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
http://host284.ipowerweb.com/~badfinge/index.html)

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.

41 comments:

Happy 4th of July! said...

I thought fireworks were illegal in California. Your going to get arrested for lighting one.

ßill said...

I don't live in California anymore so I wouldn't know. And Bob and Marianne lit the sparklers, I'm just waving them around.

Holly said...

As a child of the 60s and 70s, I have remained a loyal and appreciative fan of Badfinger's music for decades. And, more specifically, I have reverence for Peter Ham - a poet musician, who in my opinion, was underrated and underappreciated during his time. Had he lived, I believe his extraordinary musical talents would have soared to unimaginable heights. I have read "Without You" by Dan Matovina, have watched all the DVDs, and have read everything I could and can possibly find about the band and their contributions to the world of music. So, like many fans, imagine my sadness and shock when I received an e-mail this morning alerting me to visit the Badfinger Library to read about this suspicious e-mail by "Cheryl," which was initially posted on the approved Molland website. After reading additional information relating to "Cheryl's" e-mail, it is my unprofessional opinion that "Cheryl" could very likely be a fictitious character - or an alternate personality - of someone who continues to harbor great anger and resentment toward the Ham and Evans' estates. It is sad to me that such anger and overt hostility can manage to thrive through the ages. As this pathetic and mad drama trys to play itself out, it is my most sincere hope that the Ham and Evans' family members will not allow themselves to be sucked into this crazy drama. For if they allow "Cheryl" to control their emotions or actions, then "Cheryl" - and whoever else is behind the wheel of this vicious story - will surely win. And, if "they" win, there will be untold emotional, psychological and financial payoffs for the perpetrators of this drama. My hope is that the Ham and Evan's family members will take the high road, not feed the angry monster, and let this madness pass.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how this continues still to this day. Thanks for the post.

ßill said...

Holly, just so you know, Cheryl is not a fictitious character. She apparently did some assistance work for Bill Collins for a time in the early 1970s (for how long I don't know, but it doesn't appear to be for very long).

Also, she claimed her purported phone conversation with Pete on a couple of blog sites - not in any email that I know about.

Anonymous said...

Are you quoting Kathie's MySpace? If so, how is it you know what is written there since it is private?

ßill said...

Why do you want to know?

Anonymous said...

I read Cheryl's thing about this phone call. You seem ready to dismiss her entirely although she was a friend of the band. Kathie at least supports her and we all know Kathie lived with the band. Doesn't that mean anything to you? Who is to say that Marianne has a perfect memory? Maybe there are many others from Badfinger's past she doesn't remember. Has anyone asked her if she remembers all the people quoted in your book? I bet she will say she doesn't.

ßill said...

"I read Cheryl's thing about this phone call. You seem ready to dismiss her entirely although she was a friend of the band."

Was she REALLY a friend of the band? Oh sure, she's currently a friend of Kathie's, but only Cheryl has claimed to have been a "friend" of the band. Pete, Tom and Mike aren't around to refute it, and Marianne says she has no memory of her. The way it appears to me, Cheryl BRIEFLY worked for Bill Collins and she has spun this cameo appearance into a co-starring role.

"Kathie at least supports her and we all know Kathie lived with the band. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"

Oh, very much. What that means to me is Cheryl is untrustworthy. What do you think this blog is all about? It's about how untrustworthy the Mollands are in telling the Badfinger story. So along comes some suspicious character nearly 40 years later, making highly dubious claims (that just happen to gel with Molland aspirations), and she just happens to also be a current friend of Kathie's? That spells trouble to me.

"Who is to say that Marianne has a perfect memory?"

Please! If someone came to you and claimed to have been a friend of yours in the 1970s, don't you think you'd remember the person? Cheryl apparently was hoping Marianne would never surface. She gambled and lost. Plus, Marianne said she remembers everything about the night of 23 April 1975. She isn't saying she mostly remembers, or that she thinks she remembers, but that SHE REMEMBERS EVERYTHING. This is not the statement of someone who appears to be suffering from memory lapses. And I can tell by the circumstances she relates that Tom and Pete didn't sneak a private phone call with Cheryl while Marianne wasn't paying attention.

