Beatles Week – Come and Get It

I’m very happy to have Paul Fitzpatrick from Once Upon A Time In The 70’s guest host my blog today.

Colin Jackson and Paul Fitzpatrick who both run Once Upon A Time In The 70’s grew up in Bearsden, a northern suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. They were school friends from the age of five until in 1974, aged sixteen, Paul left school to start a career working with fashion and sportswear brands. Their paths would not cross again for forty-four years, during which time Colin pursued a career in Banking.

 First off thank you to Max for inviting us to contribute to his great blog.
His choice of topic – ‘Choose your favourite Beatle song’, sounded like fun until I tried to narrow it down to just one!

You may have noticed that there’s a trend nay a feeding frenzy of corporations acquiring the rights to the song catalogues of heritage artists.

The life’s work of Bruce Springsteen was snapped up recently for $550 million, a record amount, beating the $350 million paid to Dylan for his catalogue in 2020.

In contrast, the estimated worth of the Beatles back catalogue is valued conservatively at $2 billion, although it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon as the ownership is acrimoniously shared between McCartney and Universal Music.

So, while it’s remarkable that a band who were at their peak seven decades ago are still recognised as the most treasured asset in popular music, it’s probably no great surprise, even if you aren’t the worlds biggest Beatles fan.
I guess that’s what happens when you are the most influential band of the 20th (and 21st) century, with an unrivalled catalogue of songs, hailed by critics and peers alike (if you discount Keith Richards!).

Choosing a favourite Beatles song is no easy feat then, firstly, there are so many to choose from, secondly, it depends what kind of Beatles mood you’re in…

A McCartney mood? Maybe a melodic “Hey Jude” or something more poppy like “Penny Lane”?


A Lennon mood? Something psychedelic like a “Day in the Life” or perhaps a bit more soulful like “Don’t Let Me Down”?

To be honest I found it an impossible task, a Sophie’s choice, so I gave up and approached it from a different angle….

What is my favourite Beatles song that they never released (at their peak).

Now that narrowed it down a tad, and for me there was only one winner –
“Come and Get it” by Badfinger.

I was eleven when Badfinger released it as a single on December 5th 1969, so of course I had no idea that there was any sort of Beatles connection – written & produced by McCartney, released on Apple records, etc.

I just thought it was a fantastic pop song, the kind you can’t get out of your head, the kind you hear other people singing or whistling along to, so uncomplicated with the piano intro and the catchy chorus – two and a half minutes of musical joy.

It’s probably no surprise to learn that the prolific Macca completed his Beatles version in under 60 minutes on arriving an hour early for a recording session for Abbey Road. Most people would probably have read the paper or had a cup of tea to kill a bit of time, but Paul thought he’d use the time to knock out a classic pop song.

The Beatles – Come and Get it

McCartney has subsequently said that Lennon who was present, failed to engage or leave the control room to contribute a harmony vocal. Paul took this as a sign of indifference to his song, so instead of featuring on Abbey Road as Paul intended, it was offered to Badfinger, who recorded it nine days later.

In his book Revolution in the HeadIan MacDonald speculates that McCartney’s decision to gift this obvious hit to someone other than the Beatles may have been a loaded gesture, although he denied that there was any hidden meaning in the songs title…. mmm!

Despite the fact that Badfinger’s interpretation is an exact take of McCartney’s demo (as per Paul’s instructions) it’s still my favourite version, due chiefly to the harmonised vocals – if only Lennon had shifted his arse out of that control room!

Badfinger – Come and Get it

Paul Fitzpatrick –


Badfinger – Come and Get It

It’s been a while…I thought I would open the joint back up today. This is the only hit of Badfinger I haven’t posted on. It’s a softball to me because it was the first song I noticed by them and probably a song that a lot of people will answer “Beatles” when asked who did it.

Paul McCartney wrote this song and made a demo (below) of it for a movie that Ringo was in called The Magic Christian. He gave the demo to Badfinger and told them not to change a thing. They all tried singing it but it fit bass player Tom Evans the best for the lead.

It must have been an embarrassment of riches to be able to hand a hit off to an unknown Apple band at the time. This song was Badfinger’s first top ten hit in America. It peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1970.

Paul wrote this incredibly catchy song for Badfinger and this set their reputation as “Beatle ish” that they tried to run away from later on.

From Songfacts

Paul McCartney wrote this for the 1969 movie The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr.

This was Badfinger’s first hit single. They were one of the first groups to sign with Apple Records, which is The Beatles’ label.

Badfinger had a few other hits in the early ’70s, but in 1974 Warner Brothers Records, which signed them when Apple folded, sued the band and kept them from recording. One member of the group killed himself a year later, and another committed suicide in 1983.

Paul McCartney recorded the demo of this, and he played all the instruments himself. This was done prior to a Beatles recording session at Abbey Road studios. Paul’s demo sounds exactly like Badfinger’s recording, which he produced. In The Beatles Anthology book, Paul mentions that Badfinger wanted to do the song more in their own style, but he insisted they do it the same as on his demo. He told them that he knew this would be a hit song as long as they played it just as he had.

