We were quite a pair, back in the day.
High tops, popped collars and wagging tongues,
swagger in our step.
We broke in to a run-down house,
all arches inside, faded canvas, creaking
floorboards. Ripe to sneak around.
I get nostalgic, now, for the boundless
energy, the bounce in the balls of our feet,
spring-time street hockey and track meets.
We came undone, of course. We got our kicks
from speed, or worse, laced with god-knows-what.
Those were strung out, wasted days.
Now I’m a battered soul, scuffed and greying,
skin tattered, welts cracked and ends frayed.
Well worn and played out.
But you always were my other half;
sinister, but true.
Wherever I went, you’d go too.
The story of the band Badfinger is so depressing.
You probably know the band now because of their song “Baby Blue” being used over the final scene of the Breaking Bad series finale. After that scene aired, the band’s “Baby Blue” single from 1971 shot to #1 on iTunes.
Not that the band could appreciate that in their later years…
Lead singer/songwriter Pete Ham committed suicide in 1975 after bad recording contracts, disputed escrow accounts, and a shady band manager left them broke and without the support of their label.
Bassist and guitarist for the band, Tom Evans, committed suicide in 1983 after failing to record a successful comeback album and after numerous lawsuits. The royalties Evans should have received a decade ago were still held up in that escrow account, unpaid.
Mike Gibbins, the band’s drummer, died in 2005 at the age of 56. A brain aneurysm.
And, finally, the band’s shady manager, Stan Polley, died in 2009 after being convicted of misappropriating funds and money laundering.
I’m not sure where all those royalties resulting from the Breaking Bad airing and subsequent sales went. Hopefully not into that locked escrow account that has plagued the band for its entire career. Hopefully the surviving family members of the band received those monies.
I just wish the band would have seen some of this success and interest in their music while they were still around to enjoy it. “Baby Blue” isn’t the only great Badfinger song. I recommend also taking a listen to “No Matter What”, “Day After Day”, “Without You”, and “Dear Angie”.
And on a ‘bigger picture’ level, I also recommend sharing your favorite songs with others. Don’t keep them to yourself. Most musicians just want to share their work. And love knowing when their work is appreciated by their fans, their fellow musicians, and casual listeners. I’d hate for any more bands/musicians to be cursed with the fate of Badfinger.
(for those who like what they hear from the band, they have a new Greatest Hits package called Timeless… The Musical Legacy. I own it, and it’s a great collection, and it’s only $7 for the CD on Amazon)
I know about Badfinger because “Come and Get It” used to play on the radio all of the time. It was written for them by Paul McCartney, but there are a lot of better songs in their catalogue. I think “We’re for the Dark” and “Midnight Caller” are my favorites, but they’re all pretty good.
I was really into them during my last two years of high school, and I still like them now.
There’s a really good version of "Better Days" - better than the record even - on YouTube, and the same user uploaded a few other videos from the same television appearance. Pete Ham was a fantastic slide guitar player, as evidenced by their eight-minute version of "Suitcase." In both of those videos, he’s playing a Gibson SG that George Harrison gave to him (I think it may be the same guitar that Harrison used during the Revolver sessions). They were involved with Harrison’s show for Bangladesh, and he even produced part of their album Straight Up.
I started reading Dracula last night. So far, not much has happened. It’s just a guy travelling, and there’s a lot of foreboding weather and scared people.
But Stoker uses the phrase “here and there” eight times in three pages, which was sort of frustrating.
So far in university, I’ve taken 10 classes on literature/poetry and only 5 on language (only 2 of which were on English), and yet I feel more qualified in language than in literature.
Sort of related: the idea of majoring in a foreign language really appeals to me… up until the point where I realize that majoring in a foreign language almost always involves studying abroad in a country where that language is spoken. Which is a thing I want to not do.
It’s not like I would change my major again anyway because I have only one more semester and I’ve come to dislike learning things in classes. I feel like I’m learning stuff for the sole purpose of being able to do well on a test of it instead of learning stuff because it’s interesting or useful.