Without YouApr 11th, 2008 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Personal Columns
Fifth Class in the National School sang “Without You” after assembly this morning – an excellent rendition accompanied by their very gifted class teacher.
“Badfinger”, I said to the Principal.
“Pardon?” She said.
“Badfinger. The group who recorded that song – they were called Badfinger”.
“Are you sure?”
“I think so”.
I went over to the class teacher and asked to check the music book.
Yep, sure enough Peter Ham and Tom Evans.
I wish I had left it there.
Searching Youtube for renditions of the song, I found Badfinger’s original version and then Air Supply’s version with a note to the effect that both Pete Ham and Tom Evans had committed suicide because of the treatment they had suffered at the hands of their management.
After releasing six albums and four hit singles, Badfinger became embroiled in financial and managerial problems. By 1975, without an income and contractually confined, Ham hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey home, three days shy of his 28th birthday. He left behind a pregnant girlfriend (his daughter was born one month after his death) and his personal estate was nearing foreclosure. His suicide note accused Badfinger’s manager, Stan Polley, of stealing the band’s royalties. It read: “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.”
In 1983, Evans argued with Molland on the telephone regarding the publishing division of the lucrative “Without You” song. Following this phone call, Evans hanged himself from a tree in his backyard. He left behind no note. Family and friends have speculated he was overwhelmed by the lawsuit against him, by his conflict with Molland over “Without You” royalties, and a suspected (although unsubstantiated) tumor in his throat. Evans was survived by a wife and son.
There are moments when you wish that you had never started asking questions because the answers bring only sadness.