Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Marshall Meeting

During Joey Molland’s recent "Interview Haven" article he mangled timelines, made wild declarations, and suggested cause-and-effect results for events that happened in a completely different order. It is such a complete mess that it is nearly impossible to untangle. Please refer to the article for direct quotes.

Joey has claimed in the past that Badfinger’s manager Bill Collins came back from a trip to America around August 1974 reporting some aspect of a Warner Brothers contract was in jeopardy (there were several contracts.) If true, Collins, who probably didn't understand any details, would likely have been referring to the fact that WB's publishing division claimed to have unitlaterally terminated its contract with the band. This was due to missing escrow advance funds originally to be held by Stan Polley as Badfinger's representative. The band members later met in the office of music agent Barry Marshall, who was to be involved in the band's forthcoming British tour. Joey has claimed he asked his wife Kathie to contact WB in America to verify if there was a problem with the contract. He claims Kathie contacted him while he was at the meeting and told him “everything was ‘OK.’” He repeated this to the group. Pete Ham went into a rage about Kathie's involvement regarding her “managing” the group and he quit on the spot.

This Marshall meeting was pivotal in Badfinger's history. It is important to chronicle what actually transpired for any reader to understand where things went wrong. Joey's intentional and unintentional misleading statements are addressed below ...
(1) Joey is claiming the album "Wish You Were Here" came out before this meeting. In fact, the album was not released until months later.
(2) Joey is claiming the WYWH album was "selling like mad." In fact, the album reached #149 on Billboard after six weeks of distribution. It was then pulled from the market.

(3) Joey is implying he had conversations with WB executives near the time of this meeting regarding their future lawsuit. He previously only said he received "a telex" from WB that everything was "OK."
(4) Joey claims WB's publishing didn't know how the escrow money disappeared, which is wrong. WB had given the money to Polley and he was being uncommunicative as to its whereabouts. Their issue was to learn where the money was being held.
(5) Joey claims his announcement to the band involved WB's lawsuit. However, there was no lawsuit at this time. The lawsuit was filed several months later when WB had exhausted all other avenues. At this time, WB had only stated that it was "terminating" its publishing contract with the band (page 248 in the book).
(6) Joey implies this one phone call from Kathie Molland to be Pete's single cause for resigning. Of course, this makes no sense on the face of it. Joey consistently denies the "Kathie issue," although she, herself, admitted to antagonizing Pete and the band on many occasions. It is clear that Pete's outburst was the culmination of years of frustration with Kathie.

As usual, Joey wants to tweak a story in such a manner that everyone else was wrong, Bill Collins was wrong, WB was wrong, Pete Ham was wrong ... everybody except for himself and Kathie.

At any rate, the remainder of the "Interview Haven" article includes Joey misrepresenting Pete rejoining the group. More on this later.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Who Wrote the song "Without You?
Joey is at it again, using his trademark combination of subterfuge and poor memory to muddy Badfinger's history. If you read his interview with "Interview Haven" and were confused by it, allow me to untangle his mess. Please refer to the article for direct quotes.
The song "Without You" was originally sections from two different songs that were written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans. At Pete's suggestion, they combined the sections to create the final song. This has been the official corroborated story of "Without You" for the past 40 years. Now, Joey wants to alter history.
Joey is now asserting that it was manager Bill Collins who suggested putting the two halves of the song together, and that this was done in the studio when the band was recording their album No Dice. This is quite typical of Joey and it is a case where I do not believe his poor memory is the culprit. He is attempting to confuse the songwriting of "Without You" because of the royalties distribution of the song. In the 1970s, Tom Evans said: "My song was OK. The verse was a bit like "Help!" but Pete fell in love with the chorus. He said 'I'd like to try that bit on a song I have and see what you think.'" (Badfinger book page 99) Bill Collins never once made any claim even remotely close to Joey's statement - and Collins would have had good reason to make such a claim if it were true. But he didn't.
Regarding putting the “song together” in the studio, it's possible it took the band two hours to record the song or for other musicians to learn their parts, but they didn't "put that together." The song was already complete. Even the arrangement was complete, as is evidenced by the two early demo versions that subsequently have been released, and Matovina's book also makes mention of a home band version done prior to entering any recording studios.
Again, this is Joey's revisionist history and an attempt to justify the distribution of the song's publishing royalties. You see, although Pete and Tom wrote the song, Joey gets a cut of the royalties because of a suspect verbal agreement the band had in the 1960s to share publishing revenue. The agreement was never committed to paper and the divisions were never clear, but the estates for Pete and Tom decided not to fight the issue in 1985 and divisions for "Without You" have been in force ever since. It is a very lucrative song and it makes sense the other band members fought for a piece of it. Is it fair? Of course not. Pete's and Tom's children are being forced to share revenue generated by their fathers' creativity with people who performed on a single recording of the song 40 years ago.
Because Joey is the last man standing (Badfinger-wise) he believes that anything he says should be accepted without challenge. But his attempt to diminish Pete and Tom for the purpose of justifying his claim to "Without You" is simply shameless.