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Rock n Roll Suicide: Pete Ham & Tom Evans of Badfinger can’t take it anymore

March 5, 2012

Pete Ham poses with what's left of himself after Badfinger's manager took his cut

Pete Ham and Tom Evans must have thought they hit the jackpot when The Beatles’ Apple Records signed their band in 1968. First, they released an album as The Iveys, but by 1970, they would be christened Badfinger and under that moniker they would go on to be the most successful act on the Apple Records roster. Ironically, the name Badfinger came from the working title “Bad Finger Boogie” which would later become known as The Beatles’ kumbaya classic “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Unfortunately, as Badfinger would painfully discover, in the record business, so often the people who claim to be your friends are really just vermin waiting for the opportunity to take you for everything you’ve got.

Badfinger’s first hit was Paul McCartney’s “Come and Get It.” If there ever was a rock n roll cautionary tale, it is this song. The lyrics now sadly serve as the epitaph for the band’s two creative forces Pete Ham and Tom Evans, both of whom thought killing themselves was the only way to escape the misery caused by the indentured servitude they endured due to a particularly cruel rock n roll contract.

“If you want it, here it is /  Come and get it / Make your mind up fast / If you want it, anytime / I can get it / But you better hurry cause it may not last.” It was almost as if this band made a deal with Devil and the Devil was Paul McCartney, who as the good Beatle, couldn’t help but be completely honest when he laid of his Faustian bargain.

Well, no one can say that Badfinger weren’t warned about the pitfalls of being rock stars. Of course, practically no one walks away when given the opportunity to seize the ring of fame and riches. However, while Pete Ham and Tom Evans certainly got famous, they never got rich.

In a few short years, Apple Records had turned Badfinger into stars. Poised to take advantage of all the world was offering them, the band demoted the manager who had brought them to Apple and hired the seemingly more worldly Stan Polley in 1970. Opportunities abounded for the breaking band and Polley supposedly had the acumen and contacts to broker the kind of mammoth deals that would allow Badfinger to seize the moment and secure its members’ financial future.

Sure enough, in 1970 and 1971 all went as planned. Badfinger was on top of the world. Their albums Straight Up and No Dice were rocking the charts. In addition to “Come and Get It,” they scored with “No Matter What,” “Day After Day,” and “Baby Blue.” The Ham/Evans-penned Badfinger ballad, “Without You,” hit number one for Harry Nilsson. Their members backed George Harrison on All Things Must Pass and did session work on John Lennon’s Imagine. The success must have been intoxicating and the future promised to be more of the same Not only were they poised to be the next Beatles, they had The Beatles’ stamp of approval.

Stan Polley: Stone Cold Weasel

Despite – or more accurately, because of  – the financial machinations orchestrated by their manager, the members of the band were seeing little money from their efforts. The same, of course, could not be said for Stan Polley. He was rolling in the cash. As revealed in Dan Matovina’s book Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger, a financial statement prepared by Polley’s accountants for the period from December 8, 1970 to October, 31 1971, showed Polley’s income from the band: “Salaries and advances to client, $8,339 (Joey Molland), $6,861 (Mike Gibbins), $6,211 (Tom Evans), $5,959 (Pete Ham). Net corporation profit, $24,569. Management commission, $75,744 (Stan Polley).” According to Matovina’s website: “When prompted, he [Stan Polley] had often bragged that anyone under his wing would be so broken emotionally and financially that if they challenged him, they’d never even attempt to sue him. And he wasn’t averse to flashing a gun or joking about taking out someone’s eyeballs.“

After touring relentlessly through 1972, the band needed to deliver an album, but in Apple’s eyes nothing suitable came out of the self-produced sessions. Another producer was brought in and the result was Ass, which many thought was an apt description. Tellingly, the cover features a donkey with a big juicy carrot being dangled out in front of him. Apple had issues with the album, so the band bolted for Warner before it was released.

The exodus must have seemed like it was for the best. At this point, Apple was flailing. The label was a case study in dysfunction, so it would have appeared to be a fine trick when, under Polley’s direction, Badfinger landed a $3 million deal with Warner. Apple soon after went into bankruptcy, tying up much of the band’s publishing royalties for years. But now with their new deal, Badfinger was finally going to get paid.

Stan Polley toasted them as millionaires. An escrow account was set up for their advance and the band got back in the studio. Their new album Badfinger was quickly composed, but poorly reviewed. The intended title, For Love or Money, was jettisoned, apparently being a little too on the nose. Further complicating matters and confusing Badfinger’s audience, Apple unleashed Ass on the world a few weeks before their Warner debut.

