by Peter Goddard
Toronto Star , June 26, 1972
From the simple to the simple-minded is a very short path. At the O'Keefe Centre last night, the English and Beatle-influenced group, Badfinger, traveled back and forth on it so frequently you often lost track of what they were doing, but ended up not caring and enjoying it all anyway.
In most cases, their trips seemed worth it - at least to the 2,500 persons who waited over two hours to listen to drummer Mike Gibbins, lead guitarist Peter Ham, bassist Tom Evans and rhythm guitarist Joe Molland construct a sound reminiscent of the Beatles in the mid-'60s.
There was much else about Badfinger besides the music that had over-tones of the mid-'60s. Their name itself (they were formerly known as the Iveys) brings to mind the movie Goldfinger and the James Bond vogue. And their on-stage bantering and high energy was reminiscent of rock's better days when you took it seriously by not appearing to take it seriously at all.
Songs like Day After Day and the subdued, folk-song-like Sweet Tuesday Morning were short, lyrically to the point, and extremely commercial. And if at times the songs seemed a bit too thin and contrived, it really didn't matter: They at least cut through the contemporary rock fan's anxiety about what is appropriate, and what should be considered part of good taste.
In fact, one 14-year-old fan dismissed such considerations with a giggle while summing up Badfinger's essential appeal. "They're cute," she said. "Besides, they play stuff I can understand."
But being considered "cute" and at the same time understandable has not played a part in rock since the Beatles stopped touring over six years ago. And it's not coincidental that Badfinger was named by the Beatles, tutored by ex-Beatles George Harrison and Paul McCartney, and presently record for the Beatles' label, Apple.
The only major flaw in the concert was that it went on much too long, with waits for equipment being changed, and for equipment being repaired. One solution to this problem might have been to omit the opening act, Kindred, on the show, for its contributions were negligible.
The contributions of the following act, McKendrie Spring might have been just as inconsequential had it not been for the bizarre and brilliant violin solo by Michael Dreyfus.
The results of Summer Sundae, yesterday afternoon's eight-hour benefit for the after-hours Chameleon club held at the Parkway Drive-In were equally frustrating. Only 300 of an expected 3,000 persons showed up, and as one usher explained, "ticket prices dropped from $4 to zero."