about meetings with Badfinger
- Big or small!!
Thank you David Purcell, Steve McGuire, Steve, Carol, Jayne,
Gordon and Tony
Latest update: May 21 - 2007
May 21 - 2007
Thanks to David Purcell
I saw Badinger in Chicago at the Lagrange High School in 1972 where they shared the bill with Mckendree Spring and a group called Smith. After that concert I saw Pete in the parking lot and he seemed terrified of some fans approaching him for an autograph and I kept my distance..
The next concert was in November 1973 in the Roosevelt auditorium in Chicago where they played most of the songs from Ass. That was one of the classiest concert places in Chicago (the Grassroots and Henry Gross opened the show and I place emphasis on the prestige of the Auditorium to contrast it with the seediness of the Thirsty Whale and how far down Badfinger had fallen to now be playing in a dive in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago when I saw them again sometime late in 81 or possibly 82. The 2 surviving original members Tom and Mike with Bob Jackson on keyboards played a great but depressing concert. The band was sitting at the bar drinking before the show and I was astonished at how drunk Tom Evans was yet his performance was flawless.
I remember Tom Evans telling me that the group was living in Milwaukee at the time and thats why they were playing locally. So for about a year I followed the Milwaukee music papers for Badfinger concerts only the next item I found was from a St. Louis music paper saying that Tom Evans had committed suicide but it didn't give a date or where it happened (I assumed at the time it was Milwaukee ).
Also Bob Jackson was a very nice man and gracious and generous with his memories of Pete Ham. When I spoke with Bob about Pete Ham he broke into tears. He so loved and respected Pete. I again felt the devastation that I had felt when I'd first heard about Pete's death. I don't remember any specific anecdotes Bob had, ,just the great respect he had for Pete and how much he missed working with him. Bob Jackson is a true gentleman and someone I completely respect.
The band autographed my copy of “No Dice” that I´d brought along.The played well and the audience was small, but obviously all fans were very enthusiastic. I say it was depressing because I had the impression that Tom did not enjoy playing in a small bar, and that we were both comparing “The Thirsty Whale” to the “Chicago Auditorium”, a first class venue where I´d heard them in 1972. Tom was obviously depressed, so it was no surprise to me to read of his suicide a few months later. I don't have an exact date to refer to only that I read of Tom's sad demise within a year or so of the concert.
Thank you for letting me share a few of the wonderful memories of my all time favorite group and a man I idolized - Pete Ham.
July 23 - 2006
Thanks to Steve McGuire
I came across the Badfinger site. It brought back some fabulous memories!
I worked at the Old Bull & Bush as a barman in 1973 while on holidays from Australia. I had some great times there with Pete, Tommy, Tag, Fergie and others....and also went to their house in Golders Green a number of times. That group of people were just down to earth, nice people. I also remember a girl who always had an Old English sheepdog with her. I even introduced her to someone with a mate for it.....seem to remember being offered one of the litter, but could not bring it back to Australia.
Pete was one of the funniest guys I have met, especially after I introducted him to adrink called a Port Hedland Bomb (a mixture of scotch, barcardi, vodka and orange juice). Tommy came to me and asked what I had done to Pete, as Pete was deep in conversation with a pillar in the middle of the bar!
They may have remembered me by my nick name at that time.........'Sheep Truck'.
April 23 - 2006
Thanks to Steve
I saw Badfinger at New Mexico Highland College (in Las Vegas, NM) in October (I think) of 1970. Only about 40 people showed up to hear them...I seem to remember that the show was started sometime in the afternoon. The band was tired and they seemed ready to leave after about 4 songs, because of the poor turnout. I said hello to a guy who said he was the road manager, and told him to ask them to keep playing. This was just after a very uninspired version of "Come and Get It". Anyhow, this guy said ..."tell them yourself"...and I did. I met Pete and Joey, and said they were great, and please play a little more. And then they played some awesome two guitar rock and roll for about the next 40 minutes. I was blown away by the musicianship and the give and take between all the band.
Years later I bought many of their albums. It was very sad to hear of their individual breakdowns. What could have been!
Thanks to Tony
I felt compelled to drop you a line after seeing the article on Badfinger and The Faces concert. Luckily I got to see the band opening for The Faces that same summer. I’d always been a fan and couldn’t believe I was going to get to see them. Unfortunately the concert was not that memorable. They were plagued with the typical opening band sound system problems. But I do recall that most of the stuff they played was from the Straight Up album. One thing that went unexplained was that Joey Molland had a cast on his arm. A band member, (I think it was Pete) in an attempt to explain the cast remarked to the audience that they caught Joey wanking off in the bathroom. That was the one and only time I got to see them.
Thanks to Carol
I was about 13, now I am 47. My family, 2 brothers, myself and mom and dad, went to a friend of the family's for a weekend. There I met a boy about 15. I can't for the life of me remember his name. He was so cute to me, I was fixed on every move he made. He asked if I wanted to listen to some records. Boy was I lucky! He could have hung out with my brothers, but he was too mature for boy games to me. See I came from a very abusive father. I didn't have much self esteem, freedom or attention. This boy was paying attention to me. I felt scared but I didn't care, I was in heaven. He put his record on, asked me if I had ever heard of Badfinger. I said "no, all we listen to is country music, that's all my dad would listen to". After listening this song came on, called Day after day.
