Friday, October 10, 2008

The New York Times Says
"Without You" In High Demand
Columnist Mick Sussman of the New York Times wrote an article for the newspaper's September 8, 2008 Sunday edition in which he lists several books that are going for high prices on the Internet:

"A recent search on Amazon, sorting by year, genre and price, turned up 99 biographies with paperback editions published in 2000 selling for over $100, including “Seth Green” ($201.88 and up), Elina and Leah Furman’s “unauthorized biography” of the actor who played Dr. Evil’s son in the “Austin Powers” movies, and “Without You” ($290 and up, with a CD), Dan Matovina’s group portrait of the Welsh power-pop band Badfinger."
Sussman credits these high prices not only because of availability or for some collector's showcase, but because of what these books contain; first-source and jam-packed information on subjects where alternatives are otherwise difficult or impossible to find.

"The new strategy involves a selective embrace of e-commerce, focused mainly on a category of book that scarcely existed before the Internet — books you might call “rare but not collectible.” These are books sought after not as artifacts or for resale value, but for their content — often concerning subjects with appeal to fervent communities of interest."
To read the entire article (back issues and archives) you may need to subscribe to the NY Times online.

Friday, August 01, 2008

More Molland Nonsense

This isn't the first time this has happened nor will it be the last, but the author of a recent newspaper article was duped by Joey Molland. This article was positively riddled with inaccuracies, thanks to Joey. The following is the most noteworthy blather that is either direct quotes from Joey or paraphrases by reporter Ted Shaw. A link to the article is too long for this format, but it can be found by Googling "The Windsor Star" and "Badfinger."

(1) "Without much prompting, Molland will sound off at length on the subject of the band's demise. He reserves most of his ire for journalist Dan Matovina, whose unauthorized biography, Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger, is the only book to attempt to chronicle the band's history."
The book is only singularly "unauthorized" by Joey Molland. Mike Gibbins, Bill Collins, the Ham Estate and the Evans Estate never labelled the book in such a manner (especially in light of the fact that all of those parties contributed to the book). And as I have often stated in the past, the bulk of official "authorized" biographies that I have read are fluff pieces, tailored to keep the biographical subjects happy rather than to tell the truth.

(2) "Matovina assembled his history from third-party interviews of those who knew or worked with Badfinger. Molland did not co-operate, and blames Matovina for cultivating vicious rumours. 'I wish someone would just tell the truth in print,' he said."

Joey's convoluted and inconsistent Badfinger anecdotes are the reason he can't get anyone to write his "truth" for him. But foremost, one need only read the Foreward of the book to know that Matovina did not "assemble his history from third-party interviews." Every member of the band had been interviewed by Matovina personally (with the exception of Pete Ham who died early on). Joey and his wife were both interviewed by Matovina in the late 1970s for other publications, and this material was later utilized in the book. Did you mention any of this to Ted Shaw, Joey?

(3) "One outright lie, he claimed, was the suggestion that Molland's wife, Kathie, hastened Badfinger's demise. In a scenario that sounds like it was plucked from the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, it was alleged that Ham quit the band in 1974 because of Kathie Molland's increasing influence."
The motivation for Pete Ham's resignation is hardly "alleged." In front of several witnesses, Pete clearly stated that Kathie Molland's meddling was the reason for his resignation. Joey even stated as much in DISCoveries Magazine in 1991: "Well, Pete stands up and says 'I don't want Kathie managing this band! I'm leaving.'" Did you mention this to Ted Shaw, Joey? Or are you trying to sell a new story these days?

(4) "Molland denies his wife had any involvement. On the contrary, it was Ham who created the rift by striking up a solo deal with Badfinger's manager at the time, Stan Polley."

According to every quoted source, Pete never sought any solo deal. Stan Polley sought a solo deal for Pete during the brief period after he had quit the band. There is no indication Pete was even aware of what Polley was doing at the time. For Joey to now claim Pete created a rift in the band by seeking a solo deal is beyond incredible.

(5) "'I f***ing deny it all and challenge you to find any f***ing evidence my wife called any agents or did any business for us,' Molland said. 'I'd f***ing bet you $1,000 right now to find anything that backs that up.'"

Joey admitted in Discoveries Magazine that it was a telephone call his wife made to Warner Brothers in L.A. and that her past inquiries into the band's business prompted Pete's resignation. Kathie Molland takes credit for doing this during her extensive interviews for the Molland-endorsed video documentary, along with bragging about all sorts of other business intrusions. Good golly, Joey, the evidence is right from your very own mouths! You may send the $1,000 to my Paypal account

(6) "In fact, Molland and his wife are both working on memoirs which one day, he promised, will set the record straight."

