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.