Paul McCartney’s demo of the song

Come and Get It

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Mm mm mm mm, make your mind up fast
If you want it, any time, I can give it

But you’d better hurry ’cause it may not last
Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
Will you walk away from a fool and his money?

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Mm mm mm mm, make your mind up fast

If you want it, any time, I can give it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it may not last

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
Will you walk away from a fool and his money?

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Fool and his money

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast.


Badfinger was a very talented band that had a gift and curse of sounding like The Beatles. Their songs are remembered today but not the band which is a shame. They made some very good albums. This band’s story is a cautionary tale that other bands need to look at. This is what signing with a bad manager can do to you.

The members were Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Mike Gibbins, and Joey Molland (who replaced Ron Griffiths).

They started out as the Iveys and signed with the Beatles new label…Apple. After that, they changed their name to Badfinger. Paul McCartney wrote their first big hit single”Come and Get It” and after that, they were writing themselves. The hits kept coming… No Matter What, Baby Blue and Day after Day. They also wrote Without You…a small blues song that Harry Nilson covered…it became a monster worldwide hit. Mariah Carey also covered it later on and was again a giant hit.

They signed with a manager named Stan Polley and got a massive contract with Warner Brothers after leaving Apple. Things were looking really good. They had hits but they never made it over the hump in being a big-time group. Warner Brothers could have pushed them over the hump…Polley setup an escrow account for the band with the advance money and the money disappeared.

He told the band that he was planning for their future etc..He put them on a small salary and embezzled the rest. He really swindled them and their royalties for their songs were tied up for years.

The band was basically broke. With all of their self-written hits, they should have been set financially for years.

Pete Ham didn’t have the money to pay his mortgage and with a baby on the way drunk and depressed at the fatal age (for rock stars) of 27 he hanged himself in his garage in 1975. In 1983 after scrambling for gigs, Tom Evans broke and not able to get to any of the royalties due him from co-writing Without You with Pete…hanged himself also.

Pete was a trusting soul and never would believe Polley was cheating them until the very end. His suicide note read…

“I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better  P.S. Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me.”

They all wrote to some degree but Pete Ham was a great songwriter. He had so much potential. He also was a great guitar player and singer.

Stan Polley died in 2009… escaping other scandals without punishment.

Their albums were

Magic Christian Music – This was the soundtrack to the movie The Magic Christian. Come and Get It is on this album and a minor hit called Maybe Tomorrow which is a good pop song.

No Dice – No Dice is where Badfinger starts to be themselves. No Matter What and Without You came off of this album. It also has some other great songs… I Can’t Take It, Blodwyn, We’re for the Dark, Better Days, and my favorite of the album and possibly of Badfinger…Midnight Caller.

Straight Up – This is my favorite album by them. It has Baby Blue and Day after Day but a host of other good songs. Take It All, Money, Name of the Game, Suitcase, Sweet Tuesday Morning, and I’d Die Babe. Joey Molland’s songwriting and singing were very good on this album.

Ass – Their last album for Apple records and the start of the downward spiral. The songs I would recommend are Apple of My Eye and Icicles.

Badfinger – They just signed a new record deal with Warner Brothers and this was the first album. They recorded this album as soon as they finished their previous album Ass for Apple which was too soon. They should have waited a while before recording this album. This album didn’t do well and one of the reasons is because it was competing with their previous album. They were released within months of each other and it. The songs I like are I Miss You and Shine On.

Wish You Were Here – The album was released in late 1974 and was pulled in early 1975 before it had time to do anything because of litigation between their manager and the Warner Brothers. It was released and pulled in a matter of weeks. Warner Brothers saw the money was missing and yanked the album off of the shelves. The songs I like are Dennis and Just a Chance.

Head First – They recorded this album after Wish You Were Here with Bob Jackson after Joey Molland had quit. The album was stuck in limbo for 26 years never released. It wasn’t released until 2000. I went out and bought this the day it was out at Tower Records when I read they were releasing it. On some songs, you can tell they are having problems with their management. The songs that stand out to me Lay Me Down, Hey Mr. Manager, Rock N’ Roll Contract, and Keep Believing. A good album and I wish it would have had a chance at the time.

They did make a couple of albums after Pete died called Airwaves and Say No More. The song Lost Inside Your Love is the only song that approaches the Badfinger early quality.

Without Pete, the biggest talent was gone. That is not a knock on the others but he was just that good. Tom Evans was a good singer, songwriter, musician who worked with Pete well and had a great voice. Joey Molland was a good guitar player, singer, and songwriter. The band didn’t lack talent.

In 1997 a CD was released of Pete Hams demos called 7 Park Avenue. It was various demos from his entire career. A follow up was released in 1999 called Golders Green. The melodies he had rivaled McCartneys. He was an amazing songwriter.

Go out and google Badfinger and more importantly listen to them. This band needs to be remembered.

Baby Blue… Maybe the most perfect power pop song ever.

No Matter What

Day After Day

Midnight Caller



A good article on Badfiinger