Badfinger and the silver screen...what do the two have in common? Up to the early 1990's not much. Badfinger music was used in one major motion picture prior to the start of the this decade (1990's). During this decade however, Badfinger's music is being sought after by some of the biggest names in the business to enhance the theatrical experience of their viewing audience. What follows is an overview of Badfinger musical appearances in these cinematic releases. Granted, most of us know a bit or two about all this, but for the novice I hope it is insightful. Plus, there is something brand new ...keep reading. Enjoy!
In 1969 Ringo Starr was filming a movie with Peter Sellers called "The Magic Christian". Sellers character was a wealthy man who set out to prove that people would do anything for money (Note: I have never seen this movie in its entirety, I have caught the last five minutes of it twice on late night TV over ten years ago) Paul McCartney was commissioned to do several songs for the film. For various reasons Paul couldn't finish the project and offered it to Badfinger. Not only did he offer it to Badfinger he penned one of the songs the band was to use for the movie (Come and Get It) and produced some of the material as well. Badfinger had three songs in the film, "Rock of All Ages", "Carry On Til Tomorrow" and "Come And Get It". The result for Badfinger was their first top ten hit "Come and Get It".
The Concert For Bangladesh was Badfinger second theatrical experience. George Harrison had the benefit concert filmed that he and several stars of the era gave at Madison Square Garden in August of 1971. Badfinger were originally scheduled to have several of their numbers used in the show. But the last minute arrival of Bob Dylan pushed Badfinger off the set list. All the members of Badfinger did perform at the concert for the other artists as needed. The highlight of the film for Badfinger fans is when Pete Ham takes center stage with George Harrison for an acoustic version of "Here Comes the Sun"
In 1992 Ron Griffiths showed up in a major motion picture. The movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral, was an international smash and featured Ron playing bass with his group (at the time) the Wright Brothers. Well, the movie didn't exactly "feature" Ron, but it really nice to see Ron in action and doing well. Ron and his band appear as the band for the first wedding in the film. Click on this link to view Ron Griffiths in the Movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. Special thanks to Eddie Millhollon for the use of the video capture of Ron.
Not to much happened (nothing) with the use of Badfinger's music in the use of films designed for the silver screen until 1994. That year saw the reincarnation of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey's Saturday Night Live characters in the film Wayne's World 2. Badfinger's "No Matter What" was used in scene that involved Tia Carrere's character and Wayne (Myers) in Wayne's bedroom looking through his record collection. Badfinger's tune played in the background during the dialogue. I remember seeing a CNN Headline News newsbit on the movie that showed that very scene with Badfinger playing in the background. Also, somewhere in my collection of papers I have a comment Joey Molland made saying he was pleased to hear it in the movie.
But wait! Don't rent or buy the video if you are hoping to catch a bit of the Badfinger magic in the film. When the soundtrack for the film was released Badfinger was not on the CD. By the time the film went to video the scene that had the Badfinger music playing was altered and their song was replaced by a non-discript rock riff playing behind the banter between Carrere and Myers. The reason? I don't know. My only guess (and keep in mind it is only a guess) is that Apple originally made a non-formal agreement to license the track for use and then at some point before the release of the film changed their minds and declined it's use. But it was too late to alter the film, but in time to remove the track from the CD.
1995 saw the release of the film Now and Then. It was a coming of age film that showed the lives of four young girls circa late 60's - early 70's and how their early experiences helped to create the women they would eventually become. The filmed starred Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, Rita Wilson, Melanie Griffith as well as the child actresses Christina Rucci, Thora Birch, Gaby Hoffman and Ashleigh Aston Moore.
Badfinger's "No Matter What" was used in a scene where the young girls are riding bikes across a dirt road to their next destination. The catch here is that it is not Badfinger playing the tune, it is the young girls singing the song as they bike down the road that gives Badfinger it's cinematic exposure.
Badfinger's "No Matter What" is featured in the film. Not only is it featured in the film and track #11 on the soundtrack CD, It is currently being used in the trailer for the film (a trailer is the 2 or 3 minute promotional clip you see at the theater before the movie you paid $8 to see begins). The trailer is 2 minutes long and the Badfinger track is played for the closing 40 seconds of the clip. Click here on this Outside Providence trailer that features Badfinger link to view and enjoy for yourself (you will need Real Audio G2).
The soundtrack listing for the Outside Providence CD which is scheduled for release on August 24, 1999 is as follows
1. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who 2. Band On The Run - Paul McCartney And Wings 3. Take It Easy - The Eagles 4. Do You Know What I Mean - Lee Michaels 5. I'd Love To Change The World - Ten Years After 6. Do It Again - Steely Dan 7. Long Train Runnin' - The Doobie Brothers 8. All Right Now - Free 9. Roundabout - Yes 10. Dancing In The Moonlight - King Harvest 11. No Matter What - Badfinger 12. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
The timing for the use of Badfinger's music in another major motion picture couldn't be better. With all the releases taking place (and about to take place) it seems only right the band should be currently featured in cinema as well. I hope VH-1 is taking notice!!
The Future: Mick Garris was commissioned last year to begin working on a motion picture script to tell Badfinger's story. I would assume Badfinger music will be used in that film, which will hopefully see the light of day early in the next millennium and hopefully be titled We're For the Dark (perfect title, I have been saying it for over ten years now!).