Wishing to be signed by a major label,
the record Co. in question was Pye,
we auditioned our latest composition
with the A&R powers that be
(who were handing out pie in the sky).
The Execs. informed us, ‘Your song is nothing like
whatever is currently number 1 in the charts,
you should redo it and make it so, if it would not break your hearts.’
I replied, “You’re wrong, we are who we are, it is what it is,”
but the boys in the band
(desperate for a record release)
went along and acquiesced to anything at hand.
By the time we’d rewritten rehearsed and recorded our new song
to sound like what had once been at the top,
(already replaced by something else)
guaranteed, ours would then flop.
Two weeks later we returned to Pye
and were informed our song was nothing like
whatever was now number 1 in the charts,
would we redo it and make it so
(if it would not break our hearts).
We could have stayed on their merry-go-round,
played this game through infinity too,
but I resigned with, “That’s it, I quit, it’s all Catch 22 déjà vu.”
When auditioning for Badfinger
as replacement drummer
all those years ago
one summer,
I scored the job, had the gig
but then, Pete Ham asked,
“Do you write songs?”
and I lied, when I replied, “No.”
Said he to me,
“Oh, that’s a shame,”
we really like your beat.”
How was I to know?
So, I composed myself
when it dawned on me,
from the jaws of victory,
I had snatched defeat.



Stereo Story # 624

Editor’s note:  Loudersound.com tells us that Badfinger ‘created some of the most sublime melodies of the early 1970s’, including the incomparable  Without You. Written by band members Pete Ham and Tom Evans, it was a huge hit for Harry Nilsson in 1971 and was later covered by 200 performers, including Mariah Carey in 1994.

Martin H. Samuel, drummer, poet and award-winning published/recorded songwriter, co-wrote Tightrope To The Moon, winner of the Spring 2021 World Songwriting Awards contest in the Best Pop Song category. Martin's band, Heatwave (1969 to 1980), has a commemorative brick, 20 rows directly above 'John', in the Liverpool Cavern Wall of Fame.