Joseph “Joey” Charles Molland (born 21 June 1947, Edge Hill, Liverpool, England) cut his musical teeth in the early 1960s with Liverpool bands such as The Assassins and The Profiles. In 1965, he joined The Masterminds. It was at a Masterminds gig at The Blue Angel club in Liverpool when The Rolling Stones and their manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham showed up. Oldham was impressed with the band; most notably their cover of Bob Dylan songs. Oldham would produce a single for The Masterminds, the Dylan cover “She Belongs To Me”, which would be released on the Immediate label.
In 1966, the well known Liverpool band The Merseybeats had split up and lead singers Billy Kinsley and Tony Crane formed the duo The Merseys. The Merseys would have a major hit with “Sorrow” and needed a back-up band for touring. Three members of The Masterminds, including Joey Molland, were recruited for the job and dubbed The Fruit Eating Bears.
By 1967, The Merseys had split up. Joey played briefly with The Cryin Shames when he heard of another opportunity. Gary Walker (Gary Leeds) of The Walker Brothers was putting a new band together and Joey auditioned and got the job. Gary Walker and The Rain released several singles and an album called #1, on the Philips label. The album featured six Molland compositions and was very successful in Japan where the band enjoyed a successful tour. A lack of success in the U.K. and a general sense of apathy would eventually lead to the band’s break-up in 1969.
After the break-up of The Rain, Joey received an invitation to audition for The Iveys in November of 1969. Joey was hired and The Iveys would soon be known by their new name, Badfinger. Besides touring and recording with Badfinger, Joey and the band would perform on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album and the Concert For Bangladesh, as well as performing on John Lennon’s Imagine album with Tommy Evans.
Joey Molland quit Badfinger in December of 1974 over disagreements in the band’s management and relocated to California. It was when visiting the U.K. for Pete Ham’s funeral in 1975 that Joey met up with drummer Jerry Shirley (Humble Pie) and bassist Mark Clarke (Colosseum, Uriah Heep). They decided to form a band that would eventually include keyboardist Peter Wood and call themselves Natural Gas. Natural Gas would release an album on Private Stock Records in 1976 and tour with Yes and Peter Frampton on his Frampton Comes Alive tour.
After Natural Gas’ demise, Joey would reunite with Tommy Evans and release two more albums as Badfinger. In 1983, Joey was signed to Earthtone Records and moved to Columbus, Ohio to produce the album Trust Me for the band called Money. Plus, he would record and produce his first solo album, After The Pearl. In 1984, Joey reunited with Mike Gibbins as Badfinger for a U.S. “British Invasion Anniversary” tour. Two years later, Joey and Mike would put a new Badfinger band together and would tour regularly for several years. Joey would release his second solo album, The Pilgrim, in 1992 on the Rykodisc label. The Pilgrim was co-produced by Joey and bandmate Mark Healey. In 1998, Joey released a disc of demos titled Basil on his own Independent Artists label. His third solo album, This Way Up, was recorded with Minneapolis’ Echo Boys and released in 2001 on the Independent Artists label.
Joey Molland currently lives in Minnesota. He was married for nearly 37 years to his late wife, Kathie with whom he shares two sons, Joseph III and Shaun. Joey still actively performs and records.