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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/
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.


Spliffster said...

"APPEARS" to have nothing to do
with it? I didn't realize Dan
was a part of Badfinger, where they
should include him in it at all.
But seeings how they looked to him
for input, I'm sure he told
them just how he knew the whole
story ... and just in case anyone
didn't hear it in my book cd, or
when I brought it along for the VH1
special, here's my edited phone tape!
What does he do, carry the thing
around in his pocket?
I'm sure it's just a similarity
that this program resembles the
book though (heavy sarcasm).

ßill said...

(1) Yes, it appears that way. The only production credit was given to Bradfield and the BBC production team. So that's how it "appears." Unless otherwise clarified, that is my opinion.

(2) Documentaries often refer to biographers for input. Remember The Compleat Beatles? Was Nicholas Schaffner part of The Beatles? No, but he wrote a book about them and was knowledgable on some areas so they included him in the film. You also forget that Matovina represents the Ham Estate in some capacity, so that clearly allows him room to comment.

(3) You also assume the BBC has no journalism ethics. Do you think professional news organizations operate this way, allowing someone on the outside to come in and push their personal research on them and augment their productions? You may also notice, if you do any amount of checking, that James Dean Bradfield is a Badfinger fan. Does it seem possible he owns the book? Does it seem possible he owns the CD in mention? Does it seem possible that Bradfield introduced the Tom Evans' phone tape?

I've tried to locate an email address for Bradfield so I can ask him what (if any) input Matovina had with the program. All I can find is a MySpace page that requires registration. I don't feel like messing with MySpace regsitration so I passed. But you are welcome to contact him and find out for everyone.

Melanie said...


What I found interesting in the documentary was both Beverly and Marianne's belief that had "Without You" never been written, Pete and Tom might might still be alive today. This is a perspective that I never got from reading the book. The documentary was great - I've listened to it twice already and agree with you about Matovina. I would have been surprised had they not included him.

Melanie said...


One more thing - you mentioned Kathie Molland has a myspace page. I tried to look at it and the page comes up as "Invalid ID"...

ßill said...

I suppose if Badfinger had not been successful then Polley would have let them go, and in doing so the fate of Pete and Tom would have been different. I'm not sure I would agree and tie their fates in directly with that song. I suppose they were just speculating (also, I only remember Beverly making that suggestion, not Marianne. I may be wrong as I haven't completely absorbed the show yet).

I'm pretty confident Kathie Molland announced a month or two ago that she had a MySpace. I don't navigate well with MySpace so I don't know what the problem would be.

ßill said...

I just checked some recent comments and she said she discontinued her MySpace. Sorry for the confusion.

Spliffster said...

Just to fill you in, Kathie's myspace is gone. She is going to
have her own
spot on the new Neil website (her
newfound friend) where Kathie says
Neil's going to say why Pete died
supposedly. I guess when she told
us a little bit ago that he killed
himself because he was broke, she
was just speculating, and needs this person to explain it to
her. Also, this means Joe & Mike's
explanations on the Katz interview
must be in question, along with
Pete's note saying why. What an amazing guy
this Neil must be, to where even
people in Badfinger's history
can learn from him! It's like
finding Dan's long-lost brother!
Anyway, the site plans on doing
the last ditch effort of the
extremely desperate, discredit
the author, that way, you don't
need to answer the questions, and
the whole thing is written off as
The whole deal's going to get
pretty ugly, crude, and be a big
turn-off to a lot of fans. I
suggest doing what Mike G. said,
"Just listen to the music".

ßill said...

Yes, I noticed Kathie said she took her MySpace down. I disagree that any Badfinger parties "learn" from Matovina. The people Matovina quoted in his book are saying the same things today that they said 11 years ago. It's probably what they said 21 years ago, too. These people aren't changing their stories around. They are being consistent, and that's a pretty darn good indicator of the truth.