Straight, like this article is straight? Anyway, The Mollands have been making this claim for 20 years and they have yet to release any such memoirs. All of their projects have fallen flat and the reason seems obvious: Publishers don't appear interested in their various illogical, inconsistent, self-serving accounts. A publisher need only do a scant amount of research to discover the Mollands can't keep even their simplest facts straight.

A comprehensive Badfinger story has already been published that brings all the pieces together; a biography that is consistent, logical, evidentiary and well sourced. Hopefully, Ted Shaw will somehow learn from his myopia, and the next reporter will question the integrity and honesty of his subject before running with whatever gibberish is laid on his plate.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Credibility Out The Window
The following may come as a shock to some but it's no surprise to me. Since this news has required some reorganization here, I will first offer some background.

On a Molland-endorsed website, a person named Cheryl criticized the Badfinger book at length. Although Cheryl claims to have been quite social with Badfinger in the early 1970s, her criticisms were mostly little more than supporting the Mollands' claims that are already in the book. And most of these claims are regarding events where Cheryl obviously wasn't even present. In fact, of her 77 "corrections" of the book, only one appeared to have any possible firsthand validity. The remainder were either repeated hearsay or speculation. I addressed her entire critique here in a five-part article which I now believe was a waste of time, not to mention a waste of space (they have now been deleted).

Cheryl's credibility went out the window with me when she later claimed to have had an intimate and revealing phone conversation with Pete Ham. This call allegedly occurred on 23 April 1975, the final night of his life, at Tom Evans' home. First of all, the circumstances just didn't add up. Secondly, it just seemed too out-of-character for Pete to reveal such alleged thoughts, considering he was notoriously guarded about his feelings. Lastly, what Pete purportedly said to her was in direct contradiction to what his family and friends have declared. Cheryl claims Pete told her he didn't want to start a family, which is absurd since he was attempting to marry Anne who had a young son, and that he wasn't happy with Anne either. Cheryl seems to be completely unaware of what Pete wrote in his suicide note.

Tom Evans' widow, Marianne, has now publically and emphatically stated that this phone call never happened. She said she remembers everything about that night. Pete never spoke to anyone on the phone that Marianne did not know about. And if this isn't enough, Marianne also says she doesn't even remember Cheryl. Marianne states that if she or Tom had any significant relationship with this woman that she would remember her. Marianne does not. And although Marianne's statements are enough for me, Bob Jackson has also stepped forward and refutes Cheryl's claims about Pete's domestic situation. (Go to Tom Brennan's main page, top article, for a link to comments from Bob and Marianne

So to make a long story short, Cheryl's alleged phone call is a lie. So why is she claiming it? Well, I was a bit stymied initially. Someone asked me what her motivation might be and I could only speculate she was seeking attention. Now, however, I think it runs a bit deeper than that. There is strong evidence that Kathie Molland is at least partially involved. She and Cheryl have been advertising that they are blog buddies and that they are working on projects together. Recently from Cheryl's blog: "Cheryl and Kathie hard at work..........we have a lot to do." From Kathie's blog on June 7: "Cheryl and I have some news, but it's not time to talk about it yet..." One might even speculate that Joey Molland is becoming agitated with the collusion. From Kathie's blog on May 13: "... my husband is being an absolute prick lately, I care about my friends and I don't want to lose them. They mean too much to me. Right now I wish my husband was away on tour..."

But why would they suddenly want to attack Pete's memory and his family? Well, two reasons come to mind. One is that author Dan Matovina represents the Ham Estate, and the Mollands' feelings about him are no secret. Another reason is that Anne Herriott (the mother of Pete's daughter) made a statement on the official Pete Ham website last year where she displayed her agitation with the Mollands. This spurred Kathie Molland into hostile public responses shortly afterward.

At any rate, I have always been of the opinion that the Mollands are not forthright about Badfinger's history. Their version of events never add up, are in contradiction of established facts, and they always manage to fashion themselves as heroes of the Badfinger story.

So the question arises again: Can the Mollands accurately tell the Badfinger story? Or better yet, would they intentionally alter the story to suit their purposes? In light of their endorsement of Cheryl, I think the answers are apparent.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

"Free-Thinking Web Sites"
I was sorry to read the recent comments by the Web Ring webhost about Badfinger "blogs." In his statements he said: "...web pages and/or blogs began to appear that had very strong opinions that fell out of the main stream - some assaulted the senses when reading and fans who voiced their opinion about what was being said were/are attacked." I believe there are only two Badfinger-oriented blogs out there right now, and the other hasn't been in operation for some two years. So I take this as criticism of my site. In another statement, he said: "There are only a few free-thinking Badfinger web sites left..." which I assume excludes mine (based on his blog statement).

