Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Without Pete Ham
I will always be around
Pete Ham would have been 63 today, but he only made it to 27. The Badfinger frontman took his life in 1975 just three days short of his 28th birthday.
The ghoulish bit of irony is that eight years later bandmate Tom Evans, who had co-written the classic "Without You" with Ham, took his own life by the same means: hanging.
Badfinger got its big break in the late Sixties when Paul McCartney heard a demo tape and helped get the band signed for Apple Records. McCartney also contributed their first Top 10 hit, "Come and Get It," which reached No. 7 on the Billboard chart in 1970.
Several hit singles followed, including "No Matter What," "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue." Of course "Without You" has been a favorite cover since Harry Nilsson included it on his Nilsson Schmilsson album and scored a No. 1 hit. Three years later Ham was dead.
Those songs helped secure Ham's rock 'n' roll legacy, but they do nothing in the way of supplying reasons why he chose to leave this world so young. We found this poem written by daughter Petera Ham's stepfather and dedicated to Pete on what would have been his 60th birthday. We celebrate his life and music today respectfully aware that a family still grieves.
A Poem for Pete
He bared his soul in his songs
In his each and every line
As notes and lyrics bound together
And gently flowed like wine
He lived his life in music
Was loved both near and far
Never cared about the fame and money
Just wanted to play guitar
Said the world was wonderful
He gave his trust to all
Some saw this as weakness
And started Pete Ham's fall
You left a daughter fair and gentle
In her mothers arms she grew
And Pete from above you must surely see
Petera’s a replica of you
She wonders why you went away
She just wanted to know her Dad
But as surely as she lived your life
She learned what made you sad
But don’t worry Pete we look after her
With friends you never knew
I only wish this help was there
To have sheltered and protected you
We listen to your records without you
We listen day by day
And remember the gentle loving soul
Who had to go away