Badfinger | Ham & Evans’s Recently Discovered Demos

Badfinger became the first group signed to the Beatles’ record label, Apple, in 1968, under their early moniker, The Iveys. In 1969, they were asked to perform much of the soundtrack music for the film The Magic Christian which featured Peter Seller, Ringo Starr and a cavalcade of other well-known movie stars. Besides Come And Get It, the newly-christened Badfinger wrote music for the iconic scene in which Sellers’ character comes across a homeless man in the park, whom Sellers would groom to be his apparent son – as played by the one and only Ringo Starr. Over this scene played Evans and Ham’s composition, Carry On Till Tomorrow. On POBA you can hear the original demo, which was presented to Paul McCartney, for which Paul then produced a fully orchestrated version for the film. Accompanying this demo is a painting by Tom Evans which seems to reflect the song’s storyline of a lonesome figure reflecting on his life, yet determined to “carry on” through a “stormy day, ” motivated by optimism and peacefulness of the “rising” and “setting” suns.

Pete Ham often drew sketches, creating “brushed” pencil figures or shapes with charcoal or thick-lined felt pens to illustrate his many moods and creative thoughts. While a majority have been lost or destroyed over the years, thankfully, some of the surviving artworks are three sketches we’ve showcased on this site in a related portfolio. Ham’s pencil sketch, Peace Globe, reflects the mood of his classic composition, Perfection, his ode for all of us to try and get along without the wars and killing. “Successful conversations will get you very far,” he sings. You can hear his first demo of Perfection here. Ham created this in late 1970, after he first observed the great poverty, social unrest and ongoing turmoil in the United States while his band was traveling on a cross-country tour in a rented Greyhound Bus.

Pete’s pencil sketch, The Sad Clown, ties in well with Clown Of The Party, a demo that was performed by his band, The Iveys. This song was key in getting The Beatles to sign his group to Apple Publishing. The lyrics reflect the silly, make-everybody-smile nature of Pete, who would often erupt into a fun-filled jokester to entertain his closest friends. But inside, as he states in the song, he was sometimes a deeply introspective man who hid an often-troubled mind and sensitive heart – “He’s so sad at being treated as a joke, in his heart he wants to cry,” he sings.

You can also see in the related portfolio, Pete’s sketch of a man with a distant look of resolve. "When Life Becomes Old" ties in with Ham’s soulful home demo of Where Will You Be - “When the days are so long, I hear the devil calling me …”

audio Carry On Till Tomorrow ca. 1969
audio Perfection ca. 1970
audio Clown of the Party ca. 1969
audio Where Will You Be c. 1970
audio Without You (If It's Love) ca. 1969
audio Without You (I Can't Live) c. 1969