Badfinger's Joey Molland on 'Baby Blue' and the 'Breaking Bad' finale
Last night’s Breaking Bad finale brought about plenty of surprises — especially for Joey Molland, the guitarist and sole surviving member of the British power-pop band Badfinger.
As you certainly know by now (and if not, SPOILERS AHEAD), the group’s 1972 hit “Baby Blue” pointedly soundtracked the episode’s final scene, and the song has since shot up the charts (and seen a 9000% stream increase on Spotify) accordingly. We called the 66-year-old Molland at his home in Minnesota to catch up and ask him about his thoughts on the whole thing.
EW: Did you know beforehand that “Baby Blue” was going to be used in the finale?
Joey Molland: No. It’s a Peter Ham song, so Pete’s estate and the record label, publishing house — they’d communicate with them about it. So we had no idea it was going to happen. I was actually just catching the end of the show, really. I was working around the house all day, packing up stuff for the Goodwill, and just doing mundane stuff like that.
I caught the last, like, ten minutes of it, where the guy gets shot and all that. My youngest son watches it. I’m not really a big TV guy, to tell you the truth. I had an idea of what it was about, and I knew that last night was the last show in it — it’s all anybody’s really been talking about the last few days or week or so. So, yeah, it was all good.
So what was your reaction when your heard the song come on during the scene?
Well, I was really surprised! [laughs] The song sounds great — I’ve always liked the record myself. It’s one of my favorites, for sure. It was a big hit for us, too. So it was great to hear it. And I’m glad they used our version of it and not a recut of it. It’s great, you know? Today it’s in the charts, and yesterday it was kind of like an oldies record!
Are you anticipating a new generation perhaps discovering Badfinger for the first time?
Well, it’d be nice! It’d be lovely to start selling a lot of records again [laughs]. But you’ve got to take these things as they come, you know? It could be just a big flash in the pan. But it’s certainly exciting, and I’m thrilled to be dealing with it. People getting interested in the band and the music is just great. Who knows, maybe people will start looking at Badfinger records again.
And you’re still touring, right?
I do shows as Joey Molland’s Badfinger. I’ve been doing that for years. I’m the only Badfinger guy left! I just came back from Japan — I did a couple of concerts in Tokyo. And right before that I was in England. This weekend I’m going to Panama City in Florida to do a big festival down there with Grand Funk [Railroad] and Cheap Trick and that stuff.
Are you preparing yourself for a lot of “Baby Blue” requests?
Yeah, well, when we do a Joey Molland’s Badfinger show, we always do all those hits. We still do ’em in the same keys, actually. And we open the show with it, actually — it’s such a great little number.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’ve got a new record coming out. It’s coming out on Gonzo Media Group. It’s called Return to Memphis. I think it’ll be out in November, late November. We’re just finishing up the liner notes now. I’m looking forward to it. It’s quite different — different from any record I’ve ever made myself.