To this day that song has special meaning to me. Every time I heard that song I thought about my first crush and how I was "sitting here in my lonely gloom". Nevertheless I love that song and I get a great feeling inside every time I hear it. I never saw him again after that, but I hope he remembers me like I remember him and that song.
February 12 - 2006
Back in the late 60s my local school youth club in Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, South Wales, used to hold a dance. I remember vividly, even now at the ripe old age of 51, staying behind after Badfinger had finished playing and talking to the guys, they were teasing me, I was only young, they made me and my friend laugh, especially Pete Ham. How sad to think such vibrant, once fun-loving and ambitious people have gone.
I remember Pete Ham wearing a brown fur coat, real fur, which was a talking point. I was just about 15 or sixteen...time goes.
by Gordon Roberts
I was fortunate to persuade Gordon Roberts, who recently signed my Badfinger guestbook, to share some of his interesting memories with other Badfinger fans. As his story reveals, Gordon was a regular visitor in 7 Park Avenue and so well-acquainted with the members of the Iveys.
I was close to the Iveys/Badfinger 1969 and 1970...as I shared a bedist in Hampstead London, with lewis Collins, Bill Collin's son. We were both at LAMDA (London Acaedemy of Music & Dramatic Art)..Lew (ex- Mojo's (Everything's All Right) bass player, ex-apprentice hairdresser at Andre Bernard's in Liverpool. Mike McCartney was also an apprentice hairdresser at the same salon...amazing. Lew and he were friends and remain that to today. By coincidence, Lew and I came from the same town - Birkenhead, acrosss the Mersey from Liverpool. The other port of destination for the "Ferry Across the Mersey".
Hampstead was a two miles south of Golders Green, where Bill Collins owned 7 Park Avenue. It is well chronicled that Bill brought the boys from Swansea and had them all live in the house with him. Again well known, they made a soundproof room to lay down bits and pieces of tracks in the house. This room could not have been more than about eight feet square!
I first met them in September 1969...they were still the Iveys. Bill Collins had "stalked" Mal Evans for weeks, so that he could just "bump into him by chance" so that Bill could casually bring up the subject of his managing this band from Wales. It was through Mal that the Iveys were signed to Apple.
At this time in 1969 they had little or no money at all and eat porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was enough money in the kitty to walk across the road to the Famous Bull & Bush pub, where everyone would make a half pint of beer last an hour, before the other half was ordered. To my memeory it was at the Bull and Bush that the name Badfinger was conceived, not by Niel Aspinall....but of course time may play tricks with the memory. Who was to know at the time that these were moments to record for posterity?
My recollection of how the boys got to write and perform the music for the film, was that Paul McCartney had said "yes" to writing all the music for the film...then realised, after penning, "Come and Get It", that he had taken on too much with evrrything else that was going on the time. His out was, "let's give it to the boys...they write well". This was also the impetus to change the band's name. When asked to compose what came to be "Carry On 'till tomorrow", Paul's direction was "write your own Bridge over troubled Waters."
At the premier of the film at the Odeon, Kensington High Street, London, before the late Princess Margaret and her then husband, Lord Snowdon, Bill and the band had enough money for one night's rental for black tie. However, their transport then was a beginning to rust old Commer Van....hardly the mode of transport to arrive at a Royal Premiere. The Solution? Drive down to Kensington in the old van...drive past the cinema and park around the corner. The Five of them hailed a London Black Cab for a fifty yard taxi ride around the corner to the red carpet. Cost of taxi for five- less than a pound sterling.
Pete Ham had an old English Sheepdog named "Layla". I remember Pete coming back from a Magic Christian recording session and talking about how Paul had taught him to sing with a rock and rock and roll, Long Tall Sally voice, so that it did not strain the vocal chords. Pete also brought back secret meanings of Beatle songs...I remember him telling the story behind "Sexy Sadie" (the Maharishi). This was before the meaning of the songs appeared in any publication.
Bill Collins had met a young Canadian girl who was in her twenties. Bill was then 57 or 58 with long grey hair and smoked a pipe. John lennon had dubbed him 1969 Hippie of the Year! Well, Bill was going to marry this girl and it happened early summer of 1970. Money was begining to flow in by then and the house was redecorated. Lew, Bill's son, was given the task of staging the wedding reception. I helped here and there. A big tent was erected in the back garden. Not by professionals but by the band, the roadies and Lew and I. A Japanese television crew was there to record this and the wedding.
Lew made every room in the house a different theme. One room showed Laurel and Hardy/Buster Keaton Films...can't remember the others. A small fortune was spent on flowers. The only music played was Magic Christian Music. Quite an event. The marriage did not last long. Bill eventually found a marvellous woman, Ann, an ex school teacher, who he eventually married. Together they "invented" a new way to teach music. I think I still have a copy of the prototype book.
I went to Abbey Road a few times with Lew when the band was recording. Not sure who was producing. Can't have been Mal Evans, as he, Lew and I slipped out and went around the corner to the White Star pub for a pint.
George Harrison was recording a "secret project" at the time, which turned out to be "All Things Must Pass". He came through the studio booth on his way home one of the times I was there. Listened to the boys laying down tracks...I cannot remember for what song...and after a minute ot two said, "I don't like the drum sound" and left.
That's about it for now...Hope this is interesting.
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