Television in Belize
At the Judge First - Ask Questions Later conference

A Bad End for Badfinger

A favorite second-tier music group of mine is Badfinger, who cut some records in the 60’s and 70’s. First time I heard their music, I mistook them for the Beatles. In fact, Paul McCartney wrote their first hit song, and the group appeared on the Apple music label.

I heard them on the radio again and became curious. Where are they today? I googled them.

Wow, don’t ever do that! What a sordid tale! Fights with promoters, fights with critics, fights with each other. For a time, two estranged members both headed bands named Badfinger. Beaten down by legal and artistic hassles, one member hanged himself. A dozen years later, another member did exactly the same thing. You’d never guess these things from the music, which is catchy.

Musicians don’t lead easy lives, and were it not too morbid, I would make my fortune marketing the Dead Musician Trivia Game. How did they die? I’ve yet to worry out all the rules, but I imagine the more dead musicians you could account for, the more points you would score.

Once, in a while, musicians die honorable deaths…..George Harrison of cancer, for example…..and two or three of them have actually died from natural causes! All others, though, fall into one of the following categories: Plane crashes, drug overdose, suicide, with a handful of  sub-genres such as car crashes and murder.

If it didn’t seem so morbid, I’d list them all. But it does seem morbid. So you have to do it yourself. Get out your old records albums and go through the groups. Use google if you have to. What a productive way to spend a rainy afternoon! Your Goth friends will be ecstatic.

The solution, likely not too far away, is for Congress to require warning labels on all musical instruments, just as they do on cigarettes. Warning: regular playing of this instrument may lead to plane crash, drug overdose, or suicide. They love stuff like that up on Capital Hill. It gives the impression they are doing something.

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Hello Tom. The curious thing about the many dead pop stars is that you can never really judge if their posthumus fame is greater than it would have been if they had lived. Buddy Holly died 48 years ago and Jim Reeves must have died in the sixties but they are still very much 'with' us.

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