It was not the new beginning the band was hoping for, but they would try again. Those sessions resulted in Wish You Were Here, inspiring their best reviews in two years. Badfinger had every reason to believe they were on their way back to the top of the charts.

Instead, it all fell apart. Some $600,000 “disappeared” from the escrow account and as a result Warner pulled its support for Wish You Were Here a few weeks after its release. Naturally, Stan Polley, who had been fingered during Senate-investigation hearings in 1971 as an intermediary between unnamed crime figures and a New York Supreme Court judge, had a pretty good idea where those funds went.

While Stan Polley lived high on the hog, the band members were impoverished, in debt and devastated. And it looked like that was the way it was always going to be. Yet, still, they recorded another album. Warner, however, decided not to release it and in 1975 the label cancelled Badfinger’s contract.

Pete Ham couldn’t take anymore. He was depressed and putting cigarettes out on his arms. The 27 year-old rock star saw no way out. He’d been on the treadmill of fame for six years and he didn’t have a dime to show for it. As bleak as it may have looked, he did have a daughter on the way. Tragically, though, that wasn’t enough to sustain him. On April 23, 1975, he hung himself in the garage of his new Surrey home. His suicide note read, “I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better … P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me.”

[It gets worse after the jump.]

Tom Evans as an Ivey, before it all spun out of control

The band dissolved and Tom Evans would join The Dodgers who were signed to Island Records. That gig didn’t last long. He was fired for insulting comments made to the band’s management. (Hard to imagine where he might have picked up the bad attitude.) He was out of the music business in 1977 and made a living by insulating pipes and driving a taxi. Yet still the stage beckoned and the early 1980s found Evans reforming a version of Badfinger, an idea that also occurred to his former bandmate Joey Molland. Causing much chaos and consternation, the competing Badfingers battled it out for bookings. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

On November 19, 1983, Evans and Molland argued on the phone regarding past Badfinger income lingering in the ethers of an Apple spreadsheet. It must have seemed like they’d had the discussion a thousand times before. Apparently, Molland was also pressuring Evans to share his “Without You” songwriting royalties, which had become a relatively steady source of income (and would become a bonanza when Mariah Carey scored huge with a cover in 1994). It was the one bankable nugget left from the past and Molland, former manager Collins and Gibbins all wanted a piece. The amazing part about this particular episode is that Stan Polley hadn’t already stolen the publishing copyright for himself.

Shortly after the conversation, Tom Evans hung himself from a willow tree behind his home in Richmond, England. There was no note, but obviously the lingering results of Badfinger’s financial woes has sucked the life from him. If that wasn’t enough, he also suffered under the stress of a pending $5 million lawsuit in the US stemming from yet another management deal gone wrong. And,of course, he was never able to get over the suicide of his friend and writing partner, Pete Ham. His wife has been quoted as saying,  “Tommy said ‘I want to be where Pete is. It’s a better place than down here’ ….”

The Iveys first hit was “Maybe Tomorrow,” but there would be no more tomorrows for Tom Evans. See him sing it. It’s amazing:

Of all the rock n roll suicides, I can’t think of any others that are directly linked to bad management. Considering how many scum-sucking managers there are out there, it’s quite surprising. Leonard Cohen’s manager took him for all had while he was becoming a Buddhist monk. Billy Joel’s brother-in-law manager fleeced him for $30 million. In the early days of the Grateful Dead, they were ripped off by their manager Lenny Hart … and he was their drummer’s dad. All of these artists have somehow persevered. Pete Ham and Tom Evans could have, too. If only they had heeded the words of “Take It All,” the opener of 1971’s Straight Up maybe everything would have turned out differently.

Any day, the sun will shine on you
Makes it silly to take it bad
Take it good, take it glad, take it all
I don’t need it at all
I don’t want it at all
No, no, no.

113 Comments leave one →
  1. amanda permalink
    January 7, 2013 1:34 am

    thanks for the article. It is hard to find any insight on this tragedy unless you have the hundreds to buy Dan Matovina’s book. As for Pete and Tom, I hope for their sake, they found a happier place, but more likely…peace.

    • September 28, 2014 10:37 pm

      Worse with last 45yrs of pop. Gave my dad vinnyCatalano over 100 hits starting in 1973 most were giant iconic songs. Due to Dads moms issues mainly sex. I got no cred nothing but used cars for 22 yrs about 5. Also made his other kids famous. I have a knack for tv/film. I didn’t know they were his kids 6 of them. Oh yeah his blood. I get tortured now. No car 6 years. Like in 1982 I moved to Fla a memory block. Not knowing why ever would I move near these parents. No car help 6 years. Never married or had kids. Copyright hard!!! Good luck

      • Marc Rettus permalink
        November 1, 2019 4:46 pm

        I see you are back on meth.

