|Tuesday, 21 October 2008 09:38|
Born: 5 June 1947, Liverpool, England
Died: 19 November 1983. London, England
Cause of death: Suicide by hanging in the garden of his home.
Notable because: Co wrote - 'Without you'. And sure enough as part two of a uniquely tragic suicide, 7 years after his friend and song co-writer Pete Ham hanged himself, life followed art.
Tom Evans was a musician who was most notable for his work with the band, Badfinger.
Evans was born in Liverpool, England. He started his music career as a member of "The Inbeateens" in 1961. Evans was a regular down at the Cavern to watch The Beatles when they would play lunchtime shows. He soon progressed to a Liverpool mod/soul group called Them Calderstones. Evans sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for the group. In 1967, he was spotted by a Welsh band called The Iveys who were looking for a replacement. He was almost immediately asked by The Iveys to join their band and relocate to London, which Evans did shortly after.
Evans was a major songwriting contributor for The Iveys and added much to the group's persona and harmonies onstage. The Iveys were signed to The Beatles' Apple Records roster in 1968 and an Evans' composition, "Maybe Tomorrow," was the first single released by the band. The record reached 67 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, but failed to chart in the U.K. It did achieve Top Ten status in several European markets.
In 1969, The Iveys changed their name to Badfinger and Paul McCartney of The Beatles gave the group a boost by offering them his song "Come And Get It" which he produced. It became a featured track for the [film]], The Magic Christian, which starred Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers. Evans was chosen by McCartney to sing lead on this track. It reached the the Top 10 worldwide.
Badfinger enjoyed more major successes in the early 1970s with singles such as "No Matter What," "Day After Day," and "Baby Blue". Each featured some of Evans magical vocals; background harmony and dual lead. He also sang on Ringo Starr's massive hit "It Don't Come Easy." But Evans crowning career moment was writing the chorus of the all-time ballad standard "Without You," a co-written song with bandmate Peter Ham.
The composition became a huge 1 hit worldwide for Harry Nilsson and has since become a standard with hundreds of cover versions over the decades following.
Badfinger dissolved following Ham's death in 1975, after which Evans joined a group called The Dodgers with Badfinger bandmate Bob Jackson. Evans was eventually asked to leave the band, and he briefly retired from the music industry.
Evans resurfaced in 1977 to join Joey Molland for two Badfinger "comeback" albums. The second album, "Say No More" spawned the Evans single "Hold On," which reached 56 on Billboard in 1981. Evans and Molland went their separate ways after this second album was released, and the two put together rival "Badfinger" touring bands in the U.S.
IIn 1982, Jackson rejoined Evans in the latter's version of Badfinger. Original Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbins was also enlisted for Evans' band for one tour. But after signing an ill-advised management contract with a Milwaukee businessman, Evans, Gibbins and Jackson were stranded in the U.S. without tour dates, food or money. When the duo returned to England, they were sued (Evans for $5 million dollars).
In November of 1983, Evans argued with Joey Molland of Badfinger on the telephone, chiefly regarding potential publishing/ASCAP divisions of the "Without You" song, whose ASCAP royalties accumulating for airplay had been funding Evans, with other publishing funds being held by Apple Corps. pending resolution.
The following morning, Evans was found hanging in his backyard. Allegedly, he left no note. Family and friends have speculated he was overwhelmed by the combination of his conflicts with Molland, ex-manager Bill Collins and ex-bandmate Mike Gibbins over the royalties, plus the U.S. lawsuit. But a major factor of Evans depression was alluded by many friends and family members that he was never able to get over his former bandmate's Pete Ham's suicide. Marianne Evanns, his wife, was quoted in a documentary stating "Tommy said 'I want to be where Pete is. It's a better place than down here' ...." Evans is also survived by a son, Stephen.
A CD of recordings made in the early 1980s by Evans and musician friend Rod Roach were posthumously released by Roach on the CD entitled Over You, in 1993.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 16:09|