Tales of Rock – Madonna Almost Made Albums With Michael Jackson And Prince

“To write songs together is a very intimate experience,”

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Hey, did you know Madonna and Michael Jackson used to date?

In 1991, Michael and Madonna had been wanting to collaborate on an album for a short while, so they did what any sane performer would do and started pseudo-dating. The couple would arrange dinner dates, watch movies together, and at one point even attended the Oscars as each other’s dates. They were just “being silly,” as Madge puts it — “silly” being what famous artists think of conventional relationships.

Madonna claimed that their sort-of romance was necessary for the two artists to get to know each other before they jumped into recording an album. According to her, “To write songs together is a very intimate experience,” and apparently after you have survived the Darwinian slaughter that is early relationships you are strong enough as two people to sit in a booth together and sing into a microphone.

Ironically, it seemed that Madonna’s intensity was exactly why the whole thing fell apart. According to Jackson, Madonna was too demanding and would attempt to dictate where they would go on dates, which would lead to a debate over whether or not the couple would visit Disneyland together, which was absolutely a deal-breaker for Jackson. Then, when the collaboration had finally started, Jackson balked at Madge’s risque lyrics, preferring a love song or ballad over her traditionally sexy tunes, and ducked out of the project after a meeting with the pop star left him feeling anxious. Michael admitted that Madonna scared him, and the album was scrapped completely.

But there was another performer whose collaboration with Madonna would have arguably been just as amazing — Prince. And you can bet your ass the bendy sex-gnome wasn’t afraid of some risque lyrics. After joining forces on a couple of songs, Madonna’s manager had the brilliant idea to send the pair on a world tour. But after being approached with the idea, Prince graciously turned it down citing concern for the world’s mental health, claiming that the planet just wasn’t ready to cope with their simultaneous greatness. You may recognize this as being both Prince-Speak for “I don’t feel like doing that,” and a thing that he earnestly believed.

 

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Daphne – 2014 to Present – Lovely Hostess – Part Two

“Drop the Clutch and Go!”

I know a server over at Misconduct on JFK Blvd, named Brianna. She’s a sweet baby with raven curls, caramel skin and slender legs. One day I’m lunching over there with my buddy, Rocco. I see Brianna giving her phone number to a guy that appeared to be in his sixties. I’m astounded. I call her over and ask her what’s going on. “If you just gave that old dude your phone number and you’re going to meet him for coffee, I want to go shake that man’s hand, on a solid close.”

She says she knows him from another bar, and he’s really nice. He looks lonely. He also comes into Misconduct to see her. (Hell, I did the same thing when Maria worked there) He asked her to meet him for coffee.

“And you’re going to go have coffee with him?”

“Of course not. I get hit on all of the time in here. But he’s nice and I didn’t want to be rude.”

“I really respect this man’s initiative at his age. But what happens when this guy texts you to set up a time to have coffee?

“Nothing. I just never get back to him.”

So I get it now. No matter how nice they are to you and even if they give you their phone number they will simply ghost you.

I was a little miffed, but understood. The odd thing was, Daphne knew me as a regular. I would hang with Carly and Church there all of the time. I get the hook up from Roman the bartender. I know basically everyone that works there and she doesn’t even have to get back to me even as a common courtesy.

But what right do I have to her? None. She’s young and beautiful and holds all of the power. There is truly nothing I can do about it. Fucking crickets.

So a few weeks pass and I don’t see her. I figure maybe she went on another of her global trips or was busy with school. Then one night I was sitting at the end of the bar with Church, and I see her. She’s chatting close by with a few of her coworkers. I tell Church what happened. (Rather, what didn’t happen!) I tell him I’m going to say something to her. Church at this point thinks I am trying to get her to sleep with me, and he says, “Pump the brakes.”

I am who I am, and have become the person I am by doing the very opposite. If you tell me I can’t have something, I will find a way to have it. If you tell me it can’t be done, I will find a way to do it. My father used to say, that if I didn’t apply myself and get an education, I’d never amount to anything. I’d end up like the homeless guys in the Subway. He even once said that if I had a woman, he would be able to take her away from me, because I was nothing. He also said, “(My Name) always takes the path of least resistance.” I was older by then, and tired of taking his shit so I said, “You know what else always takes the path of least resistance?”

“What?” he says.

“Water. Water always finds the path of least resistance. You know that thing where all life on this Earth has emerged. You’ve seen the Grand Canyon, right Pop?”

