, Molland has kept the Badfinger flag flying, on and off, since the band's glory days.
"We have the same attitude we did back then," Molland said of the group's live set. "This is a live rock 'n' roll band, and this is what we do. Lots of energy, lots of harmonies."
The Iveys before the name change to Badfinger. Joe Molland joined Badfinger in 1969 after the departure of Ron Griffiths. Ron Griffiths is pictured far left. The name Badfinger was suggested by Apple's Neil Aspinall; a reference to "Bad Finger Boogie", an early working title of Lennon's "With a Little Help from My Friends", so-called because Lennon had composed the melody on a piano using his middle finger, after having hurt his forefinger.
Mal Evans got the Iveys signed to Apple Records in 1968.
Mal Evans is pictured here with Ringo Starr.
Badfinger, without Molland, originated as the Iveys in the early '60s, while still based in Swansea. After a move to London in 1967, the foursome was discovered by Beatles confidant Mal Evans and soon was signed to Apple Records.
Pictured left to right are Joe Molland, bassist Tom Evans,
Pete Ham and drummer Mike Gibbins. (Mike Gibbins
died in his sleep at his home in Oviedo, Florida on
October 4, 2005. He was 56 years old.)
After a name change and the departure of band member Ron Griffiths in 1969, the group -- guitarist Pete Ham, bassist Tom Evans and drummer Mike Gibbins -- enlisted Molland, who was on board for an appearance at by-then-former Beatle George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh.
Badfinger with George Harrison and wife, Pattie Boyd.
Pete Ham with George Harrison at Madison Square Gardens, NY
in 1971 Concert for Bangladesh performing "Here Comes The Sun." (3.27 minutes).
But success with hits penned by Ham couldn't keep Badfinger from becoming one of the most tragic stories in pop music. Bad business deals and shady management led to ongoing financial problems for Molland and company and ultimately to Ham's suicide in 1975. Following a half-hearted reunion attempt with Molland, Evans followed suit, hanging himself in 1983.
"Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger"
written by Dan Matovina, 1997.
But with the group's financial and legal wranglings long behind him, Molland is sure to showcase the positive side of the band's legacy these days.
Joe Molland at Hippiefest August 8, 2007 and at Hippiefest at Woodinville, WA on July 12, 2008.
"We do the four major hits," he said, "and I make sure to remind people that Pete wrote the songs, and I try to have a laugh with the rest of it.
"It gives me the opportunity to tell people about Peter," Molland said of his fallen band mate. "It keeps the music alive. We get standing ovations, and I know the younger kids are picking up on it, too. Maybe they'll go out and pick up a CD."
When he's not on the road with Badfinger, Molland still keeps busy writing and recording in his hometown of Minneapolis. But the guitarist, who'll follow up the "Hippiefest" tour with some solo shows in Liverpool next month, said he's happy to work at his own pace.
"I don't pursue record deals anymore," he said. "It doesn't seem to work for me. I get royalties, do a gig, write a few songs, record them and put them online. There's no pressure."
Joe Molland/Badfinger MySpace website
Badfinger MySpace website