January 20, 1973 (Saturday)
Athens, Ohio, U.S.A.
I got to see them again [see also August 1, 1972] in Athens, Ohio at the
Ohio University Convocation Center with opening acts McKendrie Spring (didn't like
them too much) and The Amazing Blondel (who I loved and later had contact with band
member Eddie Baird, even getting a thank you on one of his solo albums).
I made a point of getting there early and walking around the mezzanine section near backstage. Sure enough, I see Mr. Aharoni again and yelled down to him. Much to my surprise, he remembered me. I believe he smiled and said something about me being "the kid from Huntington". Anyway, he invited me to go back stage after the show.
There are two great memories from that visit. First, when I went backstage afterwards and walked through the door of the dressing room, Pete looked up and said, "Hi, Greg". Now, I know that the only reason he knew my name was that Mr. Aharoni had surely told him ahead of time. Still, it had me floating to have Pete call me by name. My second great memory of that visit is that Mike (who was definitely back with the band) and I talked about plying drums, as I was a drummer as well. I was still sitting by him when a local radio reporter came in and began taping an interview with Mike. While I was sitting there, the reporter asked Mike who his favorite drummer was and he looked my direction and said, "he is". The reporter chuckled and asked him again, but Mike wouldn't give. He insisted I was his favorite drummer! Again, keep in mind that I was a 14 year old kid, so you can imagine how all of this made me feel. Needless to say, I love these guys and shed many tears at the loss of Pete and Tommy.
Speaking of Athens, I did catch Badfinger again at the Convocation Center show on January 20, 1973 (ha! I see McKendrie Spring was on the bill again... no wonder... and I saw them many times at much smaller venues too). Unfortunately, this wasn't a very good show. I think the sound was poor, and the band (and Pete in particular) seemed really dispirited and kind of just went through the motions. The one song I remember them doing was "Timeless" -- it's been so long ago that I can't remember if this stands out because it was good...or just long!
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