"Maybe there are many others from Badfinger's past she doesn't remember. Has anyone asked her if she remembers all the people quoted in your book? I bet she will say she doesn't."

Maybe there are others she doesn't remember, but not all of them are claiming to have been friends with her and Tom, nor to the point they would be telephoning their home for chit chat.

You said I seem "ready to dismiss her entirely"? You are absolutely correct on that point.

Anonymous said...

You asked me why I want to know. The reason is obvious. You are quoting Kathie from a private MySpace and I know you weren't invited in there. So how do you know what was written?

ßill said...

And why should I tell you? You're nothing more than an anonymous screen name.

Steve said...

So the "prick" comment by Kathie was accurate! Funny how "anonymous" verified that. Kathie I cannot take serious. Sad that she brings in these losers to plot and torment after Pete's family, too. Still jealous of Pete after all these years, Kathie? And she declares she's 46!! .......... Why do the Badfinger fans have this woman in our midst. Always depresses me in the end, all her news proves bogus. Someone should make a list of the empty promises.

ßill said...

I had a long argument with Eric last year and one thing he doubted was that the book accurately portrayed Kathie Molland. He's not familiar with her Internet postings (many people probably are not) so I have been planning an article of her quotes for some time now, just to show how they fortify the character in the book. I just haven't been able to bring myself to even start it. The thought of plowing through miles of her rants isn't something that entices me.

Jerry said...

Probably doesn't entice most of us to read it either if you are going into it with that attitude.

ßill said...

Whether you are enticed or not will be based on your interest in reading her Internet statements. I don't plan on adding much commentary to them, other than explaining the broader subjects she was addressing.

a fan said...

I finally was able to find and read what Cheryl wrote. It is horrible. "Where did it all go wrong, Cher?" So this woman he barely knew is his psychiatrist. This woman must have hated Pete to write that about him. Marianne asked what her game is and I think she is evil.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again Bill, you say you will print all those comments by Kathie what was it 10 years worth who in the right mind would even think of keeping such a record? Things seemed to have been quiet lately but you seem intent on stirring up trouble. Now it seem you even have to get a spy to keep an eye on Kathie Molland if I were Kathie id get a court order out against you as you seem intent on causing harassment. You accused somebody else of that not long ago so you are not only obsessed you are dangerous with it.

ßill said...

"Here we go again Bill, you say you will print all those comments by Kathie what was it 10 years worth who in the right mind would even think of keeping such a record?"

I didn't say I'd print ALL of them. That's ridiculous. And relying solely on memory of what your opponents say is sloppy and inefficient. It's much easier just to hit the "save all" button. Plus, you don't think my opponents do the same? They've even sent me copies of my old deleted blog articles as taunts.

"Things seemed to have been quiet lately but you seem intent on stirring up trouble."

The "trouble" (or lie) was stirred up by Cheryl initially, and then Bob and Marianne reacted to it, which has brought it to the forefront again. I am just speaking my opinion on it all.

"Now it seem you even have to get a spy to keep an eye on Kathie Molland if I were Kathie id get a court order out against you as you seem intent on causing harassment."

I don't have any spies and I've never asked anyone to spy. But if a person writes to me and says "Have you seen this?" you think I'm supposed to close my eyes and reply "Oh, I can't read that. I wasn't invited to read it." Heck no! A court order? When a person places his/herself in a public arena he/she becomes fair game for criticism.

"You accused somebody else of that not long ago so you are not only obsessed you are dangerous with it."

I don't know what you are talking about. I accused who of what?

ßill said...

Oh, you must mean the harrassment email sent to Petera. Yeah, that qualifies as harrassment.

another fan said...

I suggest you all do what I did, write to this lady herself. I did and received a most courteous and intellectual reply (I'm ashamed to say I had to look up some of the words she used because I didn't know what they meant). That really surprised me because reading what Bill had written I thought Cheryl was some sort of dope.

ßill said...

