Widow and Girlfriend in Badfinger Royalties Battle   [Tuesday, April 18, 2000] 
Pete Mike Tom sketch
A widow and a girlfriend of two of the most tragic figures in pop music are battling in the High Court for a share of the royalties of an album they claim was compiled from a live tape taken without their knowledge. 
 
Peter Ham and Tommy Evans were part of the Seventies group Badfinger and are celebrated as the writers of the love song, Without You - a worldwide hit for Harry Nilsson in 1972 and again for Mariah Carey in 1994.  Both took their own lives after believing their careers were over and without receiving a penny in royalties for their song which was recorded by more than 100 artists throughout the world. 
 
Anne Ferguson, Ham's girlfriend, and Marianne Evans have joined forces with Badfinger drummer Michael Gibbins and manager Bill Collins in the legal action against the group's former guitarist and vocalist Joey Molland.  
 
Molland left the band in 1974 and took with him tapes of a live recording they made at the Agora Club, Cleveland, Ohio, which he claims was of such poor sound quality it was worthless.  But after re-mastering the tapes in America more than 14 years later, Molland agreed a record deal which effectively cut out the other four from any share of the royalties, High Court deputy judge Lord Goldsmith was told. 
 
Gordon Bennett, representing the four, said Molland had already received a 30,000 dollar advance on the album, Day after Day, from Rykodisc and did not tell the other members about it.  Mr Bennett said Molland had also received in excess of 44,000 dollars in royalties from the album between October 1991 and September 1995 which he did not intend to share with the others.
 
All five had been involved in previous High Court litigation which was finally resolved in 1985 when they won an order that all recording royalties from performances before Badfinger finally broke up in 1975 were to be divided equally between them. Marianne Evans and Anne Ferguson are the respective administrators of their partners' estates.
 
Molland claims that he made no secret of having the tapes and the rest of the band knew about them.  He said he spent 210 hours and 21,000 dollars in fees in a studio working on the tapes and the money he had received had gone towards paying these costs and his 4% producer's royalty. 
 
Molland, who was born in Liverpool and now lives in America, said all the publishing royalties for the relevant songs had been distributed in accordance with the High Court order of 1985.  He claims the other four should pay him out of the album royalties a producer's fee, reimburse him for the money he spent remastering the tapes with a co-producer, and share equally all the expenses. 
 
Badfinger had several hits during the seventies, including Come and Get It, No Matter What and Day After Day.  In the seventies the band claimed they did not make any money from their hits and 27-year-old Ham became so depressed that he hanged himself in 1975. Anne Ferguson was pregnant with his child at the time.  Evans continued a battle for royalties but in 1883 he too hanged himself, leaving a wife and six-year-old son.
 
Two years later the royalties started coming in after the High Court ruling. Without You, which is not on the album produced from the live tapes, still earns royalties well into six figures.  Lord Goldsmith reserved his ruling in the latest court battle.Lord Goldsmith announced later that he will give judgment tomorrow. 
Joey sketch
 
Girlfriend and widow fight for Badfinger cash   [Wednesday 19 April 2000] 
 
ALMOST 25 years after Pete Ham, a founder of the Seventies pop group Badfinger, hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey mansion over money troubles, his girlfriend is suing Joey Molland, the three-man group's guitarist and vocalist, in the High Court over royalties. Joining Anne Ferguson in the action is Marianne Evans, widow of Tom Evans, Badfinger's bassist, who also hanged himself. While ultimately tragic, the Ham-Evans partnership was a considerable creative force in the early Seventies, first with the Apple label and then with Warner Brothers, which offered the band a then-huge $225,000 advance per album. 
 
Even now, with all of Badfinger's albums on CD, their recordings are still producing high revenues. The pair, who started out in Swansea in 1966 as The Iveys, were noted, along with Molland, for their links with the Beatles in 1970 and 1971, working with George Harrison on his All Things Must Pass triple album, Ringo Starr's It Don't Come Easy single and John Lennon's Imagine album. 
 
Financially, they should have been extremely comfortable. Apart from a series of four Badfinger chart successes, including Come and Get It and Day After Day, they wrote Without You, a worldwide hit for Harry Nilsson in 1972 and again for Mariah Carey in 1994. However, in April 1975, with cheques bouncing and the prospect of being unable to afford the mortgage, Ham, 27, took his life. 
 
Then, in November 1983, depressed over the band's fortunes, Evans, who lived a few hundred yards from Ham in Weybridge, hanged himself from a tree in his back garden. He left a wife and six-year-old son. As administrators of their partners' estates, the women they left behind, together with Michael Gibbins, Badfinger drummer, and Bill Collins, the manager, are suing Molland, who now lives in America, in a dispute over a 1974 concert. 
 
Following earlier legal battles over royalties, which were settled in 1985 with equal division of profits from performances before Badfinger's break-up in 1975, the new action centres on Molland's role when he left the band in 1974. He took with him the tapes of a performance at the Agora Club in Cleveland, Ohio, which he claims were of such poor sound quality that they were worthless. 
 
Lord Goldsmith, High Court deputy judge, was told that after re-mastering the tapes in the United States more than 14 years later, Molland agreed to a record deal which effectively cut out the other four from any share of the royalties. Molland wants the others to reimburse him for money he spent re-mastering the tapes with a co-producer. He also claims that the album royalties should pay his fee, as well as all other expenses. 
 
Lord Goldsmith will give his ruling today. 
 
Lord Goldsmith
Royal Court of Justice / Wednesday, 19th April 2000 
 

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