Badfinger Drummer Michael Gibbins Dies

Badfinger drummer Michael Gibbins died yesterday (Oct. 4) in his sleep at his home in Florida at the age of 56.

Badfinger drummer Michael Gibbins died yesterday (Oct. 4) in his sleep at his home in Florida at the age of 56. A cause of death was not made public. Funeral and visitation details can be found on Gibbins' official Web site.

Originally known as the Iveys, the group rose to fame in the late '60s as the first act signed to the Beatles' Apple label. It was the beneficiary of the Paul McCartney-penned "Come and Get It," which was a top-5 U.K. hit in 1969 and eventually reached No. 7 on the Billboard pop singles chart the following year.

Several members of the group had their hands in notable post-Beatles sessions, including John Lennon's "Imagine" and George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass," plus Harrison's 1972 "Concert for Bangladesh." As previously reported, the latter project will be reissued Oct. 25 on CD/DVD via Rhino.

Despite critical acclaim and a handful of hit singles, Badfinger never achieved the massive success many had predicted. On April 23, 1975, frontman Pete Ham committed suicide; bassist Tom Evans and guitarist Joey Molland reactivated the group with a new lineup in 1978, but after years of infighting, Evans took his own life on Nov. 19, 1983.

A Molland/Gibbins version of Badfinger hit the road in 1986 and toured on and off for the next several years, before Gibbins opted to move from Detroit to Florida and concentrate on raising his family.

Gibbins released his first solo album, "A Place in Time," in 1998 via the Forbidden label, which was followed in 2000 with "More Annoying Songs" on Exile Music.

"I spoke to Mike on Monday afternoon," Molland tells "He was in good spirits and we were looking forward to seeing each other at the 'Bangladesh' re-release event in [Los Angeles] on Oct. 17."

Molland continues, "Mike and I had a falling out some time ago but we had been very much in touch with each other over the last five or six months, I'm happy to say, and we were starting to talk about the future. When we talked it was usually about the Badfinger business both past and future. He was still angry that Peter had committed suicide rather than sticking it out."

Molland says he and Gibbins had "some vague conversations about perhaps doing something together with Ron Griffiths, the original bassist in the Iveys/Badfinger."

"Mike was a great friend to us all, a great rock drummer, father and husband," Molland says. "Courageous and honest in all things, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him."