The question is this: In light of what Marianne has said, do you think Cheryl is honest? Her politeness and prose in emails are meaningless if her goal is to prop up the Mollands and trash the Ham family.

Actually, this is a rather common misconception with "fans" of any ilk. They assume their focus of admiration - be it in sports, music, theater, politics (whatever) - must be "a nice person" so long as they are polite with fans. You can transfer this ideal to this Cheryl person as well; "Oh, she was nice and polite with me, so she must be honest, too." Balderdash. I remember one friend of mine met Gerald Ford when he was campaiging for re-election in the 1970s. Ford shook his hand and gave him a big smile, and my friend was hooked forever after. Ford could do no wrong in his eyes, and of course he campaigned for him.

And this very much applies to Joey's fans. Their favorite defense of Joey is always "I met him and he was so nice to me!" Yeah... well, what do you expect? He isn't going to push his fans down a stairwell. Fans need to pay more attention to the details and less to the veneer.

Anonymous said...

Once again "Bill", let's see how this paraphrase reads: Dan was nice and polite to me so he must be honest..." Dan's politeness is meaningless if his goal is to prop up the Hams and trash the Molland Family.
You see "Bill", for too long all the trashing has been against the Mollands through controlled, behind the scenes manipulation of others by Dan. Now that others have come up to offer a counterpoint and a different perspective, it all of a sudden becomes unfair. I never heard any sympathy from others on the effect all this would have on the Molland children.

ßill said...

"Once again "Bill", let's see how this paraphrase reads: Dan was nice and polite to me so he must be honest..." Dan's politeness is meaningless if his goal is to prop up the Hams and trash the Molland Family."

And if you've been following this blog at all, or my arguments for the past 11 years, you'll notice I do not defend Matovina. I defend the book, and the book is the collected quotes of the participants.

"You see "Bill", for too long all the trashing has been against the Mollands through controlled, behind the scenes manipulation of others by Dan."

Oh sure. He's quite the Svengali puppetmaster.

"Now that others have come up to offer a counterpoint and a different perspective, it all of a sudden becomes unfair."

Others? You mean Cheryl, who was called on her lie by Marianne Evans? Her perspective is meaningless because she is discredited. She blew it with her phony phone call. She should have stopped while she was ahead.

"I never heard any sympathy from others on the effect all this would have on the Molland children."

I didn't know anyone had been sending them harrassing emails. If they have, I will denounce them, too.

Anonymous said...

"When a person places his/herself in a public arena he/she becomes fair game for criticism."

So that must put Pete Ham in that section then. Oh no I forgot your not allowed to criticise him are you?

ßill said...

I've criticized Pete Ham here. But I've done so based on facts - not based on this phony phone call.

I'll ask the question again: In light of what Marianne has said, do you think Cheryl is honest? If so, based on what? If not, then her criticisms are worthless.

Liz said...

Working with cancer patients gives me some insight into the desperation people feel when confronted with unbelievable, ongoing stress that they can't control.

When someone gets into the state of mind where they think it’s best to end their life, it’s so difficult to get through to them. They close everyone out, creating their own reality separate from the rest of the world. We refer to it as being like a "deer in the headlights" - a state of sustained panic. Their ability to reason and think rationally disappears.

Men rationalize suicide as a way to relieve their families of pain and suffering. They see it as doing their loved ones a favor, of sparing them. Long term stress and panic made Pete wrongly blame himself as well as Polley for his situation.

IMHO, when it comes to Petera, her impending birth was something Pete couldn't bring himself to think of, he had to block it out completely. The pain, enormous guilt and despair he felt over his failure to provide for her and his family was something he had to lock
away because it was truly unbearable. That's probably why he didn't mention her in his suicide note. It was too painful to even acknowledge. The impending loss of the one he didn't mention was the one too painful to put into words.

No one can judge Pete, we can only be glad he was here and left us the gifts of his talent. I feel nothing but caring, sympathy and compassion for him and those he left behind. It’s difficult to describe how mentally and psychologically isolated people in Pete's situation become. Facing your own death is a soliltary experience, it’s a journey no one understands and no one can take with you. It’s damn lonely, it’s a reality all its own.