He didn’t say anything after that. He just glared at me. It wasn’t worth continuing the conversation. I just had to consider the source. So if I’m thinking something, or wanting to do something that I believe in, don’t ever fucking tell me to “Pump the brakes.”

It’s a matter of principle now. I’m going to “Drop the clutch and go.”

Daphne approaches. “Hey…” she says using my name in that honey contralto. “What’s happening?”

I tell her the story about my friend at Misconduct, and tell her it’s okay, and I realize now that’s how it’s done in this business.  When a gentleman asks to meet with you, you simply ghost him.  She’s like… “What?”

I remind her about the text I sent her and how we were going to try to meet up on that Sunday. She pulls out her phone and holds it up to show me. “See the last text is from me, thanking you for bringing me the cough drops when I was sick a couple of months ago. I don’t know what Daphne you sent the text to, but it wasn’t me.”

I feel like a jackass, but an extremely happy jackass. We have a laugh about it and she tells me to try again. She has finals coming up and the holidays are busy, but we should try to get together.

I text her a few days later and wait. An hour or two later I have a response from Daphne. So we’ll see what happens.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Tales of Rock – David Bowie Thinks Witches Are Stealing His Semen

In fall 1975, David Bowie went into the studio in Los Angeles and made Station To Station, one of the best albums of his career. It saw him transition from playing conventional if fantastic rock and roll to recording a series of genre-bending masterpieces that set a template for ’80s pop and whose influence is still being felt decades later. Pretty impressive, considering he was doing so much coke at the time he later couldn’t remember recording the album at all.

According to David Buckley, the author of the book “Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story,” Bowie’s diet at the time consisted of cocaine, peppers and milk, and he lived in “a state of psychic terror.” Interviews published in Playboy and Rolling Stone depicted Bowie surrounding himself with burning black candles and Egyptian artifacts and believing that bodies were floating past his window, witches were stealing his semen and that the Rolling Stones were sending him secret messages. He lived in fear of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, owing to his supposed practice of witchcraft. In Station To Station‘s title track, Bowie yelped, “It’s not the side effects of the cocaine; I’m thinking that it must be love,” which was definitely the wrong diagnosis.

If Bowie wanted to clean up after this album, he made the wrong move by decamping to Berlin with Iggy Pop. Still, the trio of albums he recorded during this period—Low, Heroes and Lodger—honed his legacy. This trilogy along with Station To Station was cherry-picked to create a perfect soundtrack for Christiane F. We Children from Bahnhof Zoo, a German film released in 1981 that captured the harrowing lives of teenage junkies in West Berlin.

Check it out. I saw it at a midnight showing in LA in 1982. It’s great!

 

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Clarice – 2016 – Chapter 6 – Happy Birthday, Baby – Part Two

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

So it feels like we’re driving forever. I feel like I’m a million miles from the city. I really love living in center city, despite its problems. Driving through the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania this time of year, sort of bums me out. I’m just going by all of these big houses all isolated out here. It reminds me of the suburbs in South Jersey. Another depressing time in my life. I don’t like being out here. But again, I’ll be good because it’s her special day.

We finally get to the park. It’s a nice place and it’s not too cold out. It’s a pretty huge park. You can walk through it, but it actually has a road through it. So you’re not walking on any dirt paths. There’s a few people around. Mostly couples, families and people jogging or walking their dogs. Walks in the park in the winter aren’t really my cup of tea. Walks in the park anytime aren’t really my cup of tea. I’d rather be in a bar in the city, having a drink and a cig.

As we walk further into the park, I can feel a mix of anxiety and depression wash over me.

I think it was because all of the trees are bare for the winter, and I’m in a strange place.

There is actually something comforting about being in a city. I have some of my happiest memories back in Philly. I also am starting to get a very real vibe that I have to find a restroom soon. Brunch is starting to work on me. Not good.

We were out there for a while and I did see a port-o-potty out there. It almost beckoned to me off in the distance. But I just didn’t want to go in there. I figured I could make it back to the main area and find a restroom there.

During our walk through the park there was some good conversation and laughs. I also kissed her a few times. That was nice. She tells me how she’s had Bells palsy before. She feels like it has affected how her face looks and moves. I didn’t even notice anything.

