There are few bands in the annals of rock music as star-crossed in their history as Badfinger. Pegged as one of the most promising British groups of the late '60s and the one world-class talent ever signed to the Beatles ' Apple Records label that remained with the label, Badfinger enjoyed the kind of success in England and America that most other bands could only envy. Instead, four years of hit singles and international tours precipitated the suicides of its two creative members and legal proceedings that left lawyers as the only ones enriched by the group's work. Pete Ham April 27, -- April 23, was born in one of the rougher areas of the port city of Swansea, Wales, the third of three children. A very active, adventurous, and moody youth, his biggest passion in life as a boy was music -- his father was a fan of big band music and his older brother played the trumpet. Ham began playing the mouth organ at age four and then turned to the guitar, at which he became extremely proficient, in the '50s.
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Afterwards, Evans consistently pushed their demo tapes to every Beatle until he gained approval from all four to sign the group to their Apple label. Producing the track in less than one hour, McCartney made sure that they copied his own demo note-for-note. Instead, four years of hit singles and international tours precipitated the suicides of its two creative members and legal proceedings that left lawyers as the only ones enriched by the group's work.
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Two of its members, guitarist Tom Evans and singer Pete Ham, committed suicide, and drummer Mike Gibbins died of a brain aneurysm in Q: Is this tour, in part, an effort to give the Badfinger story a happy ending after the band endured so much tragedy? A: Over the years, people have tended to dwell on that. A few years ago, a guy even wrote a book about how tragic it was. I think of it as a great story. We all wanted different things. Tommy always wanted a hit song. Peter wanted to make great music.
They are recognized for their influence on the s power pop genre. The band evolved from an earlier group called The Iveys , formed in , which became the first group signed by the Beatles ' Apple label in From to , Badfinger recorded five albums for Apple and toured extensively, before they became embroiled in the chaos of Apple Records' dissolution. After Apple Records folded in , Badfinger struggled with a host of legal, managerial and financial issues, leading to Ham taking his own life in Over the next three years, the surviving members struggled to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits, which tied up the songwriters' royalty payments for years. Their subsequent albums floundered, as Molland and Evans alternated between cooperation and conflict in their attempts to revive and capitalise on the Badfinger legacy. In , Evans also died by committing suicide. The group performed a wide range of cover tunes on the London circuit,  from Motown , blues , soul to Top 40 , psychedelic pop, and Beatles hits, which garnered interest from record labels. Thomas Evans Jr. Evans subsequently pushed their demo tapes to every Beatle until he gained approval from all four to sign the group.