The Web Ring and Neil's site had/has no public forum, and Brando's site no longer has a public forum. Both the Yahoo board and Brennan's board have banned people. I, however, not only provide a public forum but have never banned anyone from my site. Anyone can post, by either using the anonymous function, using a pseudonym, or using their actual name. Only Morten Vindberg supplies a similar format. There have been a couple - NOTE: only a couple of comments - that I refused to publish due to their content, but the posters are always welcome to return and phrase themselves more presentably. And even my links section has always been fair. When people have asked me how to get to the Yahoo site, I pointed them to the Web Ring links section. I refused to link directly to Yahoo initially because of some earlier bad exchanges between its host and myself. I was considering adding the link late last year, but because of recent legal issues it's best that I don't right now.

When I first launched my blog, the comments were completely open. I had to delete a few spams, but otherwise anyone could instantly post here. Unfortunately, times have changed since Brando and Randy operated completely unmoderated boards so I am having to review posts before they go up. I've noticed this is how most boards operate these days, and it is what I must do also.

Coincidentally, of the recently demised Neil site, I was saddened to see Cheryl's book "corrections" disappear. I would very much have liked to comment on these so I am inviting her here now. Cheryl, if you'd like, I will put your entire section up on my blog. It intrigued me so much that I saved it all, and I had some questions for you on parts of it. Of course, your section will be prone to discussion and comment from me, and you may respond to those responses as well. It's up to you.

But getting back to criticism of my blog, what can I say? I speak my mind and that may offend some people. I try not to be rude, but when people are rude with me I respond in kind. If I am taking a position contrary to what Joey's fans hold, it is dismissive (not to mention hypocritical) to say there is no free thought here. My format allows more free thought than the critics themselves provide.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Validation from BBC Wales

A Badfinger documentary was aired on BBC Wales Radio today that is well worth the effort to locate and listen to. You can find their website at
Once there, look for the section near the middle of the page that says "Radio" and "Listen Again." Scroll to the bottom of this list and you will find "Without You - The Badfinger Story." Apparently the program is available for review for the next week, so don't procrastinate too long.

The reason the program is relevant for this blog is the parallel it has to the "Without You" book. Most of the people interviewed also appeared in the book (with the notable addition of Pete Ham's daughter, Petera). And again, Joey Molland was absent, but more on that later. I won't bother to reproduce quotes from the program since most of the comments are nearly identical to those found in the book. Essentially, we have the same people saying the same things. This is important because we now have a production independent of the book that arrives at the same conclusions.
Yes, Stan Polley is the villain of the story, and this point is driven home quite strongly. But we also have Bill Collins, Bob Jackson and Tom Evans (the latter from his telephone conversations) reiterating the internal strife that also destructed the band. Marianne Evans and Petera also emphasize their strong dissatisfaction with the 1995 ASCAP event, and Collins quite clearly states that there was never any written contract between the band members to divide publishing or songwriting royalties - for "Without You" or any other song. If there had been such contracts then Collins would certainly have known about them because he would have been the one to draw them up. Kathie Molland, however, continues to this day to insist such a contract exists. The motivation for this assertion is, in my opinion, purely mercenary.

My question now is for the conspiracists out there who insist that author Dan Matovina had a hidden agenda against the Mollands when producing his book. How do you explain the results of the BBC program? Does the BBC have a hidden agenda against the Mollands, too? Perhaps the whole world has a hidden agenda against them; or, at least, those parts of the world that refuse to swallow the garbled nonsense put forth by the Molland distortion team. The conspiracy theorists accused Matovina of altering the VH-1 Behind The Music episode because he was reported as having some involvement in the program. Aside from a couple brief and innocuous comments in this BBC radio show, Matovina appears to have had nothing to do with this new production.

Kathie Molland recently complained on another website that they were not contacted by the program. However, narrator James Dean Bradfield cited that their attempts to contact the Mollands had been unsuccessful. Joey must have some sort of management contact available since he tours often, coupled with his MySpace page (his wife has one too) and his email address is easily found using a Google search, so it isn't as though he is difficult to locate. Giving the Mollands the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they accidentally deleted the email(s). Not applying that same doubt, it's possible they do not want to cooperate with an independent documentary because of the tough questions that will be thrown at them. If so, they simply ignored the BBC overtures.

Hopefully this radio show will air in the United States in the near future. Wherever it appears, it is worth the 53-minute investment of time.