By Christopher Scapelliti
Badfinger were the classic tale of a great group that got sidelined by nefarious management. The first act signed to the Beatles' Apple label, in 1968, Badfinger quickly scored hits, including "Baby Blue" and the Paul McCartney–penned "Come and Get It." The group's guitarist Pete Ham and bassist Tom Evans also wrote "Without You," a song that became a massive hit for Harry Nilsson in 1971 and Mariah Carey in 1994.
But by the mid Seventies, they were financially destitute, having received very little of the money owed to them. In 1975, Ham hung himself after learning he was broke. Evans also hung himself, in 1983, over ongoing problems with finances and band management.
Neither man received much credit for his accomplishments while alive. But now an online organization wants to ensure their legacy lives on. The newly launch POBA.org has made a trove of Badfinger's newly discovered music demos available online. The site will provide a permanent online showcase for the unreleased recordings of Ham and Evans.
Included among the collection are an early take on their ballad "Without You" and the whimsical "Clown of the Party," the song that led to the group, then known as the Iveys, getting signed to Apple. The site also includes a gallery of lyric sheets, Ham's pencil sketches, and Evans' paintings.
Described as a "virtual cultural arts center," POBA provides an online repository for the works of deceased 20th and 21st century artists across disciplines and genres. The organization was founded to showcase, promote and preserve the creative work of artists who have died without recognition of their talents or creative legacies and whose works might otherwise be lost or forgotten.