    • lee shafer permalink
      September 4, 2017 11:04 am


    • Alan Randall permalink
      April 17, 2018 7:33 am

      I agree and well said, it’s such a sad story, I guess money is the root of all evil!

      • Marc Rettus permalink
        November 1, 2019 4:45 pm

        ALL evil? I don’t think so.

      • Max Brand permalink
        May 5, 2020 12:35 pm

        Money is the root of all evil and managers like Stan Polley & Ed Chalpin (Jimmy Hendrix) simply lived like luxurious con men taking every cent the music world had to offer to two great souls who created music that touched the lives of others but got no royalties for it.

      • June 14, 2021 3:59 pm

        Alan Randall: No, the Bible says “THE LOVE OF MONEY” is the root of all evil.

    • Marc Rettus permalink
      November 1, 2019 4:51 pm

      As far as what I have read, Pete was super naive and trusting. He evidently never read the contracts that he signed. So, in that regard, he has to shoulder some of the blame.

      But, how can people like SP actually do these things?

  2. Norm Bellis permalink
    June 4, 2013 1:35 am

    I was Tom’s bandmate in Liverpool band The Calderstones. We were inseparable in those days. Everything was about music, music, music – and music. So many good memories. I was, still am a bass player. Taught Tom a few basics when we were room sharing in 1969 at 7 Park Avenue. He and Pete asked me to join the band after Ron left, but Bill Collins was resilient to this idea. One day I’ll tell all. It’s 30 years since Tom passed on. Seems much less. His and Pete’s memory will always endure. Never forgotten.

    • Nick permalink
      December 22, 2013 8:03 pm


      Is there any way I may contact you? I have a few questions. I’m a 29 year old fan from the USA that just discovered this band, and I’m quite appalled at the tragic outcome of such beautifully minded young men. As a musician myself, I’m quite enamored with their vocal harmonies and wonderfully crafted love songs. I’d like to send you an email and have a chat. Is that okay?



      • Norm Bellis permalink
        January 6, 2014 10:09 am

        Hi Nick,
        Good to hear from a fellow muso. Yes by all means get in touch. My email is spirit_13 (at)
        (44)787 984 1771

    • September 18, 2014 4:16 am

      Norm, I would love to know the truth about one of the best band I have ever heard?,,,Tiki

    • Helen permalink
      April 17, 2016 3:22 am

      Hello Norm. May I also contact you? I saw a couple of others here who responded. I would love to hear your story. Thanks, Helen

    • Pamela permalink
      July 4, 2016 5:26 pm

      Wow, you have had some incredible experiences! You actually knew Tom . I have loved Badfinger since I first heard them in the early 70’s and they started getting radio play in the US. Pete and Tom’s suicides break my heart. Baby Blue demolishes me.

      • Cynthia Nolder permalink
        October 13, 2018 10:20 am

        Baby Blue demolishes me too, every time I hear it, + Carry On!

    • Jack permalink
      January 17, 2017 7:52 pm

      Here’s a gift for you, and all others who loved this great band!!
      Here’s Michael Gibbons son, “Owen’s” site – Check out his talented son Owen’s channel! Great young man, great song writer.

      Take care fans!!


    • john nixon permalink
      January 25, 2018 10:34 am

      Been listening and reading about Badfinger since their inception and thru the awesome performance at Concert for Bangladesh. Thanks for the personal inside scoop it was a very intriguing read

    • Alan Randall permalink
      April 17, 2018 7:46 am

      Hi Norm, thanks for sharing your memories about Tom Evans and Badfinger, interesting reading and I think that you should try to write a book about your memories someday, if you haven’t already!

    • Thom Harmand permalink
      November 8, 2018 3:28 pm

      Hi Norm – I interviewed Ron Griffiths on the phone in the early 2000’s – Such a nice chap! I was writing an article about Pete, and how his writing and guitar prowess have been so overlooked. BTW, I am a bass player too. I assume The Calderstones played the famous Cavern Club in “Liddypool”?
      I still feel very sad when reading about Pete and Tommy, they should have become millionaires and had tributes from younger bands whom they influenced. They deserved a much better fate. Thanks for your post, Norm – Peace!

