The first direct interaction with a Beatle, while still calling themselves “The Iveys”, was with Paul McCartney in late 1969. McCartney was to provide three songs for an upcoming film called “The Magic Christian”, starring British comedic legend Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. But as it ended up, McCartney had a full plate of projects and could only come up with one song…and what a song it was. He literally gave the first band signed to the Apple label, a gift that kept on giving on the charts.
McCartney not only wrote “Come & Get It”, he also recorded a demo (which would be released to the world via The Beatles 1995 release, Anthology 3) in which he played all the instruments and sang all the vocals! He also produced the song, and instructed the band to re-create it identically in almost every way. Pete, Tommy and Ron Griffiths (who was still in The Iveys at the time), were all given chances to sing lead, and Sir Paul assigned Tommy to the task.
The song went on to be a huge success on the charts in both the US and UK, going as high as #7 and #4, respectively. It was the jumpstart the boys needed, and soon the single and Magic Christian Music soundtrack would be released to the public. Looking back though, it’s easy to see why pop music fans could be confused as to who was who, and what was going on in general with the newly-christened Badfinger.
Apple decided that with the harder rocking sound of songs like “Midnight Sun”, “Crimson Ship” and “Rock of All Ages”, a new name was in order for The Iveys. Neil Aspinall is generally credited with recalling a John Lennon demo recording called “Badfinger Boogie”. That was actually the working title for an early version of “With A Little Help From My Friends”, recorded on piano by John who was nursing a slightly injured & bandaged finger. Hence “BADFINGER” was born.
And soon after the sessions, internal problems between bandmates resulted in Ron’s dismassal from the band. More can be read about that in Magic Christian Music liner notes, included in the November 2010 Apple Records remastered re-release of the LP. For more info, go to www.applerecords.com
But getting back to Sir Paul – “Come & Get It” was a hit, but he just didn’t have time to write the two additional tunes required for the film. However, he did have time to produce the Iveys’ self-written versions of “Rock Of All Ages” and the lush ballad, “Carry On Til Tomorrow”. Other than that, McCartney did not have as much interaction with The Iveys or Badfinger once the Magic Christian sessions were completed.
One interesting additional note: Legendary record producer (and sometimes band mate of David Bowie) Tony Visconti produced several of the tracks. Soon after the Magic Christain sessions, he went on to produce many of Bowie’s LP’s as well as seven albums for T. Rex, inluding Electric Warrior. And to think he got his start with The Iveys’ “Maybe Tomorrow”!