Brando's Feature: Interview with Joey Molland

Joey Molland, 1969 Badfinger's Joey Molland (an interview)

by Apple
Magic Christian Music Songbook, 1969, page 15

Joseph Charles Molland is the newest Badfinger, the second Liverpool Badfinger.

He was born on June 21, 1947; sits tightly on the border between Gemini and Cancer; and faces the world with a measure of confidence. He has style. To his pals, he's Joey.

People sometimes tell him he looks like Paul McCartney, which does not disturb him -- and he says, "It'll be 'doesn't Paul McCartney look like Joe Molland!' "

He left school at the age of 15, and started his working life as a messenger boy with a Liverpool shipping office. "It was the Pacific Steam Navigation Company", he says with mock pride, "and I got into music when I joined a group with a few of the lads who worked there."

"The name of the group was the Assassins. My brother was in a group before me, and he made me a home-made guitar and I was away. Then I left the shipping office and began to work in a garage with my dad, brushing the forecourt and that."

"Anyway, I was earning L5 a week doing that, and about L15 a week in the group. The group meant more money for less work - so something inside me said: 'Right, this is the life'. And I went into music full time."

"I left that after a while, and joined another group just around Liverpool called the Profiles. Then I was with the Masterminds for about 18 months, then I moved on to a group backing the Merseys."

"Being with an established group like the Merseys was some kind of step forward for me at the time, but we broke up and I spent six months sitting around doing nothing at home until my Mam threw me out. She said, get a job with another group - or else. I wasn't bitter: she was doing me a favour."

To his pals, he's Joey.

"So I came back to London, depressed as hell; looked around; went home; then came back again. And this time I heard about a job playing lead guitar with Gary Walker and the Rain. That was great - a big break. We went to Japan and played some big things ... before it all went wrong."

"When they did go wrong, I did my usual thing: I went home and then spent the first six months of 1969 just doing nothing, although I did try to get a group together. I didn't have any money: I relied on friends."

The chequered pattern of Joe's career as a group guitarist has had the name BADFINGER embroidered upon it since December, 1969, when he was asked to audition at Apple by manager Bill Collins. He was liked ... and he was in.

"The kind of person I am", says Joe, "is a bit difficult to describe. Basically, I'm a coward. I don't like making decisions, not unless I have to. I don't like to offend people; I like to take the nice way out. I don't like unpleasantness, and I don't have a breaking point or a really bad temper. I just walk away."

"The greatest fear of my life is spiders. I can't explain it, but I do remember once running from the house screaming because I saw someone on television walking into a spider's web."

"But I wouldn't call myself big-headed. The thing about me is that being in the music business has given me the confidence to feel I can do all the things I set out to do. Can't be bad."

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