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Pete Ham

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Peter William Ham (April 27, 1947 – April 24, 1975) was a Welsh singer and songwriter, best known as the leader of the ill-fated group Badfinger. A general lack of controversy and sparsity of interviews before his suicide at age 27 has left Ham an enigma in the annals of rock music’s early demises.

Ham was born in Swansea a Welsh coastal City, in an area called Townhill, and formed a local rock group called The Panthers around 1963. This group would undergo several name and lineup changes until it became The Iveys in 1965. The band relocated to London in 1966, where they performed in local clubs and distributed demonstration recordings to several record companies. In 1968, the group came to the attention of Paul McCartney and were signed to the Beatles’ Apple label. McCartney reportedly was impressed with the amount of original material the group produced, and especially a Ham composition titled “They’re Knocking Down Our Home.”

After several mis-starts as The Iveys, the group changed its name and sound, while enjoying several years of chart success (see Badfinger for details). During the band’s tenure at Apple, Ham also performed guitar and vocal session work for ex-Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr. On a personal and social level, Ham expressed concern over environmental issues and poverty, although he never actually participated in organized political endeavors.

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