Badfinger were a British rock band consisting originally of Pete Ham, Ron Griffiths, Mike Gibbins and Tom Evans; active from 1968 to 1983, and evolving from The Iveys; formed by Ham, Griffiths and David “Dai” Jenkins in Swansea, Wales, in the early 1960s. Joey Molland joined the group in 1969, following the departure of Griffiths. Signed by the Beatles’ Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys, they adopted the name Badfinger in 1969. Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1971: “Come and Get It” (written and produced by Paul McCartney), “No Matter What”, “Day After Day”, and “Baby Blue”. The Ham/Evans-penned Badfinger song “Without You” became a Billboard number one hit for Harry Nilsson. Badfinger were photographed by Leslie Smithers in 1970 for Apple Corps Ltd. The photograph is now part of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. In 1970, the band engaged American businessman Stan Polley to manage their commercial affairs. Over the next five years the band recorded several albums for Apple and toured extensively, but became embroiled in the chaos of Apple Records’ dissolution. They signed to Warner Bros., but Polley’s financial machinations resulted in a lawsuit by Warner Bros., over missing escrow account money. Warner’s consequent withdrawal from market of the 1974 album, Wish You Were Here (seven weeks after its release), cut off the band’s income. Three days before his 28th birthday, on 24 April 1975, Ham committed suicide by hanging himself, leaving a note that included damning comments about Polley.
The next three years saw surviving members trying to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits. The albums Airwaves (1978) and Say No More (1981) floundered, as Molland and Evans see-sawed between cooperation and struggle in attempts to revive and capitalise on the Badfinger legacy. Having seen Ham’s body after Ham’s wife had called him, Evans reportedly never got over his friend’s suicide, and was quoted as saying in darker moments, “I wanna be where he is.” On 19 November 1983, Evans also took his own life by hanging.
“Baby Blue” is a song recorded by the rock/pop band Badfinger for inclusion on their 1971 album, “Straight Up.” The song was written by Pete Ham, produced by Todd Rundgren, and released on Apple Records.
Baby Blue – Pete Ham
Guess I got what I deserved
Kept you waiting there too long, my love
All that time without a word
Didn’t know you’d think that I’d forget or I’d regret
The special love I had for you, my baby blue
All the days became so long
Did you really think, I’d do you wrong?
Dixie, when I let you go
Thought you’d realize that I would know
I would show the special love I have for you, my baby blue
What can I do, what can I say
Except I want you by my side
How can I show you, show me the way
Don’t you know the times I’ve tried?
Guess that’s all I have to say
Except the feeling just grows stronger every day
Just one thing before I go
Take good care, baby, let me know, let it grow
The special love you have for me, my Dixie, dear.
- Audio from the 1972 album, Straight Up: