The final episode of Breaking Bad aired on Sunday night, and as our national collective stomach muscles gradually unclenched, the strains of a possibly-familiar song started to ring out. The final moments of the show were soundtracked by “Baby Blue,” a 1972 song by the underappreciated British rock band Badfinger, a band who, per my colleague Steven Hyden, may be the only rock band with a story more tragic than that of Walter White.
Badfinger co-leaders Pete Ham and Tom Evans both committed suicide by hanging eight years apart (in 1975 and 1983, respectively). The band’s sole surviving member is bassist Joey Mollard, who had no idea that the song would be on the show until he was watching it himself. Entertainment Weekly interviewed Mollard, who seemed pleasantly surprised at all the attention: “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… 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.”
When asked if the show might prompt people to rediscover the band, Mollard said, “Who knows, maybe people will start looking at Badfinger records again.” And at least for now, it’s happening. Spotify streams of “Baby Blue” are up 9000%, and the song is a top 20 download on iTunes. Time will tell if Breaking Bad gives “Baby Blue” the same second life that The Sopranos gave Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but would anyone complain if it did?