PETE HAM could perhaps be termed the "grandfather" of the "Powerpop" genre, having composed "No Matter What," the first crunchy, souful, rockin' blast to hit the airwaves after the demise of melodic rock'n'roll, which came after "Flower Power" had dissapated into blues-rock and progressive influences.
BADFINGER was his group, which he first founded as THE IVEYS. Throughout the early 70s BADFINGER kept a Beatle-ish flame burning with their catchy pop songs that were without pretense, when virtually no one else dared to venture there, less they crumble under the journalistic snobby backlash.
Ham ended up writing a number of "Classic Rock" standards: "No Matter What," "Day After Day," "Baby Blue" and his co-composed all-time ballad "Without You." (with TOM EVANS) His first band, The Iveys, had originated out of Swansea, South Wales. They were the first act signed to the Beatles' Apple Records label in 1968.
Badfinger first hit the Top Ten in 1970, with "Come And Get It," which was written by Paul McCartney. Ham did various sessions for the Apple label, most notably his famous acoustic guitar duet on "Here Comes The Sun" with George Harrison for the "Concert For Bangladesh." Ham was an extremely accomplished musician on many instruments; George Harrison quoting Pete to be a "fantastic guitarist" and a "great singer."
After Badfinger released six albums and four hit singles, they became embroiled in managerial issues and internal politics. Ham was cited by all his friends, family and business contacts as a lovely, honest, soft-spoken gentlemen, with a heart of gold. Also a jokester, but not in a sarcastic way, deeply serious about his craft, and the one who everyone leaned on for support. But by April 1975, Ham's income had been cut off and he was contractually confined. Serious depression had set in. He was a proud man, who could not reach out openly for help, instead he even burned himself with cigarettes out of incredible frustration. On April 24, 1975, he hanged himself.
Ham left behind a pregnant girlfriend, Anne, and her son, Blair, His daughter, Petera (named after him), was born one month after his death. Ham's suicide note was accusatory of Badfinger's business manager and showed his faith in mankind had slipped away.
It read: "Anne, I love you. Blair, I love you. I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better. Pete. P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me."