Find out more here: http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/bells-palsy-topic-overview#1

But now that she’s mentioned it, I see it. Normally it clears up after a few weeks and your face goes back to normal, but it appears in her case some of the paralysis has remained. I don’t mind, because it’s hardly noticeable and she’s still attractive.

We finally get back to the beginning of the park, and I tell her I need to use the restroom. I head over to the little building, praying to God that the door isn’t locked yet. Because the sun is nearly down and it’s getting dark.

Thankfully, the door is open and I make it to the stall. It’s a huge relief when my cheeks hit the bowl, and I’m sort of glad that it’s an outdoor bathroom. I’ll leave it at that.

I return to my lady, and we walk around the main property. There is a mansion there. It really looks cool. We stroll around the property and there are some more kisses exchanged.

I have been with her for five hours now, and I’d be fine with just going home. I’m also kind of dreading waiting for the train at 69th street. She wants to take me to her house for a drink. I’m fine with that, we’ll see what happens.

Her house is quaint. She lives on the first floor, and rents out the second floor to a retired gentleman.

I make myself a vodka and ginger ale, and she’s making some sort of cosmo or something. We retire to her living room. We’re just hanging out on her couch chatting and sipping our drinks. She then gives me a tour of the house. Now, this house is pretty cozy, and I’m assuming built maybe back in the forties or fifties. But she hits the lights in her bathroom, and I am blown away. It’s been completely remodeled and redesigned. Against the back right corner is a huge glass shower, with a stone floor. The commode is across from it. In the center of the room is a huge jacuzzi type tub. Along the south wall is a huge double vanity, and get this; the floor is heated. It’s one of the greatest personal bathrooms I’ve ever seen. Had I known this before, I may have been able to hold it until I got here so I could have dropped a deuce like a king!

She said it was a present from her father. She had purchased the jacuzzi tub and then didn’t have enough money to finish her dream lavatory. She said it sat in a huge box in her bedroom for a long time, and her father kicked in a bunch of money to finish the bathroom. It’s a killer bathroom, but it’s an over improvement to the house. I can’t for the life of me understand why one older woman would want a bathroom this nice. But maybe someone out there does. I guess if it makes her happy and she spends a lot of time in the bathroom, it works. But it’s just a weird purchase. It’s obvious she doesn’t have much money.  She’s sixty-two and her daddy is still buying stuff for her house. He’s got to be well into his nineties, so maybe he doesn’t give a shit about the money at that age. I guess if I had a tub like that, I’d be in there with a bunch of booze, and get a flat screen in that bathroom.

We had another drink and hung out in her living room again. I wasn’t getting a vibe that sex was happening, and frankly I didn’t care. It shouldn’t be something I was wondering about, or deciding if I think it should happen. It should be a spontaneous celebration of how we feel about each other. And I’m just not feeling it.

She volunteers to drive me home. I am overjoyed that I don’t have to wait at 69th street station tonight. It doesn’t take as long as I thought it would, and soon I am on my street in front of my building. We kiss goodnight and I thank her for the ride, and for choosing me to spend her 62nd birthday with her.

She drives off. Tomorrow she’ll discover the black and pink scarf I hid in her dashboard. It’s wrapped in a little black bag. Just a little something extra for her birthday.

But, I don’t really want to go out with her again.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 9am EST.

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Clarice – 2016 – Chapter 4 – Champagne Lady on a Beer Budget – Part Two

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

Yesterday we left off here:

She shows me her profile on OKCupid, another dating site. She wants me to read her profile. It’s actually really good, it shows a smart, confident, independent woman. I like that. “That’s why men are intimidated by me.”

“I can imagine. But I dig a confident woman. Especially one as pretty as you.” The picture she has posted of herself is spectacular. She looks like a gorgeous woman in her forties. I notice the age posted on the profile says she’s fifty-six. I point to this and she laughs and says, “That’s my OkCupid age.” I laugh and get it. She looks great and ratcheted back her age five years. “I’m really impressed with that pic of you, Clarice.”

“Cause my tits look so good?”

“Umm… well, yes, but…”

“That’s pretty much all I got to offer. I got no ass! I got skinny bird legs!”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” I say, smiling slyly.

Here’s the great thing about dating older women. They are over all of their body issues. They don’t give a shit about all of the nonsense that clogs the heads of younger women. like her profile says: “I know what I can, and cannot do.”

