I Can't Give Anymore
October 15, 2014 3:34 PM   Subscribe

I can't live

If living is Milwaukee

(I'm sure it's a lovely city.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:48 PM on October 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

I can't live

If living is Milwaukee


Anyway, I'm surprised by this story, being a Milwaukee native and Badfinger fan I don't recall this at all ( I do remember Toulouse No-Neck though). Damn shame what happened to them. As for Jack Koshick I know of him from being the promoter of the long running Milwaukee Metalfest (Everything in Milwaukee is fest of some sort) which became a bit controversial after its venue (State Fair Park) refused to have the event back because bands like Anal Blast and Cradle of Filth didn't jibe with the fair's family friendly image. Ya Ya Milwaukee!
posted by MikeMc at 4:01 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

What a crazy, sad story. Some truly timeless songs, though. This Cass guy sounds like a real class act.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:50 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

There was a nice live video performance of 'Day After Day' on YT that I wanted to link to, but it isn't available now.
posted by ovvl at 5:03 PM on October 15, 2014

The description of their tour sounded like something from Spinal Tap. Presumably, Breaking Bad's finale closing with Baby Blue will add some to those royalty payments.
posted by Loudmax at 5:32 PM on October 15, 2014

I've only seen The Magic Christian once - close to two decades ago - but thanks to that single viewing, 'Come and Get It' has been stuck in my head on a near-continuous loop.
posted by item at 5:40 PM on October 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

Badfinger made some amazing records and their demise was both saddening and angering.
posted by jonmc at 7:07 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Reading that was upsetting. That Cass dude needs to be in jail.
posted by droplet at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any laws against luring a desperate, emotionally fragile man across the Atlantic, abusing him until he breaks contract, and then suing him for a fortune he hasn't even touched yet. I guess lawmakers never considered that anyone could be that fucking evil.
posted by Iridic at 7:40 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

As if the Stan Polley episode wasn't enough. I have nothing but sympathy for these guys, but this level of sustained naievete and bad luck takes some doing.
posted by anazgnos at 9:11 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

God, that's a sad story for anybody loves power pop. Or rock n' roll. Or music. Or human beings.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:21 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

I suspect McCartney caused them to sink into a collective depression from which they never recovered, by nature of his vast ego and pop genius.

After rejecting all their early songs for Apple (remember Paul was possibly the only sober guy in the building), he eventually knocked off 'Come and Get It' for them in an hour or so and then insisted that they record it identically to his demo (the Wiki page says they tried to inject their ideas into it and he said absolutely no way.)

I can't imagine for a second George Martin treating the young and naive Beatles of 1962 in that way. Paul is an evil genius.
posted by colie at 12:24 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

God damn.

There are a lot of Spinal Tap stories in rock, but most of 'em aren't very funny. Far too many really good bands eventually have that moment where they find out they've been second-billed to the puppet show.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:41 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

A tale of woe to be sure, but as Tom Hanks' character says in That Thing You Do, "It's a very common tale." Still a damn shame.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:52 AM on October 16, 2014

Helluva story. Thanks for posting it.
posted by ambient2 at 5:04 AM on October 16, 2014

The Shock Theater performances of Come and Get It and No Matter What.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 5:49 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

From today's point of view, they seem to have been incredibly naive. But then again, there is still a strong vein of thinking that if you have talent and work hard, the details will sort themselves out. Right now it's the writers who are figuring out that not everyone is working in their best interests and that you can sign away half a million dollars' worth of rights in five minutes .
posted by BibiRose at 7:04 AM on October 16, 2014

At least the surviving members get 0.00001 cent every time 'Without You' is played on Spotify.
posted by colie at 7:54 AM on October 16, 2014

They did get a bit of a bump recently.
posted by anazgnos at 9:55 AM on October 16, 2014

colie, I can hardly believe that you actually believe that. Their previous single flopped in the UK and barely charted in the US, and McCartney gave them the song after they complained that Apple (i.e. Allen Klein, who was running it at that point) kept rejecting the other songs they submitted. Let's contextualize that: one of the most famous musicians in the world, in the history of the world in fact, gave a struggling band an unreleased song and held their hand through the recording of it, and it was in fact the breakthrough success that they'd been looking for. Whatever sins Paul McCartney has committed, that really isn't one of them. (And in terms of his being "the only sober guy in the building", quick question: who's the only Beatle that's been busted for dope? Repeatedly, in fact?)
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:56 PM on October 16, 2014

It's a Freudian thing, not conscious evil on the part of Paul.

Badfinger got everything they could have wished for (proteges of the Beatles!) but 'The Father' would not endorse their own work. You're right to think Paul doesn't know he's doing all this, but he still plays a certain role in the psychic unravelling of the Beatles and those close to them.

I think the Apple 68-onwards Beatles were a family in the process of breaking up - John famously called a meeting at which he told Paul he 'wanted a divorce' (so he could fully be with Yoko). He had been in intimate psycho-musical matrimony with Paul for over 10 years and had conquered the world with him. Paul was terminally wounded by the separation (hence how he went to the press to announce the split before John did). The Beatles were playing out these tensions at the time.

The Beatles had tried to set up a family home with Apple and had 'children' in the shape of acts like Badfinger they were supposed to nurture, but as with kids in the break-up of many marriages, they either neglected and abused them or found that their efforts to help them in the world backfired.

All this contrasts to the 'good father' of George Martin, who had truly nourished John and Paul (who'd both lost their mothers just a few years before meeting him), in my mind anyway.
posted by colie at 12:42 AM on October 17, 2014

It's a Freudian thing

...aaaand you've already lost me. The Beatles broke up because they were very different people with very different goals for what they wanted to do with their music and their lives. And your contention that "'The Father' [*snort*] would not endorse their own work" kind of ignores that they'd already released singles as The Iveys that hadn't done well either in the US or the UK.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:34 AM on October 17, 2014

It's just an interpretation and neither of us were there.

The Beatles explicitly put themselves in the role of father to their acts. They put ads in the newspapers encouraging performers to come to Apple because it would be unlike any other record company, and like a family.

From what I can see they then did not take this role seriously, and Paul did not nurture Badfinger, unlike how George Martin had worked with them (remember the Beatles had experienced lots of failures before meeting him, including being rejected by almost every UK record label. Even when they started to sell in the UK, all their US singles flopped at first).

They were also creatively managed by Brian Epstein who was even more of a father figure (although complicated this by having a rumoured affair with Lennon).

I don't think Badfinger were ever going to be that great, so I'll stop grinding the axe, but it's just interesting how the stars aligned so perfectly for the Beatles with the two much older, obviously father-role men who helped them become who they were - compared to how nothing worked out for Badfinger. Paul and John were made supremely confident by Martin and Epstein while Badfinger got drained of self esteem by Paul and were then vulnerable to the worst predators the 70s music industry could throw at them.
posted by colie at 10:44 AM on October 17, 2014

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