The late Pete Ham, who found success with Badfinger, will be honoured in his hometown of Swansea, Wales with one of Britain’s Blue Plaques.
The plaques are issued by the English Heritage to honour locations where either a famous person used to live or a location of a famous event. Ham’s plaque will be placed near the entrance to the Swansea railway station on Ivey Place where it was believed that the band first practiced and was the inspiration for Badfinger’s original name, the Iveys.
Ham formed the Iveys in 1965 and, three years later, they were signed to the Beatles’ fledgling Apple Records. It was there that they had their initial success with Maybe Tomorrow (1969/#67) before changing the name of the band to Badfinger and starting a string of four top twenty hits with Come and Get It (1969 / #7 U.S. / #4 U.K.), No Matter What (1970 / #8 U.S. / #5 U.K.), Day After Day (1971 / #4 U.S. / #10 U.K.) and Baby Blue (1972 / #14 U.S.). Ham also wrote the song Without You with bandmate Tom Evans which became an international hit for Harry Nilsson.
In 1972, the band moved to Warner Brothers where they became embroiled in numerous conflicts and their career stagnated. A despondent Ham committed suicide three days before his 28th birthday.
Ham’s daughter, Petera, who was born after his death, will represent her father at the ceremony. She said “I’m honored to represent my father at the event and I’d like to thank Swansea council for the beautiful memorial plaque that they will install in honour of him.”
Nick Bradley of the Swansea council told the BBC “Swansea is immensely proud of Pete Ham and the blue plaque is a fitting tribute to one of our finest musical talents. He was a wonderfully gifted musician who wrote a series of hits and helped put Swansea on the music map in the 1970s. His legacy lives on today through his worldwide hits and the fans who still revere The Iveys and Badfinger.”
Following the unveiling of the plaque, a tribute concert will be held for Ham with Bob Jackson of Badfinger and Ron Griffiths and David Jenkins of the Iveys.