We’re slowly munching through the tacos. She seems to like them. I order another Tecate. She starts looking at the wine list. (Here we fuckin’ go…) I can’t MAKE her drink tequila if she doesn’t like it. I tell her it’s okay to have a glass of wine. (I know! There goes ten bucks!)

She asks me about my artistic background. I tell her about my art and musical background. (I don’t want to epand on that here. That’s for future posts) She asks if I do anything artistic now. I tell her I do some writing.

“Has anyone seen it?” she says.

“No.”

“You should write a blog.”

“Really?”

“Sure! You know about all of these things around the city. What to drink, where to go, and what to do. It would be really interesting. You could even write a blog about dating. I’m sure it would be fun to read!”

“Do you really think so?”

“You should look into it.”

“I’ll see what I can find out about blogging.”

(Oh, the irony!)

Time goes by and she’s getting a buzz on. She starts getting a little affectionate. I ask her if this okay with her PDA rule in place. Apparently it is, because she kisses me again. She’s canoodling around my ear and neck. “Oooh you smell good!” (She’s into me. It’s so on.) “What is that you’re wearing? It smells sooo good!” I tell her I forget what fragrance I grabbed out of the vanity this morning. Maybe Aqua di Gio, by Giorgio Armani I tell her. (Bold faced lie. It’s Axe body spray, Phoenix)

She kisses me again. “Don’t you ever use tongue?” she hisses. “I do…” I look into her eyes, and then at her mouth and then look downward, then back to her eyes, just so we’re clear. I tell her when I kissed her at the Ritz on Saturday she seemed a little tight-lipped. She says she was right there ready for anything. Got a live one here. Maybe it was the tequila talking. Clarice has no idea who she’s dealing with here. Like a baby seal hopping into the water to cool off, just as the grey dorsal fin cuts through the water heading right for her. She kisses me again. Now her lips feel softer and more passionate than Saturday. I can tell the difference. She’s been thinking about me.

She orders another margarita. (Thank you!)  I’m feeling good and into my third Tecate. It’s nearly seven. Need to wrap this up soon. I promised Church I’d meet him at Sofitel. She starts talking about the Comcast Holiday show they do on the digital wall in the lobby of the Comcast tower. She asks me if I’ve ever seen it. I told her I saw it a couple of years ago. (Probably with Michelle and her mom.) She says we should go see it. I tell her I think it’s over by now. She looks it up in her phone. It was over the day after New Years Day.

“Aww too bad, I thought we could go see it after this. See? I’m trying to think of free things we can do together!” (points for that)

I apologize that we missed it, and also tell her I have to go meet with Church after this. He has some important stuff to cover with me.

“Oh…You’re always fitting me in! On our first date at Panorama you had to leave.”

“I had our annual holiday toy drive at Time for the kids at CHOP!”

“On New Years Eve you had to leave me again!”

“I promised my friend Carly weeks ago that I would help her set up a New Years wedding party!”

“Now you’re fitting me in around your friend!”

“He’s having some domestic issues, and my friend needs my support. We set this meeting up a before I made this date with you.”

“Oh…okay. I’m sorry.”

“No worries. I really like you Clarise. I want to see you, but I’ve had a lot of things going on over the holidays. I know now that they’re over, it should free up some time for us to be together.”

“My birthday is coming up, you know. I’ll be sixty-two on January 15th. Martin Luther King’s actual birthday, not the day we celebrate it. Do you have to work that day? It’s a Sunday.”

“Normally I do.”

“Well, here’s what I think you should do; switch with someone. Get on the train. Come out to Upper Darby around 1pm and I’ll pick you up and bring you to my house. You can stay until whenever you have to leave.”

“That would be great. I’ll see what I can do.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Clarice is making it clear she wants me to come over and make love to her. Which I am prepared to do. I like Clarice, and I want her.

The check comes. She had two margaritas, one glass of wine, and three tacos. So technically, not including tip, she will have only cost me twenty-three dollars tonight. Please don’t think I’m cheap, dear reader. If you have been reading this blog, you’ll know that I have spent thousands of dollars wining and dining all of these women.

We walk outside and she takes my arm. I walk her to her subway stop. I walk her down to the first landing and kiss her. She’s surprised and pleased. I offer her what I did not before in a kiss. She smiles and kisses me back.