      Thom Harmand
      NJ, USA

  3. Norm Bellis permalink
    June 4, 2013 1:37 am

    Just realised – Tom’s birthday is tomorrow, June 5th. And mine June 6th! Happy one, Tom.

    • Pete Kane permalink
      June 20, 2013 10:48 pm

      And mine on June 9th

  4. Pete Kane permalink
    June 8, 2013 4:09 am

    New Tom very well I was the one of the people he was insulating pipes with.

  5. Woody permalink
    June 11, 2013 1:50 pm

    What comes around, goes around…..I’m sure Stan Polley got his!

    • Jane permalink
      April 10, 2014 7:41 pm

      We can only hope.

    • September 18, 2014 4:18 am

      I hope so, if not judgement day , HE WILL!!!

    • albin permalink
      February 19, 2017 2:11 am

      No, sadly he didn’t and more reason to believe if there is some “higher” power… it takes no part in human affairs. Polley lived long and well on the money he stole from others.

      • Cynthia Nolder permalink
        October 13, 2018 10:22 am

        Whether you believe in a higher power or not, what goes around, comes around is a universal law-no one escapes from it. Naturally, it works for the good, as well as bad! Somehow, that manager has gotten his, or is going to

      • Patrick Shore permalink
        March 30, 2020 7:13 am

        psalm 49;10-14 says differently…unless ”death bed confession” not giving out
        nilly willy

    • RowenaSuarez permalink
      November 13, 2020 4:41 am

      Remember what EdithPiaf saidjust before she died”Every damn fool thing you do in this life,you will pay for it”I can speak for myself,I hope Badfinger gets inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame! RowenaSuarez

  6. Aimee'li permalink
    September 8, 2013 9:46 am

    Absolutely love them! It is so unfortunate. But their music with forever live. One thing Stan Polley could never take from them!

  7. Eddie permalink
    October 3, 2013 7:25 am

    Ironic to learn about the money woes and suicide of Tom and Pete and the song Baby Blue being used as the finale of Breaking Bad about a man earning millions.

  8. October 3, 2013 4:05 pm

    I woke up this morning with an urge to hear “Baby Blue”, got on you tube and started in! Drifted to the Raspberries, among others, then 10 hours later found myself back on Badfinger and doing some research. Found this article, which is Fantastic by the way, then found myself very saddened and pissed off. Why are there so many unfortunate and stunning stories about these scumbag managers? Can’t they just treat the people, that got them there in the first place, with some respect, and be content with their portion of the proceeds, which I might add is usually a more then adequate sum!!!

    So sad, but as stated already, Polly scum can’t take away their music and all the great feelings that Badfinger gave millions of people like myself!

    • Norm permalink
      October 11, 2013 7:39 am

      Tom was my bandmate / writing partner for four years in the Liverpool days. I never forget. Unreal it’s 30 years this month. Listen out for Spirit 13 “That’s Why Angels Cry”, due out in February. Believe me, he was on my shoulder throughout writing the album with Jacky. It’s going to be hard hitting. Norm

    • Alan Randall permalink
      April 17, 2018 8:02 am

      Very well said Paul, I agree with your comments, why do good people have to suffer in this world because of evil and greedy scumbags who obviously have no feelings except for themselves!

  9. Sheri permalink
    October 27, 2013 11:20 pm

    ever since breaking bad finale i am thinking about and so happy listening to baby blue from the 70s so saddened by the scum sucking ass that drove 2 so talented music lovers from us , and the song without you is like thee best

  10. December 29, 2013 6:56 am

    great music

  11. Phil permalink
    January 21, 2014 1:38 am

    Very sad outcome for such promising musicians. Their music reminds me of my high school days either listening to their LP’s or 8-track tapes, especially with 4 wheels under you and the windows rolled down. This is some of the best music out there and in my opinion much of today’s music doesn’t even come close!

    • Rita permalink
      August 22, 2014 8:52 am

      You are so right Phil! That music was classic and so real and genuine. Loved this band so sad:(( Greedy managers suck the life out of great musicians!

  12. Margarita erdahl permalink
    June 2, 2014 2:46 pm

    Stan Polly, I am sure u r in HELL , Pete didn’t take u with, a soul like his would not end up there. Only soulless bastards end up there.Hope u feel the pain OVER & OVER & OVER AGAIN.

  13. Margarita erdahl permalink
    June 2, 2014 2:51 pm

    AND AS 4 TOM, he’s with PETE, OVER & OVER & OVER …………………BASTARD………….

  14. Ron permalink
    October 1, 2014 2:28 pm

    Great article, great music what a tragic ending.

