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 on drums. 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 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’.
they 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.