“I learned to play guitar on a street in Liverpool called Penny Lane. It’s a famous place, and me and my mate Pigeon, we used to go and hang around the corner there and learn Chuck Berry songs. Penny Lane was guitarist Joey Molland’s first connection to The Beatles but it wouldn’t be his last.
In late 1969 when Badfinger – who was signed to The Beatles’ record label Apple Records – moved Tom Evans to bass, Joey Molland was hired to play guitar on the group’s debut album No Dice.
Molland recorded five more records with the band but left the group in 1974, formed Natural Gas with Jerry Shirley from Humble Pie and toured with Peter Frampton. They broke up in ’77. It wasn’t long before Joey Molland and Tom Evans teamed up to record under the Badfinger name (founding member Pete Ham committed suicide in 1975) - Airwaves (1978) and Say No More (1981).
By late ’81, there were two versions of Badfinger – Joey Molland’s and original drummer Mike Gibbons and Tom Evans’ version of Badfinger. Evans committed suicide in 1983, while Molland continued performing under the Badfinger name. He also released three solo albums. Last week, Mr. Molland released his fourth solo record, Return To Memphis.
Joey Viglione at Allmusic.com praised Mr. Molland’s musical contributions: “The world can and should lament the loss of John Lennon, Pete Ham, Tom Evans, and similar fallen colleagues, but the world would be better off at the same time acknowledging this powerful musician, and giving him the platform to entertain which he deserves and which the music world desperately needs. The Beatles are the number one rock band in history, and the Beatles handpicked Joey Molland.”
Here’s Joey Molland’s first concert:
What was the first concert you ever attended? How old were you?
My first concert was The Who at the Cavern. I was 18.
What do you remember about the performance?
I was very impressed. They were very edgy and scary. Great vocals and they filled the place with sound. When I saw them on a big stage, they filled that too. And Townshend’s stage act was unbelievable on a big stage.
How do you think that experience affected you as an artist?
I’ve never seen anyone better. My path was already set.
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