  15. Hykie permalink
    November 19, 2014 8:44 pm

    One of the sadist rock and roll stories ever told. Need to see this in a move.

    • RowenaSuarez permalink
      November 13, 2020 4:46 am

      hope the depicts what actually happened.the johnny cash,selena movies were half lies ,half truths

  16. December 5, 2014 4:58 pm

    My friend and fellow musician/singer ‘Nick’ met and opened for Badfinger in 1971. Their band hung out with Badfinger for a few hours afterwards and thought they were all nice guys… He has a picture of them all together, relaxing and talking..

  17. Hykie permalink
    December 9, 2014 3:35 pm

    This band left us all too soon. I would love to see a movie made of what really transpired from their humble beginnings to the horrible ending and show the thievery of Stan Polly and others along the way.

    • January 10, 2015 12:53 am

      Hi there, I understand why you feel the way you do, but if they made a movie of this sad tale it would just be another pile of cash they miss out on and it would open up old wounds for a lot of people me included.

      • permalink
        January 13, 2015 4:33 pm

        I hear what you’re saying. But I think this story should be told on the big screen. And the money made from this movie should go to suicide care or some type of donation like that. This way the right people would benefit from this sad sad story. Just my thoughts.

        Sent from my iPhone

      • RowenaSuarez permalink
        November 13, 2020 4:55 am

        if they can release la vie en rose about EdithPiaf surely they can have a movie depicting Badfinger.I say it every time I turn my stereo”What might have been if they would have fought stan polley,what might have been if Selena never met yolanda saldivar “and so on

    • Alan Randall permalink
      April 17, 2018 9:20 am

      I would also like to see a movie about the rise to fame of Badfinger and the sad events that followed, it would also serve as a cautionary tale to other bands and entertainers to choose their managers very carefully.

    • Marc Rettus permalink
      November 1, 2019 5:10 pm

      If you want to know what really happened about anything, never trust a movie to be factually true.

  18. Sparks13 permalink
    December 14, 2014 4:50 am

    And may Polley be burning in hell.

  19. Hykie permalink
    January 14, 2015 9:37 am

    I hear what you’re saying. But I think this story should be told on the big screen. Also the money made from this movie should go to suicide care or some type of donation like that. This way the right people would benefit from this sad, sad story. Just my thoughts…

    • Suzanne Gleeson permalink
      April 1, 2019 5:15 am

      I just got finished thinking that it should be on the big screen. The money should be apportioned (in my opinion) between Mr. Ham’s and Mr. Evans’ children and their children and so forth. I wonder who had the rights to “Baby Blue” when it was permitted for use in Breaking Bad….

      I found myself watching Tom’s and Pete’s eyes whenever the cameras would zoom in. They were professional, but one could see the despair in their eyes – couldn’t “cover” that.

    • Marc Rettus permalink
      November 1, 2019 5:14 pm

      Hykie, please don’t be offended, but you sound as naive as Pete.

      Trust a movie to tell a true story? Sorry
      All the money made should go to charity? Nice thought. Naive.

  20. William Jones permalink
    September 10, 2015 7:17 am

    it really sad to hear those two guys not around anymore and I like badfinger and their music are great, when I heard a very sad news about pete ham and mark evans who’s lost life over by that evil and creedy manager stan polley and I’m sure that mr.polley already paid his price to bloody hell and burn forever rest in peace pete and mark will never forget as long be free forever..

  21. Vanessa Barton permalink
    October 31, 2015 2:33 pm

    We lived next door to Tommy for 13 years up to the day he died, it broke our family’s hearts, as a child then, I didn’t really realise how famous he was, he was just Tommy to us and we were always round his house, my family always welcome, he taught me how to play the guitar, and it was my Dad that took him to work with him with the thermal insulation , he was such a kind person, and was so so sad when he died! Only now being older do I realise what all the angry phone calls were all about! Thank you for your article.

    • November 21, 2015 9:30 am

      Hello Ness how are you ?

    • Alan Randall permalink
      April 17, 2018 8:21 am

      Thanks for sharing your memories about Tom Evans, always interesting to read an actual personal story Vanessa.

  22. David Bagdon permalink
    November 18, 2015 1:08 pm

    Stan polly,
    Worst f’ ning scum on Earth.I hope you die a very slow and painfull death.And yes he’s Sharon Osborn’s Father.What does that tell you.Scum sucking run’s in that family.Just like the f’ing Bush family.

    • Hykie permalink
      November 21, 2015 10:56 am

      Wow did not know Stan Polly that evil a-hole was Sharon Osbourne’s dad. The acorn doesn’t fall too far from the tree does it.

