Peter William Ham
Artist: Pat Casey
I remember being a small boy and listening to an AM radio that was given to me by my Grandfather and hearing "Come and Get It", "No Matter What" and "Day After Day". It wasn't until some years later, when I was in my first garage band, that I found out the name of the band that actually sang my favorite songs. The drummer of that band gave me a 45 of "No Matter What" and told me to go home and learn the guitar parts. I remember looking at the record and seeing that cool looking apple logo. I also remember looking at who wrote the song and of course it was some unknown, (to me) guy named Pete Ham. Finally, I had a name to go to the record stores and try to find some of their stuff!!
This was back in 1982, when all of their records were long out of print. I looked everywhere, but I couldn't find much at all. It wasn't until 1987, when I was living in Los Angeles, that I heard "Baby Blue" on a '70's radio program, which I was taping. As soon as I heard "Guess I got what I deserve..." I immediately recognized that voice as the same one I came to love as a kid. At that time, I wasn't sure it was Badfinger, but I loved the song and played it over and over and eventually became obsessed with it - learning all the riffs... To this day, it's still my favorite song, by any artist!!! What makes it all the sweeter is that just recently, thanks to Dan Matovina, I found out it was Pete's favorite too. Pete said in a radio interview, that it was the closest he had come to achieving the perfect song. I think he nailed it!!
About the drawing: It is colored pencil on colored paper. The pose was taken from the inside cover of the "No Dice" album. I would also like to mention that I am currently working on drawings in the same style for Bob Jackson, Ron Griffiths and Mike Gibbins, as well as a full band picture - all with their collective blessings. Mike said that he will hang his up in his studio, Bob and Ron were very flattered, and said they would try and do the same.
A little about me: I live in Denver, Colorado, not too far from where Badfinger recorded their "Wish You Were Here" album. I do have art training from college. I have an associates degree in graghic design and illustration as well as a Bachelors in music from a school in New York (which is where I'm from originally.)
I feel an affinity to Pete that I've never felt with any other artist, and I don't know why. It sounds corny, but I can't quite explain it. But I feel justified in connecting with him when I read from people like Roy Anderson, that actually knew him, and knew that he really was a nice guy...
With regards to my musical side; I started playing guitar at 14. I couldn't afford one on my own, so my older brother (God bless him) bought me an inexpensive guitar and a little Fender practice amp. All I listened to was Cream and Hendrix for a while, trying to learn all those great song and riffs. I eventually broadened my horizons and started listening to a little bit of everything, but eventually, settling on classic rock as my style of choice.
I soon realized I loved playing so much, that I wanted to do it professionally. So I went to college and achieved a Bachelors in music from the State University of New York at Oswego. This is where I learned classical guitar and piano. I played in various bands and taught guitar at several music stores in the Syracuse* area, which is where I'm from originally. Incidentally, this is where I saw Joey Molland for the first time. One of my band mates, (who knew I was a huge Badfinger fan) told me they were playing at a small club in town. So he and I went down and caught the show.
*BWR Note: This is wild! Pat and I graduated from the same High School in Central New York; just different years... Small world!
Not long after that, 1995, I moved to Denver and resumed my teaching and playing. Soon, my band, "Coda", was opening shows for, The Guess Who, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benetar, Jefferson Starship... We also went in to the studio and made some demos, which we sent to L.A. and Nashville, but we never got anywhere. Then I joined a country band and played regionally in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming... Pretty much midwestern states, until we got a chance to have a house gig at the New Frontier Hotel on the strip in Las Vegas. I did that for a while, until personality conflicts took their toll and I came back to Denver, which is where I'm at now teaching guitar, piano and bass.
I am honored to have my humble drawing shown on your BWR site. I would also like to mention, (being a professional musican) that I would be more than happy to help anyone out who is trying to learn the proper chords... to Badfinger music. I have seen some web sites that offer that kind of thing and some of the chords just aren't right. If you are interested, you can contact me at:
Pat Casey [ Coda66@aol.com ]