Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
There once was a band named Badfinger. They were the first group to be signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records label in 1968. Paul McCartney wrote & produced their first song “Come and Get It” which became a hit record. Three more big songs followed: “No Matter What”, “Day After Day” (which was produced by George Harrison) and “Baby Blue”. All three of those songs were written by the band’s lead singer & guitarist, Pete Ham. He remained close with Harrison even after The Beatles broke up, and the two musicians played together on Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album & his benefit concerts for Bangladesh in NYC in 1971. Warner Brothers became Badfinger’s new label after Apple Records was dissolved following The Fab Four’s breakup so Badfinger did not miss any time recording new material. All was going well for the band.
But then Badfinger’s manager stole all their money and left them in financial ruin. Lawsuits & other serious issues followed. The band tried desperately to overcome them and the pending insolvency. In the end, all the problems became too overwhelming for Ham and he committed suicide three days before his 28th birthday in 1975.
He co-wrote today’s song with his bandmate, Tom Evans, who also died by suicide in 1983 after fighting with another bandmate, Joey Molland, over the royalties of this song. Badfinger recorded it in 1970 but it was not a hit until about a year later after singer Harry Nilsson released his version. By February 1972 it became the country’s number one song for four weeks in a row. It seemed destined to be successful with its absolutely gorgeous arrangement highlighted with Nilsson’s incredibly stunning and powerful vocal.
Both songwriters had so much to live for aside from their music. Yet, even after hearing the masterpiece their song became with Nilsson’s version, both men still convinced themselves that what they lost was far more important than what they created. That is only part of the heartbreak of depression.
We have a plethora of horrible diseases in this world. I pray that someday soon we eradicate all of them. And that the cure for mental illness is close to the top of that list.
Badfinger circa 1970 L-R: Joey Molland, Tom Evans, Pete Ham & Mike Gibbons. Harry Nilsson circa 1973. (Images found online. Original sources unknown.)
Harry Nilsson: “Without You” (1971, written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.