Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper Mersey Beat
were a Sixties group comprising two members from Liverpool and two from
Wales. The two Mersey bands the Liverpool members originally came from were
The Masterminds and The Calderstones. Under the name 'The Iveys' they were
managed by Bill Collins and, for a while, they provided backing for Liverpool
singer David Garrick. Beatles
road manager Mal Evans, who recommended them to Paul McCartney, spotted
the group performing at the Marquee Club in London. Their line-up at the
time comprised Pete Ham, guitarist, pianist and vocalist, who was born in
Swansea, South Wales on 27th April 1947; rhythm guitarist Tom Evans who
was born in Liverpool on 21st June 1947; Mike Gibbons on bass and Rob Griffiths
They were to become Apple Records' most successful group (apart from the Beatles themselves, of course) and made their recording debut with ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ in November 1968. It was Paul McCartney who inspired the name change from 'The Iveys' to 'Badfinger' because it came from the working title of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ – ‘Badfinger Boogie'.
Gibbons left the band and Evans took over on bass guitar, with Liverpool guitarist Joey Molland taking over on rhythm. Paul also penned their biggest hit, ‘Come And Get It’, which was used on the soundtrack of the Ringo Starr movie ‘The Magic Christian’.
They had several other hits, including ‘No Matter What’, ‘Day After Day’ and ‘Baby Blue’. Ham and Evans wrote the number ‘Without You’, which provided a chart-topper for Harry Nilsson. The group also appeared on ‘The Concert For Bangla Desh’ and played on John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ album and George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’.
left Apple the band suffered financial difficulties and Ham hanged himself
on 23rd April 1975. He was 28 years old. He left a note for his girlfriend,
blaming the group’s American manager Stan Polley: ‘Anne, I love you. Blair,
I love you. I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better.
Pete. P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me'.
Joey Molland and Tom Evans worked for a couple of years as labourers. Evans, who had co-written ‘Without You’, which was a million seller, was plagued by financial troubles and a lengthy and unsuccessful battle to receive his fair royalty for ‘Without You’. He hanged himself on Saturday 19th November 1983. He was 36 years old, married with a young son.
Molland formed another band, also called Badfinger, which began performing in America, enjoying a mini-revival from 1995. During that year, an Apple CD, ‘The Best Of Badfinger’, was released, there was an official Badfinger fan club and a Badfinger documentary went into production, produced by Gary Katz, which included interviews with Joey and Katie Molland, Mike Gibbons and Marianne Evans.
In Los Angeles the surviving members, Mike Gibbons and Joey Molland, together with Marianne and Stephen Evans and original manager Bill Collins received an ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) award for ‘Without You’. Mike Gibbins died in his sleep at his home in Oviedo, Florida on October 4th 2005. He was 56. Bill Collins, father of Lewis Collins (former member of the Mojos and star of ‘The Professionals’ and ‘Who Dares Wins’), passed away in August 2002.
Joey Molland continues to perform in America with Joey Molland’s Badfinger.
|Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.|
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