December 16, 1982 (Thursday)
Alton, Illinois, U.S.A.
I was a dental student in Alton, Illinois who also owned a
collectible-used record store in town. My wife and I were ecstatic to hear that Badfinger
was playing locally but were very surprised that they were playing such a pitiful
We arrived at the venue early to insure good seats and as we were walking in we saw that the members of the group were walking in past the bar as well. I recognized Tom Evans immediately and I was so nervous but I grabbed a cocktail coaster and walked-up to him to get his autograph. I think I said, "I've always loved your music, could I have your autograph." Tom said, "I'm not signing nothing, are you some kind of lawyer or something?" and it appeared he wasn't going to sign my little coaster. Mike stepped-up from behind and said, "He's just a fan." Tom then relented and signed 'To Jay, Thanks a lot, Tom Evans."
That night the group started slowly but quickly gained their footing and put on an incredible show for this bar crowd. I had brought in a little portable cassette recorder and made a tape of the show. A promotional black and white picture of the group and the treasured autograph are displayed in my orthodontic office (the entire office is filled with memorabilia and autographs much like a Hard Rock or Planet Hollywood).
After reading your account of their being served with papers only a few hours before this gig, I can think back and see the despair in the eyes of these guys as they filed into this little bar in freezing temps in the middle of nowhere.
Dr. S. Jay Bowman, Kalamazoo, MI
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