Joey Molland Interview

As part of "Badfinger," one of the more successful recording acts of the 70's, Joey Molland saw his music climb to the top of the charts, and his group tour the world. It would be nice to say everyone lived happily ever after, but that is not the case.
Depressed and broke, Badfinger founder Pete Ham committed suicide in May 1975. Late in 1983, band member Tom Evans also committed suicide.
Joey Molland is carrying on both with Badfinger and his solo career.

Q. Isn't it rather sad for you to be singing onstage, and look over your shoulder, only to realize one of the original members are no longer around?
A. Yeah. That's one of the reasons why I'm not going to be doing it. I haven't really felt comfortable with the idea of doing it Luckily for me, Ryko disc signed me as a solo artist, and I'll be doing solo albums from now on. I doubt very much if we'll ever do any Badfinger records.

Q. Did you ever think that Bad-finger's music had staying power?
A. I naturally thought we were good. I thought the songs we wrote and recorded were good. And, a lot of times, I felt they were excellent. But, as far as thinking they would last for twenty years and still be on the radio, no. We did everything we could to do the best we could. We were severe critics of ourselves. Everything that went down on record was the best we could do it. That's all you can do. You know Badfinger never got a lot of respect in those days, even though we sold all those records. We could've sold out any building in the world at that point. We made the choice not to do those things. We made all the decisions ourselves, and we made them for very idealistic reasons. It goes to show you, we were honest about our music. We didn't try to con people with Spandex pants, or any kind of makeup. And, today they still play our records. Most of the other records that were out then — are gone. But, we were never conscious of that longevity thing, when we were doing it.

Q. Why did you leave "Badfinger?"
A. It became apparent to me that the band was getting shafted. I couldn't convince the other members of the band that this was going on, although everybody else in the business knew it. There was a personality change that went down in the band as well, that I couldn't live with anymore, so I left.

Q. You put a group together called "Natural Gas." What happened to that group?
A. Without getting into a big, long story, we were together for about two years and it broke up. It was 15 years ago. It was a band we got together with Jerry Shirley from Humble Pie, and a guy named Mike Clarke who played with Uriah Heep, among other people, and a keyboard player named Peter Wood. We made a record, the band broke up in late 76, and that was the end of that

Q. Pete Ham. He killed himself, because he had no money in the bank, his wife was pregnant, and he was depressed. Is that the way it happened?
A. Basically, that's true, really. I don't think it was going to the bank and finding out he had a little money. I don't think that was it. That was kind of the thing that made the door swing wide open, and let him see what actually had happened and what he'd done. I think basically the guy found out he was wrong and he couldn't handle it. But, I don't know. That's a supposition. And, it's a question I don't really like to answer. I don't know what happened to the guy. I wasn't there. I'd left and gone to California to start a new life.

© Gary James All Rights Reserved