Saturday, October 22, 2011

Strong Evidence of Quote Tampering in Joey's "Badfinger and Beyond"

Joey's book had another recent review on Amazon, where Morten Vindberg details his disappointment with it. A portion of Cimino's response is below:

"... As for the stir about questions and answers there were many interviews used to create this book and subject matter was discussed many times over. The passage that Bill/Jace/whatever his/her real name is refers to is taken from two interviews on the same subject."

Apparently Cimino thinks he’s being clever by inferring "Jace Lee Dakota" and I are the same person. We are not and I have no clue who Dakota is. I have no qualms about criticizing his book in my own name. Now, regarding his response - the evidence I see of manipulation is clearly not the result of “many interviews”, as I laid out the evidence in my previous blog titled "Badfinger and Beyond Credibility."

In the first case, from Cimino’s raw interview first published on his website in 2002, Joey's answer and Cimino's questions were split in two sections. 

In the book that came out in 2011, under the topic of Pete Ham's song "Take It All", Cimino's questions are condensed and take on a different meaning.

Joey’s response to Cimino is basically the same quote, with rough language edited away. Cimino has changed the frame of reference now for Joey's earlier answer. In "Badfinger And Beyond", Cimino queried for clarification with his question whether Pete and Joey had argued over Pete being asked to duet with George Harrison at the Concert for Bangla Desh. The general topic Cimino is deriving this from is in the "Without You" book, where Pete's girlfriend is quoted regarding Pete's sensitivity to jealous taunting by Joey and Kathie. Pete responded to the taunts by writing "Take It All." The lyrics seem to bear this out.

Yet, Cimino, armed with Joey's frenzied defense of his character, decides he just can't help but take advantage of Joey's raw emotional outburst. Cimino makes a fateful decision. He alters his question for the new book. Is this really such a big deal? Of course it is. This evidence shows Cimino trying to improve our impressions of Joey through alterations.

Instead of giving a reasonable response on Amazon, Cimino defends himself by making a bogus claim, that Joey supposedly happened to respond the same for two different interviews. This is baloney. If Cimino isn't going to be honest in defending his book, does this mean he wasn't honest when he was writing his book? I agree with Morton Vindberg’s comment on Amazon: "I'm afraid I can't be sure of what to believe."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Joey Author Gets Defensive

As I expected, the author of Joey’s book (what I like to call Badfinger and Beyond Credibility) is attacking the character of people who are criticizing his work. For a person who is incessantly critical of “Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger”, he is certainly one thin-skinned dude when his own product is critiqued. I found the short exchange on between he and Jace Lee Dakota fairly amusing. Here are a few interesting tidbits on the author’s end:

“Throughout the time spent writing this book I did plenty of fact checking, and talked to many many musicians who worked with Joey and came to the conclusion that what I wrote/printed in this book is correct.”

This isn’t what he claimed in the book. There he claims he simply took Joey’s word on everything. Why is he now changing his story? And who are these unnamed musicians? And what inside knowledge do these “musicians” have regarding Badfinger’s politics? Those are all rhetorical questions, of course, because there are no legitimate answers.

Oh, and this is hilarious:

“Remember, harsh words spoken in anger have no lasting worth except to the fools who cherish their own narcissism.”

This nonsense is expressed like it’s some gem from Confucius, where actually it’s Cimino quoting himself (he put this sentence up on his website with himself as the source). I would consider anyone who quotes himself as the epitome of a narcissist, wouldn’t you? Hey, I just created a really cool saying, too: “He who interviews himself interviews a fool”. You can check the author’s website for the interview.

“You seem to have an axe to grind and yet hide behind a false name.”

The Molland camp makes this claim quite often … maybe a little too often. What is their obsession with “false names”? Guilt perhaps? Or maybe they are simply incredulous that they are wildly outnumbered by people who can see through them? And why do they feel anyone who refuses to believe Joey’s baloney must have an axe to grind? Joey never tied my shoelaces together so I have no axe to grind with him – or with this Cimino guy either. But they are still being publicly deceitful and need to be called out on it. It just cooks my innards when dummies think they are being clever.

At any rate, the author is a hypocrite on this subject (just like Kathie Molland and Randy Justesen were before him, both of whom were caught using pseudonyms in spite of their denials). One of the handful of negative reviews on Amazon for the “Without You” book was written by Cimino, although he uses the name “a customer” there. It is the exact same review he proudly touted as his own and displayed on his website from the same era – all the way down to his mistaken death date/year for Pete Ham.

I feel a little guilty taking this Cimino guy to task, but he is such a boastful clown. He really should write an autobiography next, where he can interview and quote himself throughout and it won’t look so damn creepy. Or should I say narcissistic?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Badfinger and Beyond Credibility

Well, it almost happened ... kind of. One of the five authors I listed here four years ago as a potential Badfinger biographer, Michael Cimino, has come forth with a biography of Joey Molland ... sort of. It really comes across as an extended magazine interview with Joey, with small contributions from a few others. If the reader is the sort who likes a fireside chat with a yarn spinner, he should be happy. Joey talks about what inspired some of his music and lyrics and adds memories of recording sessions. OK, some of this is interesting.

