Thursday, July 06, 2006

Statements That Strain Credibility

Before tackling another specific topic, I wanted to address a couple loose tidbits that have been scattered around. The following are some comments made by Joey in the past.

“…Well the guy (Dan Matovina) has uh... he's misquoted close friends of mine, you know, he's insinuated things about my wife in there. I mean it's just outrageous. Bloody outrageous. I believe it's in the book that he even accuses me of stealing money from the band.” (Interview with Mark Snyder)

What is really outrageous is this statement coming from someone who has never even read the book. First, the “close friends” are not identified. Second, there is no evidence of misquotes. Everyone who has stepped forward after the book’s publication has stood by the comments they made in the book. No participant has made any public charges about misquotes. Third, the “insinuations” are not identified. Lastly, regarding “stealing money from the band,” this may be Joey’s conscience talking to him. The book author never accuses Joey of “stealing” money.

But speaking of making insinuations, here is an interesting Joey comment:

“Did you hear the one about the band giving Ron a bunch of money as a settlement when he left the band and the other one about me becoming responsible for his share of any debts the band had accrued while he was a member,as Bill used to say,"mutatis mutandi" (8-31-2004, Randy‘s Guestbook)

Joey is strongly suggesting to a fan that Ron Griffiths was paid off with “a bunch of money” when he left the group. When asked for clarification on this, Joey backs down and says he isn’t sure this ever happened.

“I'm not sure when Ron was given the money, only that Bill told us he had done it. Bill had some money of his own that he used to keep the band going, he may have used some of that. He may have got some money from Apple, an advance perhaps, sorry I can't be any more specific than that. Remember Ron was in the band when they recorded Come and get it and it was later on that he left. I'm guessing here as to what happened as I wasn't yet involved with the band.” (9-1-2004, Randy’s Guestbook)

Someone with far more knowledge of the event, Ron Griffiths, said he was not paid off. Here is Ron’s quote from the book (from which, by the way, he has stated publicly he was not misquoted):

“When I left the band in 1969, I had been told by Bill (Collins) that I would get royalties from ‘Come And Get It,’ because I was on it. Time went on and the record became a big hit. Bill came to me and said, ‘Look, here’s a check, but you have to sign something to buy yourself out of the group.’ I assumed it meant I was officially not a member of the band anymore, so that I wouldn’t get any of their future royalties. It was later when Bill claimed that I had signed a paper giving away my rights to everything I’d worked on in the past. Even my own song, ‘Dear Angie!’ I never got a copy of that paper, but I finally saw it years later, and it said nothing of the kind!”

Now, finally, here’s a palpable statement from Joey:

“I don't know who said it, but they were right when they said maybe Joe's memory is a little cloudy, we had different priorities back then... (9-4-2002, Randy’s Guestbook)

Great! No pretense of remembering or even having known everything that happened with the band. Imagine an astronaut returned from the moon and said, “That was an amazing trip. I can’t tell you how the space capsule was built, who built it, what materials were used, but I can give you my impression of being inside of it. I can’t tell you what the moon is made of, how many mountains I saw there, the size of all the rocks I picked up, but I can tell you what it’s like to stand there. I can’t tell you what Buzz Aldrin was thinking, or what is relationship was like with his wife, or what he learned about Ground Control, but I can tell you what it was like to spend time and work with him.” This would be much better than, “Don’t question my knowledge. I was there, you weren’t. I know everything there is to know - period,” and then proceed to invent facts contrary to the evidence. Credibility shaken on known facts makes credibility on unknown "facts" suspect.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Did Badfinger sue Apple?
"We never did that" says Joey.

When the release of the Apple Ass album was delayed, and it pushed up against the release of the new Badfinger album from Warner Brothers, Stan Polley was apparently agitated. He threatened Apple to keep the Ass album on the shelf or there would be repercussions, and he used Joey Molland’s unclear song publishing as a weapon. The quoted letters between Polley and Apple are printed in the Badfinger book. Apple released the Ass album anyway and credited all songs on the album as being written by “Badfinger” (in an obvious attempt to obscure Joey’s compositions).
According to court documents on file in New York City (Badfinger book page 231), Stan Polley and Badfinger Enterprises, Inc. sued Apple Records, Apple Publishing and Capitol Records on December 5, 1973.

However, according to Joey Molland, none of this ever happened. The following is from a Bill Last interview in Good Day Sunshine:
Bill Last: "It was nice on the live album (Day After Day Live), how you went through and said
who did what... where."”

Joey Molland: "Yeah, it was really simple... it was simple, and I just wanted to put it out there, so that everyone would stop confusing... It's like saying we never had any legal problems with Apple, and
I've said that a thousand times; but people still ask me, 'So, Apple sued you in 1973,' and it's absolute rubbish. We never did that.…”

This is particularly interesting as only one Badfinger member should have remembered this lawsuit, and that would be Joey. The lawsuit was launched because of his song publishing. And of all the Badfinger members, only Joey signed an affidavit in connection with the lawsuit. It read:
“I confirmed the recording agreement. Although on numerous occasions I have been asked to sign an exclusive publishing agreement with Apple Publishing Ltd., I have refused to do so.”
Also, upon the lawsuit resolution in June 1974, Joey was ordered by the court to sign an acknowledgement that he was bound by the 1968 Apple publishing agreement. This must have been done or else the Ass album would have created more legal snafus.

Arguments have been made in the past that Joey’s magazine interview comments are not comparable to book information. This may be reasonable in some cases, as in some foggy recollection about an obscure incident, but this is not the case here.

1) Joey was not asked about Badfinger legalities from the 1970s. His faulty information in this case was unsolicited, so it’s not as though the question caught him unprepared.

2) Joey’s comment was firm and adamant. He emphatically claims there has never been any legal problems between Badfinger and Apple. It is a declaration.

3) Joey cannot claim the lawsuit was simply between Polley and Apple and that he had no knowledge of it. He submitted an affidavit for the lawsuit, so he was obviously aware of it.

4) Joey cannot claim lack of consent and that the lawsuit really had no Badfinger backing. Again, he submitted an affidavit in support of Polley’s lawsuit. His support indicates consent - regardless of whether or not the band members put it up to a vote.

My suspicion is that Joey remembers what he wants to remember. If people complained to him about his wife in the 1970s, he generally doesn't want to remember it and denies it ever happened. He then blames Matovina for somehow fabricating all the criticisms that the interviewees offered. Joey apparently doesn't want to remember legal troubles between Badfinger and Apple, so he denies it ever happened. Not much difference really.

The Badfinger story according to astronaut Joey? Maybe someone didn’t put enough oxygen in his space capsule.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Back to Book Business ...

I would like to explore some of the lawsuits Badfinger endured during the 1970s - especially the 1973 Apple suit. Again, this isn't an opportune time to put it together. But it will be noteworthy as Joey Molland claimed in an interview that this lawsuit never existed. Amazing, as it not only significantly affected the group's income, Joey actually made the statement long after the fact (the early 1990s, I believe). More astronaut descriptions, I guess.

Anyway, more on this subject later.