Tom Evans (musician)

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Tom Evans
Evans in the 1970s
Background information
Birth nameThomas Evans
Born(1947-06-05)5 June 1947
Liverpool, England
Died19 November 1983(1983-11-19) (aged 36)
London, England
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
  • guitar
Years active1963–1983

Thomas Evans (5 June 1947 – 19 November 1983) was an English musician. He is best known for his work as the bassist of the band Badfinger.


Evans sang lead vocals on "Come and Get It," the band's breakthrough hit. He also co-wrote their 1970 song "Without You," which has been recorded by over 180 artists — most notably Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey.

The Iveys

In July 1967, the Iveys (Pete Ham, Ron Griffiths, Mike Gibbins and Dave Jenkins) went to Liverpool at the suggestion of their manager, Bill Collins, to recruit a replacement for Dave Jenkins, their rhythm guitarist and frontman. They discovered Tommy Evans singing with Them Calderstones and invited him to London to audition for the band. He eventually accepted and joined the Iveys in August 1967. His first gig with the Iveys was on 20 August 1967 at the Starlite Ballroom in Crawley.

On 23 July 1968, the Iveys were signed to the Beatles' Apple Records label. Their debut worldwide single release was "Maybe Tomorrow" which was a Tom Evans composition, written for his girlfriend in Liverpool, Leslie Sandton, whom he used to date when he was a member of Them Calderstones. On 15 November 1968, "Maybe Tomorrow" b/w an Evans/Ham song "And Her Daddy's a Millionaire" was released in the UK on Apple. The US release date was 27 January 1969 (Apple 1803) and the song peaked at No. 51 on the Cash Box chart and No. 67 on the Billboard chart. In the Netherlands, it reached No. 1. It was also very successful throughout Europe and in Japan. In July 1969, this prompted the release of the Iveys' album Maybe Tomorrow being only released in those countries where the single charted high. The album was released in Japan, Italy and Germany only. The album contained the following Tom Evans compositions: "Beautiful and Blue", "Fisherman", "Maybe Tomorrow" and "Angelique".

One of the attempts at a follow-up single to "Maybe Tomorrow" was another Tom Evans composition called "Storm in a Teacup", but this was rejected and ended up being used on a promotional Apple EP for Wall's Ice Cream in July 1969.


In November 1969, the Iveys changed their name to Badfinger, and Paul McCartney of the Beatles gave the group a boost by offering them his song "Come and Get It", which he produced for the band. It became a featured track for the film The Magic Christian , which starred Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers. Evans was chosen by McCartney to sing lead on this track. It reached the Top 10 worldwide. The B-side, "Rock of All Ages", co-written by Evans with Pete Ham and Mike Gibbins, features Evans singing lead. Paul McCartney also produced this, and sang scratch vocals with Evans on the basic track. A third Magic Christian song, "Carry On Till Tomorrow" was co-written by Evans and Ham. [2]

After the departure of original bassist Ron Griffiths, Ham, Evans and Gibbins wanted, and tried, to recruit renowned Liverpool bassist Norm Bellis, who had previously partnered Evans in Liverpool band Them Calderstones. Bellis was already signed to Apple but despite the support of his friend Mal Evans, he couldn't secure release from his contractual arrangements. Badfinger fruitlessly auditioned a replacement and with the arrival of Liverpudlian guitarist Joey Molland, Evans, who had previously played guitar, switched to bass [3] and thus stabilised the classic line-up of Ham, Evans, Gibbins and Molland.

Badfinger enjoyed more major successes in the early 1970s with singles such as "No Matter What", "Day After Day", and "Baby Blue". Each featured some of Evans' vocals; background harmony and dual lead. Evans' high-career moment was with his composition "Without You", a song co-written with bandmate Ham. The song became a No. 1 hit worldwide for Harry Nilsson and has since become a standard in the music industry. [2]

Badfinger dissolved following Ham's suicide in 1975, after which Evans joined a group called the Dodgers with Badfinger bandmate Bob Jackson. The Dodgers released three singles produced by Muff Winwood and toured Britain before recording an album, Love on the Rebound , with producer Pat Moran. Evans was eventually asked to leave the band midway through the recording sessions and he briefly retired from the music industry. [2]

Evans resurfaced in 1977 to join Joey Molland for two Badfinger "comeback" albums. The first single of two from the first album Airwaves was an Evans composition – "Lost Inside Your Love", but it failed to chart after its release in March 1979. The second album, Say No More, spawned the Evans and Tansin single "Hold On", which reached No. 56 on the Billboard chart in 1981. Evans and Molland went their separate ways after this second album was released, and the two put together rival Badfinger touring bands in the US. [2]

In 1982, Jackson rejoined Evans in the latter's version of Badfinger. Original Badfinger drummer Gibbins was also enlisted for Evans' band for one tour. But after Evans and Jackson signed separate management contracts with a Milwaukee businessman, the trio of Evans, Gibbins and Jackson said they found themselves stranded in the US without tour dates, food, or money, and under much duress from physical threats. After returning to Britain, Evans was sued for $5 million in damages for abandoning his touring contract. [2]

Personal life and death

Evans was married to Marianne Evans, [4] and together they had a son, Stephen. [2]

Evans hanged himself in his garden on 19 November 1983, at the age of 36. He got into a dispute with former bandmate Joey Molland over royalties for the song "Without You" the previous evening. [5]

In 1993, a compilation of recordings made in the early 1980s by Evans and musician friend Rod Roach was posthumously released in the UK on Gipsy Records under the title Over You (The Final Tracks).


(with Badfinger, except where noted)

Evans also appeared as a guest artist on

Compositions of note

Related Research Articles

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Matovina, Dan. Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger. Google Books, 2000. Retrieved 18 September 2008
  3. Eder, Bruce. "Biography". Billboard . Archived from the original on 16 April 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  4. Badfinger - Tom Evans marries Marianne
  5. "Badfinger: last act in a rock'n'roll tragedy". The Independent . 26 April 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
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  9. "Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Review of Ass". 8 March 2023.
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