      • Frick Frack permalink
        September 17, 2017 6:08 pm

        No. Don Arden, another baddie, is Sharon Osbourne’s father.

    • February 12, 2016 8:45 am

      Polley is NOT Sharon Osborne’s father. her father is Don Arden (born Harry Levy). But Arden himself, a music promoter was a violent mafia like thug.

    • Marc permalink
      March 26, 2016 2:26 am

      Your thinking of Don Arden who was the small faces and black sabbaths managers another intimidating cheating scumbag and soulless bastard who put money and himself before anything else.he allegedly turned his dogs on a pregnant Sharon causing her to lose her baby.surely frying nicely with polley down below.

      • Marc Rettus permalink
        November 1, 2019 5:19 pm

        Marc, and there’s a story that Sharon, with the Oz in the passenger seat, tried to run over arden!

        I can totally picture that! 🙂

    • May 7, 2016 8:39 am

      Stan Polley was not Sharon Osbourne’s father. Don Arden was. Two different people.

    • Randy permalink
      December 28, 2016 4:38 pm

      No he is not. Sharon’s father is Donn Arden. Another story though on how he treated Steve Marriott.

    • albin permalink
      February 19, 2017 2:23 am

      WTF are you talking about? Sharon’s father was Don Arden… who was an equally evil character but had nothing to do with Badfinger. Stop the BS!

    • Walter permalink
      April 3, 2017 9:05 pm

      Hey there David, just a clarification Stan Polly was not Sharon Osborn’s father, her father was Don Arden also a recording label exec/manager and may or may not have been a soulless scumbag like Polly. Badfinger is the one of the finest examples of music made. I am also saddened by this story of 2 great artists destroyed by the greed of their manager. Also not a fan of Sharon Osborn.

    • Peter permalink
      May 1, 2017 10:59 am

      Don Arden was Sharon’s father. He was the English equivalent of Polley.

    • RowenaSuarez permalink
      November 13, 2020 5:04 am

      stan polley,bernie madoff ,I believe in what EdithPiaf said justbefore she died”Every damn fool thing you do in this life you will pay for it”

  23. December 13, 2015 8:38 am

    Sharon Osbourne’s Father is Don Arden, not Stan Polley

  24. David Bagdon permalink
    December 14, 2015 3:33 pm

    Still LOVE BADFINGER..My heart breaks reading how that Scum Polly did them.God bless thier family’s.

    • dick castro permalink
      December 14, 2015 5:01 pm

      I hope its real hot where stan is

    • dick castro permalink
      December 14, 2015 5:03 pm

      I hope stan is burning

  25. Hykie permalink
    December 15, 2015 8:36 am

    Again, I think this would make a great movie and the profits could be used to help people with depression and that would be a good thing. Also a great way to show the world how money greedy people (like Stan Polly what a F’n loser) did things back then and also display how the nuts (like his awful daughter Sharon Osbourne) didn’t fall to far from the tree.

    • Norm Bellis permalink
      December 15, 2015 3:27 pm

      For sure Polly was the devil incarnate, but to set things straight, Sharon Osbourne’s father was Don Arden. If you think Polly was hard……….. However, Arden always made sure venues paid his bands in full. Just ask Jeff Lynne! Tom’s wife Marianne mailed me recently, and I was totally stunned at what she endured after his death. She lost everything, absolutely everything. For the record (no pun) the only writers of ‘Without You’ were Tom and Pete. Definitely not Bill ‘where’s me pipe’ Collins or any others.

      • Marc Rettus permalink
        November 1, 2019 5:25 pm

        As Norm intimates, it seems a number of people wanted writing credit for without you. Gibbons, Molland, and another person.

        Also, for what it is worth, Tom took the easy way out, gutlessly leaving his wife behind to suffer without him. Remember, Tom and Peteneed to take part of the blame for being so careless about what they signed.

    • lee shafer permalink
      September 4, 2017 11:01 am

      sharon osbourne’s father isn’t stan polley but rather another shady character named don arden

    • RowenaSuarez permalink
      November 13, 2020 5:08 am

      careful where the profits from the biopic about Badfinger go to.San Diego Hospice shut down to financial impropriety

  26. Erika permalink
    January 11, 2016 9:47 pm

    One of my favorite bands. Wish I could see them now. E

  27. Starchild permalink
    February 29, 2016 8:42 am

    Great group of guys. So sorry that there are vermin that prey on the talented and the good because the vermin have absolutely NO TALENT at all and there are plenty of them to go around especially in the MUSIC & FILM industry. For all of you talented people…please let this horrible situation be a lesson to you all. Be very aware of your surroundings and always remember…everyone you meet us not your real friend. You could probably count your real friends on one hand and still have digits left over… Just a word to the wise.

