April 9, 1971 (Friday)
Midland High School gymnasium
Midland, Michigan, U.S.A.
Badfinger played at Midland High School in Midland, MI in Spring
of 1971. They played in the gymnasium. I know it was the Spring semester of 1971
(the year I graduated), but I couldn't remember the exact date. The other act that
played with them (opened for them) was the band Sunday Funnies (no hit singles to
speak of, but a good band), which was popular around MI in those days (along with
The Bob Seeger System, Ted Nugent and the Dukes, Grand Funk Railroad, Third Power,
Savage Grace, The Frost, The Stooges, Universal Family, Brownsville Station, and
many, many others.
The Badfinger show was great. I was there and remember it well. "No Dice"
had been released the previous year, and was getting a lot of airplay (on AM radio
of course). There were two stages: one at each end of the gym. Badfinger played on
the stage at the west end of the gym. Their walls of Watkins Electronic Music (WEM)
sound equipment had all of us young musicians fascinated. They were one of my favorite
bands... they still are.
As one of the few who attended a Badfinger concert when they were in their prime
(at Midland High School, in Michigan, my high school!), I've gotta say they
were awesome live. The harmonies and crisp guitar work were strong and at the forefront
of their performance. At the time, my friends and I were sure this was the closest
we'd come to seeing a group that had even been associated with The Beatles, since
they'd broken up. At least Badfinger had some of The Beatles' sound, and had performed
with George at the Bangladesh concert, and they were on Apple, after all!
John Koenig (former editor of Discoveries Magazine)
What I remember most is that they played all their hit singles, and that Pete Ham
had on a big pair of suspenders!
I attended my first Badfinger concert in December 1970 @ the Midland High School gymnasium. One of the deejays, Scott Seeburger, a precocious teenage wunderkind deejay who operated a unlicensed public access radio station in the basement of his parent's home ala Wayne and Garth in Wayne’s World. It was a great show. The opener was Michigan rocker Third Power. They did a rockin’ set that included their version of Little Drummer Boy. It was a good warmup for what happened next. Badfinger hit the stage to a mild response. They looked awkward, a bit shy with no electrifying pop star stage presence. They opened with a rousing version of I Can’t Take It and proceeded to play almost the entire No Dice LP including kick-ass versions of No Matter What and Watford John. Molland’s compositions Love Me Do and Better Days were a counterpoint to Ham’s more melodic songs. Ham’s poignant reading of We’re For the Dark was a perfect illustration of his sense of melody and lyricism. Pete Ham’s voice was incredible. He possessed a four octave range that could reach way down low and then hit the stratosphere. His country tinged Blodwyn got a mild response for a crowd that seemed to prefer rock & roll. Badfinger reached back to their eponymous debut LP with Crimson Ship (about Paul McCartney), Midnight Sun – another great mid-tempo rocker penned by Ham. The band closed the show with Rock Of All Ages breathlessly sung by bassist Tom Evans. It was stunning working-class performance without any frills or pretension, just good music.
Bo White (July, 2012)
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