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March 8, 1974 ~ Badfinger in Vancouver

Pacific National Exhibition Gardens Auditorium - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Report by: Paul Lochhead
Photos by: Mark Van Manen

This concert was just 4 days after the 'famed' Agora "Day After Day" concert in Cleveland

Photos by Mark Van Manen

Rick, as requested, here are scans of all eight photos I have of the March 8, 1974 Badfinger concert in Vancouver. I'm sorry I can't share a lot of positive news in regards to the background of this concert and b&w photos. I actually did not take the photos, nor did I attend the concert. I was 17 at the time and lived in a suburb about twenty miles from Vancouver. I didn't even have a driver's license yet and evening bus service in my area was almost non-existent then. I had not yet even been to a rock concert, and recall trying to persuade my best friend to go to this one, as I was just discovering Badfinger and trying to hunt down all their LP's. My friend was more into heavier music like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, etc. and really wasn't excited about spending $4.50 (or $3.50 advance) for a ticket. I might have convinced him but an unexpected late winter slushy heavy snowfall that day put a damper on my hopes. I would have to wait for a return visit of Badfinger, while the weather conditions of their first visit to Vancouver resulted in the band arriving to the Pacific National Exhibition Gardens Auditorium late.

Photos by Mark Van Manen Photos by Mark Van Manen

~ Click to listen ~

There is an announcement on the Live in Vancouver boot that they were late getting in from the airport and missed the sound check. I was very disappointed, but felt somewhat relieved when I read a concert review the next morning in The Province newspaper with the headline - "Badfinger is Boring" (or something of the like). It probably was the most negative Badfinger concert review that I've ever read, yet I was still hoping for the band to return but was obviously unaware of their fate and how things would unfold only a year later. I've regretted ever since I didn't attend this concert, never to see Pete or Tommy perform.

Photos by Mark Van Manen From Paul Nyman Photos by Mark Van Manen

How then did I come across these photos? I recall I saw an ad in a local paper for someone wanting the Badfinger "No Dice" and "Straight Up" albums in 1978. The albums were almost impossible to find anywhere locally at this time. By now, I was a major fan and had several copies of all their albums. I still was reluctant to sell for anything less than a collector price, but when I found out this person had these photos, we worked out a trade. My girlfriend at the time thought I was duped based on the prices that these albums were commanding, but I was happy knowing I had a unique memento of the band for a concert I regretted missing. I can't even recall now if this this person attended the concert, (my guess is he didn't) but he did provide the name of the photographer (Mark Van Manen - I think he knew him) who I believe now is still employed in the field for a major Vancouver daily (The Sun).

Photos by Mark Van Manen Photos by Mark Van Manen

I first forwarded copies of these photos to Steve Donahue (of the "Badfinger Connection" newsletter) in the early '80s and again later to Rob & Amy of the "No Matter What" fanzine. I know Steve contacted the photographer about getting the negatives and pursuing whether any other photos existed, but I believe he hit a dead end as whatever else there was had long since been discarded.

I have seen Joey a couple of times - in December 1987 in Vancouver with Jerry Shirley on drums and in July 1997 in Bellingham, Washington. He's been very cordial each time, but I still live with the regret of never seeing Pete or Tommy live...

Paul Lochhead - January 2004

Photos by Mark Van Manen
Tommy EvansDeke LeonardMike GibbinsPete Ham

Historical Perspective:

  • This concert was positioned just four days after the 'famed' Agora "Day After Day" concert in Cleveland.
  • Also, during the time of the release of the "Ass" album and within the month, WB's "Badfinger"...
  • A month later, the Japanese T.V. special was shown in Japan.

For additional information, also refer to track 12 [Hotel interview with Pete and Tom, Toronto, Canada, March 29, 1974] on the bonus CD with Dan Matovina's 'Revised Edition' of "Without You: The Tragic Story of Badƒinger" - Copyright 2000.

From Brennan's Badfinger Library

Sir Barb comments:

Only part of the Vancouver show has been bootlegged. That consists of "Day After Day, "Constitution", "Baby Blue", "Perfection", "Blind Owl", "Timeless", and "No Matter What". Hopefully the rest will surface one day as it is a better than average audience recording. The show was March 8th at the PNE Garden Auditorium with the Vancouver area band Papa Bear's Medicine Show as the opening act.


Thank you Paul for sharing these excellent 'lost' Badfinger photos!

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