BADFINGER:after Nilsson and Bangla(Joey Molland interview)

NME February 5 1972
DESPITE THE FACT Badfinger had one of their compositions recorded by Harry Nilsson and they also earned strong reaction at the Bangla Desh concert what they still lack is the right kind of audience and appreciation. But now, the new album "Straight Up" out and with new American producer Todd Rundgren contributing to their finished sound, it would appear that the band is at last getting its finger out. They have in fact come to terms with their "teen" image, realising that few groups escape being tagged with one label or another. Guitarist Joey Molland says: "When I.joined two years ago,if we did anything harder than 'Come And Get It' people came up afterwards and said we didn't expect you to play like that.' "I don't know why we are labelled teenybob, it could be because we're regarded as a singles act, rather than an album one. "At one stage we played for six months solid around Britain, but we were always fighting the 'Come And Get It' battle that's all they wanted to know about. So we jacked the whole thing in for a while."We're not bitter we're not a big success in Britain. But it would still be nice to make it, and to be accepted. We're at the stage now, here, where we're still a semi-unknown big band. "We've never really been promoted, and publicists were something we didn't bother with because we didn't feel we wanted one. And when we did interviews, we did things like 'Jackie', the music papers weren't really interested." Towards the end of 1970, says Molland, the band made a concentrated effort to do gigs in America. They took three months playing colleges and universities and odd gigs that other bands preferred to leave alone.


"We virtually lived in a Greyhound coach for three months, and we were taking acid at the time. Mainly for curiosity reasons, it really slowed me up. Generally I write about things going on around me, or things I can realise myself,when I was taking acid I wrote a song called Feel Like I'm Flying.I wouldn't encourage anyone to take acid or smoke dope, because it slows you up and puts you in a different world. Drugs just complicate things. You get all these freaky responsibilities like you think you've got to save the world."

America didn't tag Badfinger as a teen act, but they did fild that, in the end, they came up against the "Beatle" problem". People thought McCartney was playing with them at one time. And often people packed in to see a "Beatle", rather than the band. "I know we've been accused of sounding or trying to copy the Beatles, but I think people are beginning to let it go now. I wouldn't mind sounding like them if people would just drop the subject and not keep on about it. "We're getting much more objective now,getting a lot more into each number. And the arrangements are improving. "l'm all in favour of progressive music, but it takes time to really progress. It's not progressive to go out and play what is considered by the vast majority 'progressive' music. That kind of stuffs been around for at least three years. "So many people today are highly rated and yet they're a load of rubbish. Millions of underground groups go on stage and don't say anything ... maybe they'll yell a 'La, la, la'. I don't know how they can get away with it. "A lot of our act is with the audience -- they're important. Usually we start off acoustic, then go to electric acoustic. We do one freaky number and we like people to react. During their time in Britain they now use a castle, in Gloucester, where they have four-track facilities, they rehearse, write and record. "We rented the place originally for six months but by the time we leave we'll have been using it for over a year. When we come back from our June tour of the States we'll sort out our own houses and flats. I keep reading about groups buying houses for thousands of pounds and I just don't know how they do it. I certainly couldn't afford to buy an 80,000 pound house, I'll be lucky if I can get one for 5,000 pound. "For the first two years with Badfinger I was in debt,a new PA cost us 3,000 pound, and you always need some new equipment or another."It's only now I'm starting to make any money."


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