ßill said...

Just so you know...

Some of the Molland gang have been submitting ugly anonymous comments here about Marianne Evans in the hope I will pass them through so they can smear her reputation. This is their typical response to being caught out cold. They claim this is what they are now doing on their privatized MySpace pages. Hey, slander is best kept in private, because they know they would be in trouble if Marianne ever read what they've been saying there with their names attached, but have been submitting anonymously here.

Curious said...

What are they saying about Marianne?

ßill said...

I'm not going to repeat their accusations here. Suffice to say it is typical Molland strategy to attack everyone's credibility when their own falls flat. In the past they've attacked Tom Evans and his son, Mike Gibbins, Bob Jackson, Ron Griffiths, Bill Collins, Neil Aspinall, Todd Rundgren, and recently Pete Ham and his family. They're just now adding Marianne to their long list of enemies, and all she did was state what happened in her own home the night Pete died - and she did this in an email to Bob Jackson that ended up going public. I guess they expected (or hoped) she'd keep silent.

Anonymous said...

You keep refusing to put up my comments about Marianne Evans ...(edit) ... If I said Kathie had these problems you would soon use it against her ...(edit)

ßill said...

"You keep refusing to put up my comments about Marianne Evans..."

That's right. You actually believe I would allow anonymous allegations against someone to be posted on my site? Get real.

"...If I said Kathie had these problems you would soon use it against her..."

No I wouldn't. In fact, a very similar issue has come up before about Kathie and it didn't go through here. I'm not allowing unsubstantiated rumors from anonymous people about anyone to be posted here. Very simple.

Anonymous said...

OK I shall pass my comments about Marianne ... (edit) ... on to the right people then the fact is that I have witnessed this myself more than once do you call that rumour I even discussed it with her.

ßill said...

Do whatever you like, "anonymous." Just don't expect to sell that stuff here.

Me said...

I didnt know that web page was endorsed by the Mollands. Where do they say that? I read the section about the phone call a couple of months ago and I thought it was far fetched. Is there anywhere on the page where Cheryl even gives her last name? Is Matovina your last name?

ßill said...

Joey has said that Kathie speaks for him. Kathie spoke of their endorsement on the Yahoo site last year. They have also contributed to it.

I don't believe Cheryl gives her last name on the site, but I may be wrong. She did send me her email address a couple months ago that contained her last name in it, however.

No, Matovina is not my last name. That's the webhost's idea of a joke.

ßill said...

Sorry, "me." I just realized I edited out your URL and I forgot to make a note of it. My apologies. If you care to send your homepage URL again I will pass it through.

Me said...

Its okay. Its better this way anyway or I might end up being flamed.

Protund said...

I'm sorry "Bill" but this policy of yours stinks. I cannot for the life of me find the webpage that has this phone call on it that everyone is talking about. Don't you think people should be able to read the source of what your article is about? Put yourself in my place and think about it. You are offering filtered information. I expected more.

ßill said...

It is complicated, "Protund" (what in the heck does that name mean?). I resolved long ago not to link to that site - initially only because of its lack of a public forum but now for several more reasons:
Lies told by the webhost about me and this blog, spurious attacks on the Ham family, and mountains of Molland-inspired innuendo that simply makes me cringe.

Yes, I can understand your frustration. It's one thing to link to a site that offers an opposing viewpoint, but it's quite another to link to something that attempts injury through falsehoods. However, you sound sharp enough to scour around and find it for yourself.

Anonymous said...

For protund

Trust me, Your not missing anything. I read thru it once and wish I had my 20 minutes back.

ßill said...

As far as linking policies, I'd also like to add this thought: Links between Badfinger sites these days are limited across the board. The pro-Molland sites may link to each other but they don't link here, or Brennan's, Morten's, Kevin's, or Matovina's book website. And vice versa. I think Brando has the only site left that gets cross links. So although you may think this policy is something peculiar to me alone, it's not.