June 29, 1979 (Friday)
West Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
Driving up from Orange County after work, I caught the Friday
night show. The place was pretty empty at first, a few fans like myself chatting
about how lucky we were to actually be seeing this warm, tragic, melancholy group
with others who actually felt the same way. Growing up, Badfinger had never resonated
with any of the others in my group, except my extraordinary and slightly eccentric
guitarist friend; however, since the Magic Christian Music debuted, I held a fascination
for their strumming combinations of guitar and piano rhythms and the somber tenor
voice of Peter somehow evoking his Welshness into the mix (i.e. "Blodwyn").
Anyway, Joey strolls through the side door before the set began and we all said, 'Hi Joey' and he cheerfully said 'hi' back. He was not drunk. Onstage, the two strolled out with little ado, casual and joking around. Tom's hair was all fuzzy, giving him a burned-out look. Joey was standing with a slight bow, his hair long. Somewhere during the night, when a dismal attempt at the No Matter What drum solo concluded awkwardly, I noticed Molland shaking his head. On the "Airwaves" album, I had found Tom's music well sung and beautifully written and Joey's unpleasant. That night, I found Joey's vocals stronger than Tom's and his previous work on "Ass" and "Badfinger" driving and forceful. I sat very close, and when they got to the early stuff, Joey reverently stated they were going to do some by Pete. The pianist was very animated and talented giving it a very bouncy, bright, lively tone, somewhat missing the brooding feel of Pete's lamenting ballads and Tom's sad and pondering music. Tom's bass and Joey's driving, raw garage-band guitar kept everything moving and the vocals were rather belted out, splendidly at times (as on Suitcase), lending itself to their later style. We cheered energetically after each piece, though our relatively few numbers never really carried much enthusiasm or probably our feelings.
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