The Mollands, on the other hand... their story seems to revolve around whichever way will serve their needs, and the Mollands are now making claims that contradict what they said earlier. Truth is never inconsistent. They want to discredit the book, so they are going to put forth brand new conspiracy theories that they have never once mentioned before, over the past 30+ years.

For example, Kathie is now claiming Joey doesn't want to publish his autobiography because of the Matovina book. Excuse me but Matovina's book has been out for 11 years now, and this just suddenly dawned on him? Just nine months ago Joey claimed his book was delayed because of his son's car accident. You never get consistency from these people. I suspect the truth is that Joey is having trouble getting publishers interested in releasing his book (no market for it). That would be too embarrassing to admit, so Kathie makes it sound like it's Joey's decision. Now that makes sense to me.

As for this Neil character, he is currently a useful idiot for the Mollands (like the Russ Andersons and Wayne Hunicutts before him). After he's served his purpose they will summarily eject him, and he'll be sitting on a curb somewhere scratching his head and thinking "What just happened?"

Anonymous said...

If Joey has a book saved on
Microsoft Word then he can make
CDs of it and sell them independently as he would sell his music. I think its possible and
make the CD files so they cant be copied? It would probably be
cheaper way to go then putting it
out in book form. He could probably put pictures in there
too. If someone wants the book on paper they can print it out at home from the CD.

ßill said...

Nice suggestion, but I sincerely doubt Joey reads this blog. You might try emailing it to him - assuming he reads his emails. There seems to be some doubt about that right now.

Anonymous said...

I don´t think it seems that impossible that Matovina had something to do with the program as consultant or such, I suppose all these programs have someone doing the research, and then he would have had an influence on who and what was included. I have no idea if that was the case but there aren´t that many Badfinger experts out there so not unlikely. Don´t think that tape, edited or not, brings any great insights into the band history, just sounds drunk and confused to me. Good program though, should be lots more of them.

ßill said...

I didn't say it is "impossible" but rather there is no clear indication of it. Unless/until such a clarification is made there is simply no way to know. Personally, it appears to me that the program is founded on the book but goes its own way from there. Did you notice that Bill Collins said Kathie destroyed the band? That's harsher than anything found in the book. Did you notice Joey's artistic contributions to the band were almost non-existent? That certainly isn't what the book portrays. Petera Ham is in the show, but John Ham isn't. They dedicate large sections to McCartney, Harrison and Lennon interludes but graze over the Ass and Badfinger albums. That's nothing like the book. So although similarities are there, there are also some great differences.

As far as this Tom Evans tape, there certainly seems to be much ado about that. It is what it is. It represents the anger he felt at that time, which I guess is around 1982. Should it be used as a segue into his suicide? I'd say yes and no. Yes, because he argued with Joey about this same subject the night he died, so a correlation is there. No, because this phone call probably happened a year or so prior to his death.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the program was very Joey-less, can´t remember if anything was played in the background - I´ll have to listen to it again. Nice to hear the story from a welsh angle, the interest in the group today seems to be mainly american so good to have a bit of going back to their roots.
As for the tape I´m not sure I think it was a good idea to put it on the book CD, a taped phone converation with a guy in that state feels a bit too private. And that claim about Kathie Molland being responsible for Pete´s death (or whatever he meant, a bit hard to understand) seems a bit strange whether you like her or not.

ßill said...

The original non-Harrison version of "Suitcase" is played right after they introduce Joey's entrance to the band. I think they also played "I'd Die, Babe" elsewhere in the background, but I can't remember where.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping me with that question. I remember Suitcase now - it sounded so slow and laid back to my ears I thought they had found yet another version of it.

ßill said...

The reason it struck me that they were playing the early version of the song is because Joey sings "pusher pusher" instead of "butcher butcher." Ironically, Joey said Harrison made him reword it because it might get banned from the BBC. Now here comes the BBC who can play either version of the song, and we hear "pusher pusher." Kind of amusing, actually.

Janine said...

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.

Can you let us know how you know what the BBC would have asked Joey? You say that tough questions will be thrown at them. How do you know this? The whole programme was 'comments' from people, nobody was asked questions so why would Joey get treated any differently?

