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.


Anonymous said...

changed your mind?

ßill said...

I opened up the comments again to see if the spammers return. So far they haven't.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I meant changed you're mind about Randy.You had a tribute to him and it was deleted. If you put it on Badfinger boogie fans might have read it.

ßill said...

It wasn't a "tribute." I was reflecting on my 10 years of battles with Randy. And, as in the past, I never leave articles up very long that aren't specifically related to the book.

As for Badfinger Boogie, I never go where I'm not wanted. Besides, I know this blog gets far more viewers than private Yahoo clubs, where you have to register to read the comments. My ability to count "hits" corresponds with search-engine placement. On Google, this blog comes up first when searching for "Badfinger Book."

Anonymous said...

It is clear from the book that Matovina has something against Kathie Molland. He never passes up an opportunity to mention something negative about her (e.g., getting overdressed for George Harrison - geez, let's crucify her), he chose numerous photos of her which are unflattering, especially the most recent photos (and for some reason many of them show her with a beverage in her hand - what is Matovina going out of his way to insinuate?) and he ignored the fact that, ultimately, she was 100% justified in her frustration with the band's managerial situation. Imagine standing by helplessly while your spouse's career is being sabotaged by a crooked manager. Imagine voicing your concerns and having them dismissed by people who choose to live in denial.* Wouldn't you feel like kicking a car door? Wouldn't you try to call a meeting to address the siuation? I mean, who's the real villian of this story? It's obviously Stan Polley, but the way Matovina depicts Kathie Molland, you might not be so sure that she isn't more of a villian than Polley. Clearly, Joey has a right to take issue with the way his wife is portrayed. I'm not saying either of them is a saint, but come on! And, Bill, before you ask - no, I will not cite pages or type out quotations because 1) I don't have the book with me now, 2) I don't have the time and 3) I don't have to - we've all read the book and we all know what I'm talking about.

Also, does Ron's quote not indicate that he was given a check by Bill Collins?? Joey never recants his claim that this money exchanged hands - he only says he is not certain where the money came from and when it was paid. This is totally understandable because he was not personally involved in the transaction. Anything else about Ron's misunderstanding of the arrangement is not Joey's fault. Furthermore, are we to assume that Joey is telling the truth when he says he had to assume Ron's share of the band's debt upon joining? You did not attempt to refute that statement, Bill. Point is, this is supposed to be an example of Joey contradicting himself, but I don't see it.

*Re: denial. Pete chose to deny what everyone else knew about the band's managerial situation. Why? Not because he was a pie-in-the-sky dreamer who believed the world is a place where we should all be "allowed to love and trust everybody," but because he wanted to avoid conflict with Polley. My evidence? 1) The interview on the "Without You" cd in which Pete discusses the themes behind "Perfection" - clearly he knew that the world is an imperfect place where utopian ideals do not exist. He was not a fool. 2) The book says he was involved and interested in the business aspects of the band - he liked interacting with business-types and they respected him. Would they respect him if he was just a spacy hippie who rambled on about love and trust when it came to matters of business? I doubt it. 3) The book is clear about his desire to avoid conflict whenever possible. Could it be that his uncharacteristic blowout with Kathie Molland was triggered by his knowing that she was in the right? In short, Pete knew the score but wanted to avoid the conflict that would have resulted from addressing the problems.

Lastly (and this is obviously a touchy subject), the book never criticizes Pete for two key decisions. First, he had the power to decide to take action against Polley and did not - the band needed his vote to make a move. In doing so, he ensured that the band would continue to get screwed in spite of the fact that by the end they all knew what was going on. Could this knowledge be the source of the "guilt" that caused him to put cigarettes out on his hands? Second, Pete (God rest his soul) committed the ultimate act of selfishness rather than confront the problem and in doing so drastically reduced the odds that the band would remain a viable commerical entity, which is what they would have needed to recover from their years of mismanagement.

Yes, it is uncomfortable to raise these issues, but the point is that Pete was a flawed man (like we all are - but these flaws manifested to the detriment of his friends) and this is not Joey Molland's fault. Everyone looks for a scapegoat to whom they can direct their frustration at the band's demise and Joey is the most visible and obvious target. But that doesn't necessarily make it right.

(This turned into more of a "rant" than I planned - usually I would take more care in constructing an argument. But the core ideas I meant to convey are there. Also, if I sound mean-spirited, it is not intentional. I just enjoy a good debate.)

PS - I am not a Joey follower, crony, minion or whatever other terms you can think of. I have no personal interest in this aside from the fact that I am a fan of the group.

ßill said...

Good presentation with your post, and you touch on a lot of subjects that I would like to respond to. However, your message here is attached to a fairly old article so it isn't very visible, and the comments section is rather restrictive for lengthy replies.

Would you have any objection to me moving your comments to the front page and I can respond to them there?

Anonymous said...

That would be fine. Looking forward to your response...