  28. Gail permalink
    June 6, 2016 6:56 pm

    Tom and Peter were very talented musician’s that would have done so much more.

  29. Lisa Merrill permalink
    July 16, 2016 8:46 am

    These darling boys. That Polley should have been put up against a wall and shot! How DARE he do what he did to them!

  30. July 17, 2016 9:44 pm

    Just wanna input on few general things, The website design is perfect, the content is rattling good : D.

  31. August 26, 2016 10:34 am

    Wow I just heard Badfinger on the radio and was thinking of my sister who is sadly gone (way too young – RIP MIchi) and how we’d ditch school and go and watch Concert for Bangle Dash in Westwood… big fans of all of them including Pete Ham. I did not know Tom Evans name back them as I was just a child but do now… anyway thank you for this article all these years later. Heaven is brighter… I am so sorry for all who knew and loved these men and eternally grateful for reading this insightful piece. Mind numbing and profoundly sad stuff. Maybe it’s wrong to hope that those who deserve it get theirs in the end but yeah… I do find myself hoping for that.
    Thank you, beautiful souls, for your music.

  32. sertaneja permalink
    October 1, 2016 5:20 pm

    Talking about bad managers…let’s not forget Allen Klein.

  33. Ron permalink
    January 30, 2017 10:35 pm

    Very sad……but thats the way those bastards ripped the bands off those days…sad indeed…a mess of talents wasted

  34. Peggy permalink
    February 7, 2017 1:46 am

    Great bad wish i could go back in time and tell them it will all be ok

    • Alan Randall permalink
      April 17, 2018 8:38 am

      Lovely thought Peggy, many Badfinger fans would share that idea, if only we had a time machine!

  35. Jessie permalink
    August 11, 2017 3:11 am

    Stan Polly was NOT Sharon Osbourne’s father. Don Arden was Sharon Osbourne’s father and he was the manager of The Small Faces (amongst others) on the DECCA label. Yet another thieving scumbag.

  36. lee shafer permalink
    September 4, 2017 10:56 am

    i met tom evans at a show billed as badfinger but post pete-he signed an LP “10 years later at least i’m still alive. he told me he cut pete down!

  37. Buddy Silver permalink
    January 16, 2018 12:19 pm

    Stan Polley (1922- 2009) is a retired American music entrepreneur who, for a time, managed the business ventures of several musicians. His clients were mostly American artists, including Al Kooper and Lou Christie, but Polley is mostly known for his alleged mismanagement of the British band Badfinger. Polley reportedly began his managerial career in New York’s garment industry. He began artist management after he met Christie in the mid 1960s. Although Badfinger had a personal UK manager, they did not believe he was capable of properly conducting business in America. With Badfinger’s success in 1970 with the single “Come And Get It,” the group was pressured to seek professional business management. Polley represented many artists by 1970 and had experience in arranging large U.S. tours for clients. Polley set up a New York-based business on behalf of Badfinger called Badfinger Enterprises, Incorporated. The revenues from the band’s recording and touring efforts were funneled into this business, presumably for reinvestment. The band members were paid a salary, rather than receiving immediate income from contract advances and tours.

    Beginning in 1971, and reported in the New York Times, a Senate Investigation Committee conducted hearings on an accusation that New York State Supreme Court Justice Mitchell D. Schweitzer had accepted a bribe in 1955. According to Judicial Court Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh’s 1971 charges, convicted stock manipulator Michael Raymond (also suspected in at least five murders), paid Polley $25,000 to “exert improper influence on Justice Schweitzer.” The charges did not say that the Justice ever received any of that money but that he conspired with Polley and Raymond to obtain a lenient sentence. In July 1971 Michael Raymond told a U.S. Senate subcommitee that Polley was “well connected with organized crime.”

    Justice Schweitzer was charged with misconduct but retired before the investigation was completed. Polley was not charged with a crime. The incident had taken place 15 years earlier. (The state’s statute of limitations put a 2 year limit on the prosecution of such offenses.) However, many of Polley’s clients (excluding Badfinger) said they became aware of his background due to the publicity. In 1973, Polley negotiated a new record contract with Warner Brothers for Badfinger, which called for advances to be paid into an escrow account. Approximately $100,000 in publishing escrow funds from Warner’s publishing division disappeared after Polley gained access to the account. Reportedly, after several months of unsuccessful attempts to contact Polley about the funds, Warner Brothers filed suit against Badfinger Enterprises for breach of contract. The legal morass crippled Badfinger financially. Band leader Pete Ham committed suicide in 1975, leaving behind a note that blamed Polley for his death. Two Badfinger songs, “Hey, Mr. Manager” and “Rock & Roll Contract,” are reportedly about Polley.

