Badfinger were a British rock band that, in their most prolific lineup, consisted of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans and Joey Molland. The band evolved from an earlier group called The Iveys that was formed in 1961 by Ham, Ron Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales. They were the first group signed by the Beatles' Apple label in 1968 as The Iveys. In 1969, Griffiths left and was replaced by Molland, and the band renamed themselves Badfinger. In 1970, the band engaged American businessman Stan Polley to manage their commercial affairs. Over the next five years the band recorded several albums for Apple and toured extensively, before they became embroiled in the chaos of Apple Records' dissolution.
Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1972: "Come and Get It" (written and produced by Paul McCartney), "No Matter What", "Day After Day" (produced by George Harrison) and "Baby Blue". In 2013, "Baby Blue" made a resurgence onto the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart at number 14 after it was featured in the series finale of the television show Breaking Bad. Their song "Without You" has been covered many times, including a Billboard number one hit for Harry Nilsson.
They signed to Warner Bros., but Polley's financial machinations resulted in a lawsuit by Warner over missing escrow account money. Warner's consequent withdrawal from market of the 1974 album, Wish You Were Here (seven weeks after its release), cut off the band's income. Three days before his 28th birthday, on 24 April 1975, Ham committed suicide by hanging himself, leaving a note that included damning comments about Polley.
Over the next three years, surviving members struggled to rebuild their personal and professional lives against a backdrop of lawsuits. The albums Airwaves (1979) and Say No More (1981) floundered, as Molland and Evans see-sawed between cooperation and struggle in attempts to revive and capitalise on the Badfinger legacy. Having seen Ham's body after Ham's wife had called him, Evans reportedly never got over his friend's suicide, and was quoted as saying in darker moments, "I wanna be where he is." On 19 November 1983, Evans also took his own life by hanging.