The finale of TV’s "Breaking Bad" is trending good for the long-defunct British rock band Badfinger, whose unceremonious demise took place in Milwaukee more than 30 years ago.
The series' final episode ended last month on a melancholy note with the band's 1971 ballad "Baby Blue." The song (a not-so-cryptic allusion to the blue-tinted methamphetamine manufactured by the show's lead character, Walter White) has dramatically boosted online sales of Badfinger's albums and singles. This past weekend, "Baby Blue" topped the iTunes best-selling charts for rock songs in the U.S. and in Canada.
The band's erstwhile hits included "Day After Day," "No Matter What" and "Come and Get It," which was written and produced for Badfinger by Paul McCartney. The band in 1968 was one of the first signed to the Beatles' Apple record label.
But only memories of the group's heyday remain. The band fell victim to poor management and financial ruin. And, after being marooned for weeks in Hales Corners, performing embarrassing "come-back" gigs for almost no pay, Bandfinger disbanded.
Adding to the misfortune, two of its principal songwriters committed suicide.
The unraveling of the down-on-its-luck rock band is told in this 2009 Milwaukee Magazine article "Prisoners of Rock 'n' Roll," a fascinating narrative by local writer Tom Matthews.