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Badfinger’s Joey Molland keeping the legacy alive | Ticket | thereporteronline.com

Badfinger’s Joey Molland keeping the legacy alive | Ticket | thereporteronline.com

Badfinger’s Joey Molland keeping the legacy alive | Ticket | thereporteronline.com
September 19
09:47 2018

One of the most enduring pop bands to emerge from the ’70s, English rockers Badfinger, whose classic lineup featured Pete Ham (lead vocals, guitar), Joey Molland (guitar, vocals), Mike Gibbins (drums) and Tom Evans (bass), rose to international stardom, releasing a string of hit records that have become rock ‘n’ roll classics.

More than 40 years later, Badfinger guitarist Joey Molland is keeping the legacy alive.

Paying homage to Badfinger’s classic 1972 “Straight Up” album, Molland and his band are hitting the concert trail with their “Straight Up Live and Complete Starring Joey Molland.”

“I’m doing really great,” says Molland from his home in Minnesota. “I’ve been travelling and doing a lot of shows that have done well. We are getting standing ovations every night.

“When I perform these songs, I try and maintain the ethic of the band,” adds Molland. “I try to bring the songs to life. I tell fans some stories, tell them a little bit about the songs. People come to me constantly and thank me for doing this, for keeping the music alive. I don’t know if I’m doing that; the music has a life of its own. I don’t know how responsible I am for people that keep going out and buying our music. I am feeling really blessed.”

Signed by The Beatles’ Apple Records, Badfinger enjoyed massive international commercial success thanks to their hit singles “Come and Get It,” “Day After Day,” “No Matter What” and “Baby Blue.” Their song “Without You” became a smash hit for both Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey.

“We always tried to put our best foot forward,” says Molland. “We really worked hard on our songs. We didn’t write them for the sake of making hit records. We wrote songs that came to us from ideas that we got. We put everything we had into those records and recorded them as a band.

“Paul McCartney wrote ‘Come and Get It’ for Ringo,” adds Molland. “The form of the song and the sound of the record were really good. At the time we had a difficult time with it because we thought it was a bit sweet back in the day. It’s a very happy song. Of course, we wanted to be a rock band. The song has always gone down well, and the crowds at our shows always love to hear it, so we play it every night now. I actually didn’t play on this record, but I am blessed to play it every night at our shows.

“On ‘Day After Day,’ which I did play on, I was going to play slide guitar,” recalls Molland. “George Harrison came into the studio and said, ‘Can I play the slide?’ So, George and Pete played slide and I played rhythm guitar and we all sang on it. I really think it is a great song and one of my favorites from that time.”

The friendship and creative synergy Molland and his band mates enjoyed with The Beatles found Badfinger appearing on Lennon’s “Imagine” album, Starr’s hit single “It Don’t Come Easy” and Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album. They also backed up Harrison, Starr and Dylan at the Concert for Bangladesh.

“Working with The Beatles as we did was an amazing experience,” recalls Molland. “I was a huge Beatles fan — we all were — so it was very special.”

Badfinger’s success was ultimately overshadowed by tragedy. On the morning of April 24, 1975, co-founding front man and principal songwriter Pete Ham hung himself. Less than a decade later, fellow band member Tom Evans also committed suicide by hanging.

“We were doing 120 shows a year at $5,000 to $7,000 a night; that was a lot of money then,” recalls Molland. “Our records were on the radio all the time, so there was no reason that the money wasn’t there or Pete was broke. It was Pete among all of us that had the faith in our business managers. Pete left the band in 1974 because we started to argue about what to do with the managers.”

“It was terrible, and even to this day it affects me,” adds Molland. “First off, it was a real surprise. I lived in the same house with Pete for four years. We had a lot of fun together. I had no inkling that that was even in his mind. I was astounded. He was literally told the day that he took his life that he had no money. He should have been a millionaire at that point. And then Tommy went on and did the same thing as Pete, very, very sad. It’s sad that Pete and Tommy aren’t here today to enjoy what they created. I always make mention of the guys during the show.”

Badfinger songs have been used in the TV programs “Breaking Bad” and “The O.C.,” as well as the films “The Departed” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” introducing new generations of fans to the band.

In 2010, Apple reissued the Badfinger catalog, all with bonus tracks, as part of a massive promotional effort to celebrate all the great artists who are part of the Apple records family. The albums “Magic Christian Music,” “No Dice,” “Straight Up” and “Ass” are all being reissued with a total of 21 combined bonus tracks. See applerecords.com

“We really enjoyed playing and really enjoyed the way each other played on each other’s songs,” recalls Molland. “We were willing to make whatever changes musically to make the band better. I do think we would have gone on and had a great career.

“For years, people have asked me to make a Badfinger album,” adds Molland. “I’ve refused because it wouldn’t be Badfinger. I don’t think I have the right to make a Badfinger record.”

Source: Badfinger’s Joey Molland keeping the legacy alive | Ticket | thereporteronline.com

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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