But, as predicted, beyond the musical anecdotes the book falls flat. One simply cannot write a Badfinger book around Joey's storytelling and expect it to make much sense. None of Joey's "facts" are verified, and there are no opposing voices contesting his memories. A perfect example is Joey being quoted here (again) saying Bill Collins suggested Pete and Tom's respective song parts be put together to form "Without You." On the contrary, Tom Evans said it was Pete's suggestion to combine the parts, and Bill Collins never laid claim to such an event (and Collins would have laid claim to that if it was true). All one reads here is Joey blowing smoke in an attempt to obscure the songwriting origins.

Another example is Joey's muddled and confusing description of events in 1974. As usual, he gets his timelines all out of whack and claims to have talked to WB Publishing President Ed Silvers about a breach-of-contract lawsuit before a lawsuit even existed, and then in the same breath claims his wife called WB and they said "everything is fine" with the contracts. And of course Joey touts how he worked out a deal with the devil, Stan Polley, because Joey (who admits he is no sort of businessman) offered Polley a deal he couldn't refuse. C'mon! I am reminded of Chamberlain proudly waving the peace treaty he signed with Hitler. Joey simply was never in Polley's league when it comes to deceit, manipulation and theft. Any deal Polley made with Joey was equivalent to snake oil. And in many, many places, Joey admits he really doesn't know certain details and makes clumsy guesses about facts that are clearly described and evidenced in Matovina's book.

If this isn't bad enough, and Joey's memories always are, the author manages to muddle things as well. Cimino apparently decided to change his questions to Joey's interview answers. Joey's quoted answers also change slightly, though not as much. One example:

From Cimino's 2002 interview
Michael: There is a story floating around that you used to tease Pete about him getting him to do the solo spot with George during the concert for Bangladesh on “Here Comes The Sun." Did the band tease him about that?

Joey: No. No, that’s a figment of somebody’s imagination, that is.

Michael: The rumored story claims that that was a wedge between the two of you. That Pete got to go up front stage and you didn’t.

Joey: That’s absolute bullshit. I swear to God, see if you could find anybody around us, anybody that recalls Pete and I arguing about that, anybody.

From Cimino's 2011 publication ...
MC: This is the song that started speculation over you and Pete arguing at Bangladesh over "Here Comes The Sun."

Joey: No. No, that’s a figment of somebody’s imagination. That’s absolute bullshit. I swear to God, see if you could find anybody around us, anybody that recalls Pete and I arguing about that. (Here it sounds like Joey is refuting that they argued at Bangladesh, versus them arguing at all. And to the best of my knowledge, there is no rumor that they "argued" but only that Joey and Kathie teased Pete after the concert)

This brings into question the integrity of the author and the accuracy of even Joey's unreliable meanderings. And in order to cut off the criticism before it begins, Cimino claims he has been verbally assaulted through the years by "fowl" mouthed ne'er-do-wells who threatened him about his book, although he himself has risen above the negativity. If he'd really risen above negativity he wouldn't be mentioning it. Instead he probably hopes to label anyone who criticizes this book as one of those bad guys. I'm sorry but that bird won't fly. Cimino's book will rise or fall on its own merits. And for a guy who was delightedly critical of "Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger", he'd better get used to some criticism himself because he has several weaknesses with this effort.

I predicted this book would be nonsensical mulch if it was ever published. I stand by that.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Shallow Questions for a Shallow Man

For those unaware, Joey Molland has launched a softball "Badfinger" website. Although the home page header reads "Original Badfinger" the site is more about promoting Joey's current touring schedule and Beatlefest appearances. When located on Google the site reads "Badfinger: Original Site of Joey Molland and Rock Band Badfinger" (his priority being in the sequence).
There are several dropdown menus on the front page; some are non functional while others link to rather mundane Wikipedia-based biographies.

The most interesting feature, however, is a button that says "Ask Joey: Click To Ask Him Anything." Assuming this to be a challenge to truly ask him "anything", I decided a few weeks ago to oblige with a few questions. Below is the result ...

QUESTION: If there was no basis in Kathie getting involved in Badfinger's political affairs (something you have said often in the past) then how do you explain Pete's comments and reaction when he quit the band in 1974?


QUESTION: Can you describe the publishing agreement/contract between Badfinger/Iveys members? Was it ever written down? Was there a time limit regarding it?


QUESTION: I was told in 2007 that your Billy James book would be out by 2008. Seeing as it is now 2011, will we ever be seeing this book?


Predictably, this button is mislabeled. You're not actually supposed to ask him "anything." Rather, you're supposed to ask him about his favorite color or which guitar picks he favors, as evidenced by the questions he does answer.

Oh well. I thought maybe - just maybe - Joey had finally grown some cahoonas and was prepared to answer tough questions. Most people have already noticed that he has avoided every BBC documentary for the past 25 years. In fact, aside from the "Behind The Music" VH1 episode, Joey has avoided every single independent biographical project ever made. Apparently he only likes to answer when he controls the questions.

Hey Joey, what is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Eh, nevermind. I'd rather go watch paint dry.