The Sad Story of Badfinger

For some reason, I was thinking today about Badfinger, the rock band with the saddest fate.

Badfinger

Badfinger

Badfinger actually had an auspicious beginning. The Beatles liked them enough (despite their ridiculous hairstyles) to sign them to their new Apple record label in 1968. Over the next few years, they came out with a string of high-quality pop hits such as “Come and Get It” (written by Paul McCartney), “Baby Blue”, “Day After Day” and “No Matter What.”

Then, as happens so often in the rock business, success turned things ugly. After achieving worldwide fame, the band hired well-known New York businessman Stan Polley as business manager. Polley turned out to be a scoundrel, stealing the band’s money and leading them into a bad contract that resulted in a painful lawsuit. The band’s fame diminished in the midst of these troubles.

In 1975, The band’s lead guitarist, Pete Ham, hung himself out of despair over his finances. His suicide note ended thus: “P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me.”

After a half-decade of inactivity, two of the remaining members had a legal dispute over access to earnings and rights to the band’s name. Following an argument on the telephone, one of them, Tom Evans, hung himself in his garden.

Ironically, their songs are mostly heartwarming. Here is a performance from their happier days:

Badfinger – “Baby Blue”


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