April 30, 1971 (Friday)
Civic Auditorium
Pasadena, California, U.S.A.

I did see the original band live in 1971, I believe in April, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium near Los Angeles. They put on a very tight, good show overall. I remember being disappointed by only two things: Pete didn't play as much lead as he did on "No Dice", which was their album out at the time, and their encore medley of Beatles/Chuck Berry songs was nowhere near as good as their playing on their own songs in the rest of the show. I could never figure out why they didn't go ahead and play more of their own great songs, like "Rock Of All Ages", "Midnight Sun", "Watford John" and the like that rocked as much or better than the covers they did. The one cover that they did do that was great, was a very tight cover of Feelin' Alright, with Tom singing lead. Some of Pete's best lead playing on that one.

The other thing I noticed from the show, compared to later shows, was how tight they were. On tapes I have of many later shows, their performances weren't always as tight as they could have been. I think, in hindsight, this was a reflection on all the management problems they had. Good management would have helped them along and actually "managed" their career. Most top groups have this. In Badfinger's case, their management's sole purpose seems to have been to squeeze as much money out of them as possible and give back nothing in return. This must have had an effect on their playing and their practice time.

Steve Sage

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