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am 22. März 1999
Dan Matovina's "Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger" is one of the finest books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Not only did its contents answer my every conceivable question but also filled in the notable gaps in and often total lack of historical information regarding the band from which I and many other Badfinger fans suffered for so many years. I found the author's research to be meticulous and the collected quotes from the band members, their families, their friends, and associates--which form not only the framework but the very foundation of the book--to be nothing short of voluminous. Over 400-plus pages Matovina's highly professional style of writing is detailed but concise, journalistic without subverting emotion. This makes for a very compelling and thoroughly enjoyable read. As a Badfinger fan of twelve years, Mr. Matovina's book confirmed what I had personally felt all along: Peter William Ham, composer of all of the band's hits save the McCartney-penned "Come And Get It", was the heart & soul and driving force behind what was arguably the most talented and star-crossed band in the annals of Rock & Roll. For so many years Pete was just a lovely voice on the scratchy vinyl, a name on the credits, a face on the faded dust jacket. "Without You" changed all that for me as, with every turn of the page, Pete Ham came more and more to life. By the time his suicide is recounted roughly two-thirds through the book, I felt I knew Pete as well as anyone possibly could who did not have the privlege of knowing the flesh-and-blood man. While it does not question their right to do so, the last third of the book conveys the sadness and utter futility of the surviving members carrying on the band's name without such a vital, and most would say central element. Can one imagine The Beatles without John? The Grateful Dead without Jerry? In closing I believe that Badfinger fans have a lot for which to thank author Dan Matovina: His saving from obscurity the Pete Ham demos which became "7 Park Avenue" and will become "Golders Green", the much-anticipated upcoming release of "Head First", and, most of all, "Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger", the definitive history of one of Rock's greatest groups.
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am 4. Februar 1999
British Pop group Badfinger could very well be the missing link in the chain of Rock icons that appeared in the wake of The Beatles demise. Having worked closely with the fab four, Badfinger have often been unfairly compared to, and overshadowed by, them. Their songwriting skills have long been praised, nevertheless, Badfinger continue to mystify Pop historians. In Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger author Dan Matovina attempts to examine why one of Pop music's greatest underdogs have been left for dead. While exhaustively researched, Without You is ill conceived and poorly executed. Within pages the author reveals that he has a personal ax to grind with past members of the band, and certain persons in their circle of friends. Having taken this stand on his subject, the author fails to tell an articulate and unbiased story. Furthermore, by elevating guitarist Pete Ham, who tragically committed suicide in 1974, to near-saintly status, the importance of the band's collective clout is dismissed, leaving a narrow viewpoint of the fascinating events that surrounded a talented group of musicians unlucky enough to fall prey to The Beatles failing utopian empire. The real heart of Badfinger's story is perseverance, survival, and validation. By simply retracing their historic rise and fall with nostalgic mourning, Mr. Matovina sells their legacy short.
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am 29. August 1999
I first heard of Badfinger back in November of 1997 due to my brother. That is when I had the pleasure to first listen to No Dice and Straight Up. Soon after this I read this excellent Book about them called the Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger by DAN MATOVINA. And let me say this IT IS THE BEST BIOGRAPHY OF A BAND THAT I HAVE EVER READ. Dan tells the entire story with them on the Stage, to behind the scenes, and many other things including events in there personal lifes. With this Dan backs these up with personal interviews done by him or reaccounts by the actual band members and family. Also something that is different about this book than any others is that Dan makes you get so close to the characters and makes you feel and experience what the had to live through. (Especially Pete Ham) After reading what happens to Pete and Tom you realize that you felt like you knew them and were close friends. And that in its self makes a book great, living with and experience the ups and downs with the people or characters. Anyways I WOULD LIKE TO THANK DAN for making this book possible along with 7th Park Avenue and Golders Green (CD's of Pete Ham) and the reissues of Badfingers Classic albums. :-) I just simply can't thank him enough for everything.
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am 24. Februar 1999
I am glad someone finally published a book about Badfinger, although it has taken nearly 25 years to do it. But, ask yourself this: If the first biography written about the Beatles was by someone like Geoffrey Gulianno instead of say... Hunter Davies, Ray Coleman or Nicholas Schaffner (or any good writer) what would your impression of the group have been? Certainly it would be quite different. "Without You" is a very detailed book with great pictures, worth a read and a recommendation simply because Badfinger deserves to be remembered. But casual readers should know it has also caused much division among Badfinger fans and been scorned by many of the principles involved. I guess controversy is good for sales though. The question of biased accounts of the stories and whether the author has his own agenda in presenting these facts has been a sore point for those fans who have been most eagerly awaiting an event like this one. When you're a Badfinger fan, you have to accept the bad parts to get the wonderful music that resulted. This book fits that description well. There are more pieces of the puzzle to be revealed and hopefully future books will contain them.
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am 21. Februar 1999
With so many interviews and court documents to back up the reports in this book, it is obvious and expected that those who did wrong feel bad and wish to hide the information contained herein. But so goes rock and roll. This is the document that finally gives credit to where it is due and intensifies the loss of the heart and soul of one of pop songwriting's heavy hitters, Pete Ham, who co-penned one of the classics of all time "Without You." His suicide and the reasons for it are enough to make your blood boil and tears come all at once. The author features direct interviews with all members of the band (except Pete Ham, who died in the mid-70s) as well as managers, producers, roadies, family members, friends and record company types. The insight is incredible and that ever so slight glimpse of the workings of the Beatles' Apple Records (as well as some of the Beatles themselves) is worth the price of admission.
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am 20. Februar 1999
Without You is a major music book. It's what music books should be about and all too rarely are. It should be compulsory reading for anyone - and I do mean anyone - in a band. It answers the unanswerable question: how could two men who wrote some of the most successful songs of the early 70's, including one all-time standard, end up broke, helpless, abandoned and finally, sufficiently self-destructive to take their own lives? Essential reading for any music fan as a look into the dichotomy of the music business, a world where careers are destroyed as blithely as they were created.
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am 25. Februar 1999
Maybe you already knew that the entertainment industry was one the wretched live within. That doesn't make reading this story any easier.
If anyone's been born under a bad sign, it's the members of this group. Dan Matovina traces the band's roots back to Swansea, Wales and continues through the dispute surrounding the 1995 ASCAP ceremonies that honored all five "writers" of a song (Without You) actually only written by two people, Pete Ham and Tom Evans -- who couldn't protest this discrepancy themselves because they'd each committed suicide by this time.
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am 23. Oktober 1998
Not only is this book extremely well written, the graphic design must also be praised. The black-and-white pictures appear next to the relevant passages, so it feels like you're watching a documentary. And the story is quite touching. It's impossible not to sympathize with Peter Ham, a well-meaning guy whose only wishes were to have his talent recognized and share his triumphs with the people he loved. He was ambitious, but by no means selfish or greedy. There is no happy ending, though. Only the music lives on.
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am 21. Februar 1999
... This amazingly detailed tome finally presents the unexpurgated Badfinger saga... true to the book's title, one of the most tragic tales ever to emerge from the rock 'n' roll biz. Matovina's biography is well-researched, well-illustrated and utterly absorbing reading.... should be required reading for any young wanna-be rockers... a cautionary tale to be told just before midnight on a spooky Halloween evening at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
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am 21. Februar 1999
Beatlefan - Mike Hockinson
Matovina judiciously balances his story between the lives of these musicians and the music they created... filled with fresh assessments of each album which had me playing each disc as I read of its recording... Matovina has added immeasurably to our understanding of Badfinger, their relationship with The Beatles and the recording industry of the late 60s and post-Beatles 70s.
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