I hear the roar of the approaching train. Time to go.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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Clarice – 2016 – Chapter 3 – Champagne Lady on a Beer Budget – Part One

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

After our New Years Eve date, and the date the next day with Mary, I started thinking about my money. I’m approaching this correctly, but operating at this level has a price. Limited time and resources. But when you have a solid pool of candidates, it puts you in a position of power. I’ve begun to realize this as I make this journey. Valerie was my maiden voyage. I was in the mindset, that if I didn’t feel something deep, I couldn’t go forward with her. She was simply an expense, and there was no return on my investment. June, was fun, but I simply wasn’t attracted to her. Fair enough. If one or two fall off, there are always others waiting in line to get onboard. But I really like Mary. She’s cool and fun, and had great history. I’m attracted to her. Same with Clarice. I want her, but I can’t be dropping a load of cash every time I see her.

There are always a few out there circling now. That’s good. That gives me the advantage. The other big advantage here is that I’m younger than both of these women. Normally I’m the old guy dating the younger women. I have real value, but youth is king. An older man will always be beholden to a younger woman due to her obvious youth and beauty. But if the tables were turned, it now puts me in the position to call the shots. What if I simply tell Clarice that I really like her and love spending time with her, but I can’t drop that much coin on her anymore? What’s the worst thing that could happen? The older woman leaves me because I’m not buying her enough drinks and dinners? Fine. She’s a gold digger and always was a gold digger. What do I get from her leaving me? One less expense that’s not yielding me any return on investment.

Mary has been pretty good with paying dutch on some things, so the issue is not with her. It’s with Clarice, and I’m about to solve it.

I told Clarice I was available on Wednesday evening and would like to see her. She agreed. Clarice texted me the night before and asked me what we were doing. The reason I hadn’t locked it down was because at the time I was struggling with how I was going to solve this situation.

I decided to simply call her. Just talk to her the old fashion way. She answers the phone: “To whom do I owe this great honor?”  I find that endearing because I say that when I answer the phone when somebody I like is calling me. She wants to know what we’re doing. I flat-out tell her that I really like her, and want to spend time with her, but I can’t spend fifty to a hundred dollars every time I see her. She says she agrees, and says I need to be more creative. I like that answer and it’s not a farewell. She suggests she just come to my apartment. (I find that a bit forward and a veiled suggestion for sex) I tell her Lorelei lives with me and I can’t be dragging strange women through the house with my kid there. I can tell this caught her off guard. She was married thirty years ago, but the marriage yielded no children. So she never thinks about kids. I also mention that if she likes, she could kick in on the bill occasionally. She says that since she just spent a bunch of money on a load of food for a holiday party she recently threw, that’s not happening.

Which tells me some things, about our confident, empowered, CEO. Good looking lady. Former opera singer. (No money in the arts) Runs a company (or maybe just works for a company) that sells marketing materials to companies for promoting their brand. She’s the CEO of a company that does marketing for non profits. (Non profits have no money to spend) It sounds like a company she made up which makes her the CEO. Just like my friend Alice is the CEO of her company. She revealed that she is looking to get a job with the African-American Museum here in the city. (She’s looking for a job!) Hot lady has no money!

So even though she is eight years older than me, this further lowers her value. But… she is charming, beautiful and fit. I am attracted to her, and I will use all of this to my advantage without doing anything dramatic. I will simply be myself and change the game.

I was seeing a client down at 12th and Locust, (It’s a gay bar) and when I walk out at 4:15 I hear someone calling my name. I look around and don’t see anyone I know. Then I see a familiar car parked right there. It’s Church!

“What are you doing down here?” I say.

“I was gonna ask you the same thing.”

“I’m seeing Jay at the club to pitch him my new bar leadership program.”

“Or you’re hanging out in a gay bar!” he quips.

“Yea, and you’re parked in your car out front of that gay bar cruisin’ for dudes.”

“Hop in, I’ll give you a ride, sailor.”

I told Clarice to meet me at El Rey, at 20th & Chestnut at 4:45. It’s best to get there before 5pm because the happy hour fill up because it’s so awesome. Dollar tacos, two dollar Tecate, and five dollar margaritas. How’s that for getting creative?

We’re parked out front of El Rey, and I see Clarice walking towards the bar. “Okay, this is my five o’clock appointment, dude. Thanks for the ride. I’ll meet up with you at Sofitel after seven.”

