Published on July 5th, 1998 | by Gerry Galipault0
Badfinger has that Special Touch
There are more deserving groups for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame than Badfinger, says original guitarist Joey Molland, but he would be honored just the same to be mentioned in the same breath.
“We had a few hit records,” Molland said recently from his home in Shorewood, Minn., “but we certainly didn’t establish any new style or anything like that.
“The people that we’ve had the pleasure to work with have been such mega-people that our achievements seem small. In comparison, you think of guys like Neil Young or John Lennon. These are the monsters, the giants. We did music to the best of our ability, we wrote the best songs we could, but that’s what it was.”
Many Badfinger fans would disagree. They would say Molland and his band mates – Pete Ham, Tom Evans and Mike Gibbins – were the definitive power-pop group of the 1970s whose influence extends well into the 1990s. For many, Badfinger helped soften the blow of the Beatles’ breakup in 1970.
“Perhaps we did, in a way,” Molland said. “We certainly played a similar kind of music and being raised up the same way, coming from the same place. It’s great to be included in the same sentence as them, really.”
The reason Badfinger didn’t reach superstar status, Molland said, was that the band didn’t go out of its way to sell itself.
“We kind of let the music stand on its own,” he said. “Like we never put on the albums who played on the albums, even though we had people like George Harrison playing. We never tried to capitalize on those affairs.
“We were an honest band. We were honest in the music and with our audience. I don’t think we ever conned them out of anything. And we never wore spandex.”
Molland still performs, touring the country as Joey Molland’s Badfinger.
BWF (before we forget): Originally known as The Iveys, Badfinger was signed to the Beatles’ Apple Records in 1969; “Come and Get It,” “No Matter What” and “Day After Day” went Top 10 in the early ’70s, while the Todd Rundgren-produced “Baby Blue” peaked at No. 14 in 1972; Ham and Evans wrote “Without You,” a No. 1 for Nilsson in 1972; the group disbanded after Ham committed suicide in 1975. They reformed in 1978, with Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye. Evans committed suicide in 1983.