ßill said...

The questions were obviously edited out. You think the interviewers just set up microphones in front of them all and said "go"? They were all asked questions about their particular knowledge of the band. Joey claims to have special knowledge about certain events, so I would have asked him about those events. Like:

"Do you now realize that Kathie's information was wrong at that 1974 meeting?"

"Why exactly did you quit in 1974?"

"Since you quit in 1974, how do you feel justified in continuing to collect royalties for Pete's and Tom's material today?"

"You said Polley agreed to be bought out. How would this be accomplished when Badfinger had no money?"

"When you halted that check in 1974, did you involve Pete, Mike or Bill in that?"

"If not, how do you feel justified in messing with their money without their knowledge or permission?"

"Do you think the stoppage of this check had anything to do with Pete's demise?"

"Is it true that Pete Ham hated your wife's involvement with the band?"

"Is it true that none of the band members wanted her involvement?"

"Bill Collins said she broke up the band. Why do you think he said that?"

"Bill Collins said there is no contract to split royalties. So why do you say there is one?"

"What exactly were you and Tom arguing about the night he died?"

"Why do you claim Tom was bribed by Polley? Bribed in what way?"

I could go on and on, but these are some quick questions that come to mind. Joey basically twists and turns, or has completely changed his story, on these topics. I would try to nail him down. You see, I think Joey has a combination of foggy memory and selective memory. He always tries to paint himself above the rest when there are serious issues he needs to answer for. I also think he lies (i.e. the non-existent songwriting/publishing contract).

Spliffster said...

Well Bill.
You can play it any way you
like. How about Pete died because
of Tom? Joey and Kathie couldn't
stop the check by themselves.
It wouldn't have happened
without Tom. This
could be exactly what Pete was
referring to, when he wrote he
couldn't trust anyone, in his
suicide note. Joey was already gone
at that point. Tom was supposed to
be his "partner". Tom felt guilt,
and gave himself the same fate.
Same story, new book.

ßill said...

My long response to your suggestion, Spliffster, was accidentally removed. Instead of me going through my whole answer again, I'll just say that your scenario doesn't fit the evidence.

I don't believe Pete's note referred to Tom, Joey, Kathie, or anyone else not mentioned in it. It appears to be a message to Anne and Blair, with a footnote aimed at Polley. And I don't think the middle section refers to anyone specifically.

ßill said...

To Dex and Scott: I am sick of discussing that and it is polluting the subject of this blog. I suggest you go belabor your thoughts along those lines over on Neil's guestbook.

And thanks, Eric. I suspect there were probably only about four people behind that entire mess. It was interesting that they all posted at the same time and disappeared at the same time.

Anonymous said...

We didn't disappear, you just censored once again our comments by removing the last two topics with all the commentary that went along with it. Very convenient for you.

ßill said...

I let that one through because I want to address it.

It was about five days ago that a plethora of conspiratorial accusations started flooding my blog. They were coming in clumps about every hour or two. I was able to identify one of the ringleaders, who is in my strong opinion, a basketcase. The few posts that came from others with slightly different opinions and attitude did not arrive within these clumps. And the nastier accusatory posts all stopped coming in at the same time; maybe they had a meeting and decided to back off?

I put up a post and said it was all coming down. I gave you people an opportunity to analyze and save any of that BS to your heart's desire. It's not like I didn't provide some warning. But it is all off topice and I am not allowing it to remain.


Andy said...

I enjoyed the BBC special, but
like the VH1 show,
why do they choose to default to
Dan M., when it comes to the latter
portion of Tom's life? I can't
believe he's the only one who's
capable of speaking credibly
of this time period.

ßill said...

I think the BBC show referred to Bob Jackson and Marianne regarding Tom's final years. These are probably the best two people; his wife and most-frequent band mate. I'm not sure who else would have been a good source. I only remember Matovina having two interview segments, one was regarding the 1985 settlement. Was the other one on Tom's final years? i can't remember offhand.