I wait for her to go in, and Church doesn’t ask who I’m meeting with so I don’t mention it. I head in and she’s at the bar taking off her coat. I stride towards her and nearly call her by her blog name by accident!  We hug, and squeeze ourselves into the seats at the bar. It’s a little tight. This used to be the old Midtown Diner III. They kept the affixed seats and the counter when they remodeled the place into El Rey.

I explain the happy hour to her and after a few tries she gets it. She goes with the margarita, no ice. I grab a Tecate. She gets the drink and doesn’t like it. They served it on the rocks which is wrong. She says the drink is super tart. She is making dramatic faces to prove it. I’m finding it annoying. Former opera singer/actress drama. Too much. She grabs the bartender and he fixes the drink. No rocks, and I tell him to add a little more triple sec to lower the tart signature.

Clarice says she’s not a tequila fan, but she’s trying to keep with the “Dating on a budget” program that I am now enforcing. I like that. We order six tacos. So right now the bill would be thirteen bucks. I can live with that. (for now!)

We are chatting and I’m making her laugh as usual. She is beautiful. I ask her how her last date went. She said she cancelled it. Just wasn’t feeling it. I knew it. Once you’ve heard Led Zeppelin, you don’t want to listen to any other crappy bands. She tells me more about her ex husband, and some other guy she dated for five years. I’m feigning interest as usual. It seems to be working.

She shows me her profile on OKCupid, another dating site. She wants me to read her profile. It’s actually really good, it shows a smart, confident, independent woman. I like that. “That’s why men are intimidated by me.”

“I can imagine. But I dig a confident woman. Especially one as pretty as you.” The picture she has posted of herself is spectacular. She looks like a gorgeous woman in her forties. I notice the age posted on the profile says she’s fifty-six. I point to this and she laughs and says, “That’s my OkCupid age.” I laugh and get it. She looks great and ratcheted back her age five years. “I’m really impressed with that pic of you, Clarice.”

“Cause my tits look so good?”

Read the thrilling conclusion to this story tommorow! Where we’ll answer questions like: Will our hero win the heart of the girl before he runs out of money?  Do her tits really look that good?

 

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Tales of Rock – Badfinger

Badfinger should’ve been a huge success story, but instead became a cautionary tale for the myriad ways the music industry exploits and throws away so many talented but naive artists.

Possibly the most heartbreaking story in rock and roll happens to have happened to one of the best bands in its history.

Badfinger should’ve been a huge success story, but instead became a cautionary tale for the myriad ways the music industry exploits and throws away so many talented but naive artists. After supporting major outfits including The Yardbirds, Pink Floyd and the Who, the band — then named the Iveys — was picked up by manager Bill Collins in 1966. It was a move that would help them reach early stardom and contribute heavily to their downfall. Ray Davies of the Kinks recorded three early demos, which Collins managed to get to Apple Records; Badfinger signed with Apple in 1968, making them the first band that wasn’t the Beatles on the label. After a lineup and name change to Badfinger, Paul McCartney penned their first hit, the timeless power pop classic “Come and Get It.” (Written for the soundtrack of The Magic Christian, a loopy, cameo-filled British comedy starring Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers that’s worth watching for the sheer absurdity of it all.) The song became an international hit. The band’s two primary songwriters, Pete Ham and Tom Evans, also wrote “Without You,” a standard since covered by more than 180 artists, including Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra and, perhaps most famously, Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey.

George Harrison had them play on his 1970 album All Things Must Pass and featured them as part of his backing band at The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. The point is, Badfinger should’ve been rolling in dough, their names solidified among rock’s most important acts. But taking manager Collins’s advice, the band trusted their money to an American businessman named Stan Polley who absconded with their funds, leaving the band in contractual binds that made it virtually impossible to continue on their own.

Lead singer Ham — by all accounts, an incredibly sensitive, sweet man who believed to the very end in Polley’s honesty despite all indications otherwise — hanged himself shortly thereafter. (Polley, in a move that even most scumbags would be disgusted by, tried to cash in on Ham’s life insurance.) Inconsolable and unable to restart his own career in music, Tom Evans — who reportedly said numerous times over the ensuing years that he wanted to be “where [Pete] is” — also hanged himself eight years later. Badfinger finally got a sliver of the rediscovery they deserve when their 1972 song “Baby Blue” was used in the series finale of Breaking Bad. The nod helped the song’s Spotify streams jump an astounding 9,000 percent in the hours after the show ended, and to sell 5,000 copies of the single on iTunes in a single night.

 

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