where hypotheses come to die (madman101) wrote,
where hypotheses come to die
madman101

The Perils of Polley

Some rock bands are interesting to read about, because they are so out-there, for one reason or another. Like Fleetwood Mac, the Sex Pistols, the Replacements, the Moody Blues, etc. Some are intriguing because of the suicides or deaths they spawned, like Pink Floyd, The Who, Jerry Rafferty, Frightened Rabbit, Men At Work, Nirvana, etc.  The Welsh band,  Badfinger, was one of these. Two of it's members hanged themselves...


Badfinger, showing their in-between historical hair.  (Mine looks a bit like the guy's on the right).

They had everything going for them, back around 1969 - that iconic year - being assisted by the Beatles, George Martin and Tod Rundgren. They even worked w/ Paul McCartney on songs for a strange movie, called, "The Magic Christian," starring Ringo, Peter Sellers, and two future-Monty-Python-members(!) - which resulted in an album.  They had a number of great hits, which often showed a heavy Beatles/Harrison influence. That slide-guitar solo on, "Day After Day," is actually two guitars, one played by Harrison. Some of their hits, (Wiki):

Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1972: "Come and Get It" (written and produced by Paul McCartney, 1970), "No Matter What" (produced by Mal Evans, 1970), "Day After Day" (produced by George Harrison, 1971), and "Baby Blue" (produced by Todd Rundgren, 1972). Their song "Without You" (1970) has been recorded many times, including a US number-one hit for Harry Nilsson, and decades later, a UK number-one for Mariah Carey.

Straight Up is said to be their best album.

[I continue to build my 'Harrison' CD mixes, and I am including artists whom he influenced, like Badfinger.  I believe I shall include all 3 versions of, "(I Can't Live, if Living is) Without You, in succession].

Well, Badfinger, (be sure to see their Wiki page), during their rise to success, was hooked up with this guy who had discovered how to manage and swindle bands, via Andy Warhol contacts, by the name of Stan Polley (died 2009).  (Here is the Badfinger Wiki page section referring to Polley's assumption of financial management of Badfinger).  Badfinger took on Polley even after reports of his apparent seediness the year before.  But, when you are flying alongside the Beatles, maybe you tend to think you are golden and indestructible.  Soon after Polley began handling their money, things went downhill, fast.  And the first band-member to commit suicide, Pete Ham, (age 27, of course), left a note saying, "Stan Polley is a soulless bastard." On the morning of 19 November 1983, after a poor Badfinger come-back attempt, and continued financial problems from Polley, band-member Tom Evans also hung himself. Wiki:

The Warner Brothers lawsuit against Polley lasted four years, with Polley finally being forced to pay a "substantial sum" back to the company in late 1978.[115] However, Polley managed to retain approximately half of the original $100,000 escrow payment, representing about three album's worth of payments.[116] In 1987, detective John Hansen, working for the Riverside District Attorney's office, started an investigation into fraudulent bank dealings by Polley.[117]

Evans and Molland had an extensive and heated argument on the telephone regarding past Badfinger income still in escrow from the Apple era,[123] and the "Without You" songwriting royalties Evans was now receiving, which Molland, former manager Collins and Gibbins all wanted a share of. Following this argument, Evans hanged himself..

Back to me: So, I was wondering about this Polley guy.  There are some people-managers who know how to spot a trend early, and helped it along, to the benefit of all, like the Beatles, Brian Epstein.  But their are others who come along after the success, and work like selfish parasites, sucking out the oxygen of the movement, and corrupting everything - like Jeffrey Epstein.  Polley was definitely the latter.  I either case, such people tend to be outsiders.  Polley is not a Jewish name - so I was thinking maybe he had Polish Romani ancestry.  Nope.  In fact, he may have been related to Protestants who were persecuted by Catholics in England, circa 1555.

Epigenetics, and perpetuated family social class, may promulgate an, 'outsider', attitude, right down the line.  This has been true for many ethnicities.  And sometimes this attitude can be used to morally justify exploiting others.  I know this to be true.  But, I have no idea if Polley ever fit into anything like this.  (He may have just been another common sleaze).  I am only mentioning it because it is interesting.  However, looking at  other Polleys, in history, I discovered that there were a lot of Polleys who were rather OUT THERE.  Like these...

  • Eugene Polley (died 2012), inventor of the first wireless remote control

  • George Polley, American pioneer of (the then-unnamed act of) buildering, or climbing the walls of tall buildings

  • Gerald Polley, political campaigner, singer, animator and alleged psychic

  • Margaret Polley (died 1555), English martyr

  • Sarah Polley (born 1979), Canadian actress, singer, film director and screenwriter

  • Teresa S. Polley, president and chief operating officer of the Financial Accounting Foundation - [IRONIC?]

  • Tommy Polley (born 1978), American football Free agent

Margaret Polley lead me to to read more about the persecutions circa 1555, documented in Foxe's Book of Martyrs...



This book is online in various places, (e.g., HERE), and only its preface is in Latin.  It may seem strange that I have lead you here, but, really, isn't this what rock and roll is all about?

PS - I want to see movie, "Magic Christian," now. Based on book by writer who also worked on Dr. Strangelove, Barberella, etc. Movie was apparently too 'over-the-top' in criticising capitalism, etc. I love black comedies, though. The title is ironic, considering my discussion - and the plot is a bout a Billionaire who messes with and exploits people - also ironic. And - a great transition between Sellers/Milligan-era, and Beatles-era, and Python-era, humours.
Tags: assholes / assholery, catholic - persecutions of protestants, cheaters, death - tragic / untimely deaths, economics - class / family status, foxe's book of martyrs, history - 1555, history - 1969, ironic, movies - 'magic christian', movies - black comedies, movies - satirical, music - b - beatles, music - b - beatles-related /influenced, music - badfinger, music - tragic bands / rockers, outsiders, polley - margaret, polley - stan, protestants - persecutions of, psychology - epigenetics, sellers - peter, sociology - social memory, suicides, swindlers
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