    In the late 1980s, Polley pleaded no contest to charges of misappropriating funds and money laundering in Riverside County, California. Aeronautics engineer Peter Brock accused Polley of swindling him for more than US$200,000 after the two set up a corporation to manufacture airplane engines. Polley was ordered by the court to return all missing funds to Brock, although the complainant said the restitution never materialized.

    • Alan Randall permalink
      April 17, 2018 8:56 am

      Hey Buddy, Thanks for filling us (Badfinger fans) in with all that interesting history about Polley and the sad story of the very talented and loved band Badfinger.

    • Marc Rettus permalink
      November 1, 2019 5:29 pm

      Buddy, did you write that? Or are you guilty of plagiarism? For everyone else, it’s the latter.

  38. Lyle Privette permalink
    January 18, 2018 12:25 pm

    Woke up this morning with,” Day after Day ” in my head went through all my favorite Badfinger songs on YouTube that I grew up with. Never realized what happened with Pete and Tom, just took it for granted that all was well and they were still making music somewhere. Now realizing that Heaven’s Band is even greater with Pete and Tom as Angels in the band. Their music means so much more to me and the world. Let’s pass it on, God Bless You All…

  39. Dominick Mirra permalink
    January 27, 2018 8:58 pm

    Badfinger were so close to being the next Beatles what a fantastic bunch of musicians and so sad about Tom Evans and Pete Ham fantastic songwriters and musicians it’s too bad that these money-hungry managers and rip-off artists have to pray on such talented people that should have been around forever long live the music of Badfinger and the writings of Tom Evans and Pete Ham

  40. Pat G permalink
    April 17, 2018 12:10 pm

    I met Mike Gibbins in an elevator in New Jersey and we had a chat maybe circa 2001. Nicest guy in the world.

  41. Karen permalink
    April 20, 2018 3:45 pm

    Was fortunate enough to do a short lighting/roadie tour with these guys, New England, Toronto, during the transition to Warner Bros. Tragic and sad and they were (and are) such great guys, musicians. Pete was so funny! Tommy was quiet and so friendly. Mike taught me how to drink Guiness correctly. Joey was smooth, cool, a gentleman. I saw what was really going on. Loved these guys. Hate the business in those days.

  42. Bob Aran permalink
    May 4, 2018 10:45 am

    Why does this writer begin by implying McCartney treated Badfinger badly, without providing a stitch of substansiation?

  43. Jan Stephens permalink
    May 6, 2018 1:37 pm

    So sad, when they were betrayed by the very people that were paid to look out for their best interests. I hope they have found peace and are making beautiful music together! The people who pushed these beautiful souls to suicide will face their own judgement days.

  44. Jerry Hayes permalink
    July 6, 2018 12:54 pm

    Pete was right. Polley WAS a soulless bastard. The giving hearts of the talented are often exploited by opportunist trash such as Polley. May his soul rot in Hell.

  45. October 26, 2018 6:57 pm

    I’ve only learned of Badfinger’s history, due to watching “Breaking Bad”, & my hubby’s love of the song “Baby Blue”. It got us to wondering whatever happened to them. I bought the single “Come & Get It”/”No Matter What”, in 1970. After reading up on them, it occurred to me that Paul McCartney’s problems, back then, were also partially due to Allen Klein. If not for Linda, maybe Paul might have befallen a similar fate, as he was drinking quite heavily. She pulled him out of it.

  46. Lex permalink
    February 24, 2019 11:19 pm

    That Polley jerk died in 2009 in Rancho Mirage, California. Hopefully, penniless, but probably not.
    “According to The New York Times, in 1971 Polley was named during US Senate investigation hearings as an intermediary between unnamed crime figures and a New York Supreme Court judge. Most of Polley’s American clients said they were already suspicious of their manager by this point, but the publicity of the hearings convinced several to sever ties with him.”

  47. Ole Lind Nielsen permalink
    December 31, 2019 6:44 am

    Great band. Sad sad story. Wish some help where come to them. But sadly no…

  48. Cherri R Phelps permalink
    May 27, 2021 8:05 pm

    So sad that there’s so much greed when money is involved. Badfinger deserve’s the be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! RIP


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