Badfinger were a great, great band. They combined the sound of hard rock with melodicism and song structure and in so doing created a rock genre, Power Pop. Two of their number wrote a song called Without You, rendered immortal by Harry Nilsson's deeply emotional reading.
Badfinger also became a by-word for all that is risky in rock once business and money-men enter the picture. In short, they were ripped off, abused, exploited, used, chewed up and spat out by those tasked with protecting and promoting their interests. Result??? Two sensitive and talented artists, Pete Ham and Tom Evans (who wrote Without You together) committed suicide. The remaining members remained estranged until the untimely death of Mike Gibbins in 2005. Only Joey Molland remains with us, much maligned, but keeper of the Badfinger flame.
Dan Matovina's book recounts their odyssey from Swansea, through Golders Green and the Iveys, then Apple and Badfinger and the tragic beyond. He does so with admirable attention to detail, his producer's mind taking care of the beat, the rhythm and message of his narrative. Sadly, his literary style is, to my taste, ploddingly pedestrian. Exclamation marks have no place in a decent narrative, there's too many in this work: an indication he's trying too hard. The story speaks for itself, it just needs the deft, sensitive touch of an experienced writer to bring it to life. He lacks wit and humour: while it's true there is little to laugh about Badfinger's tragic tale, there is plenty of room to write with wit, but Matovina has not taken the opportunity.
He has included a wonderful CD of demo material, seemingly not available elsewhere. This humanises the players ... gives them their voices, their instruments, their sounds. It reminds us that ultimately, the music is what it all should be about.
Matovina is to be congratulated on producing such a comprehensive work, for championing Badfinger, in particular Pete Ham. That his the band's story is out there is largely thanks to Matovina's efforts ... it's just a pity that he couldn't find within him some authorly panache to make this essential work even more readable.
Ther's nothing tragic about the book or the cd,both are an insight into a band who i feel never got the benefits they deserved. If they had maybe we could enjoy seeing & hearing them live on stage today,instead we can only listen to them.Read this if you want an insight to how naivety and trust can be fatal in the literal sense.A very moving account. the cd is full of demo's etc and worth buying on it's own merits.Whether the tracks are available elsewhere i don't know.
This really was an eye opener to the good but mostly the bad that can happen in the music recording industry. Badfinger was a band that had so much potential, they would have gone right to the top of their game but for the evil greed of the individuals who controlled their destiny. So much wasted talent that the world was never going to be able to share. Badfinger is only now getting the recognition that they should have had at the time. This is such a well written book that gives not only an insight into the members of the band but also the people they came into contact with and those who should have helped them on their way to success. Highly recommended to anyone who followed Badfinger and still enjoys them today. What might have been....................
Its very reminiscent of the Creedence Clearwater Revival story.I used to think,How can someone in such a great band get so low and hang themselves? Two of them as well.A gut wrenching and harrowing account of Badfinger, or should it be re-named? (How not to run a band).
Everything you ever wanted to know about one of the most under-rated bands. An exhaustive work - stunning in detail and a riveting read. There is a lot of love and respect in this book. There is nothing more to learn! Highly recommended.