Without You

Apr 11th, 2008 | By | 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.

Peter Ham’s Wikipedia entry includes,

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.”

Tom Evans was to die at the age of 36

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.

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  1. Oh…dear!

    It’s almost as if that song was written following a premonition!

    Sad stuff indeed 🙁

    but your memory bank is impressive! 😀

  2. Very sad, all they set out to do was enjoy the music until it sounds like they were ripped off by their manager, I can remember Neilsons version that was in the charts in was it 1972? popmeister. I am impressed with your pop knowledge Ian.

  3. Aww . . wish I hadn’t listened to this. I didn’t realise it was a Badfinger song but the Harry Neilson version reminds me of the grief my Godfather felt after the death of his wife. It was played on the radio so often at that time and I haven’t listened to is since. I’ve just ended a long distance relationship with someone I cared about but didn’t care as much for me. Happily, I’m not about to top myself . . I always thought of suicide as selfish. But that’s another story. You do have an incredible memory for music trivia!

  4. Ian has an incredible memory for all kinds of trivia.

  5. Hi Ian,

    You have only just touched on the story! I worked for the group way back in the early ’70’s and got back in contact with Joey & Kathie Molland a couple of years ago. Check out http://www.badfinger.org.uk or http://www.badfinger-iveys.co.uk where we are hoping to show that a self published, unauthorised biography is in fact very wrong and a lot of it is author opinion, an opinion that has been borne after he was thrown out of the Molland’s home.

  6. Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for the links. I’ll check them out. It is sad that the song comes with such a story of conflict.

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