In the early 1960s, Iveys guitarist David "Dai" Jenkins was kicked out due to his inability to write songs. The Iveys now needed a new guitarist and looked no further than Liverpudlian Tom Evans.
In 1969, The Iveys changed their name to Badfinger and Paul McCartney of The Beatles gave the group a boost by offering them his song "Come and Get It" which he produced for the band. It became a featured track for the film The Magic Christian, which starred Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers. Evans was chosen by McCartney to sing lead on this track. It reached the Top 10 worldwide.
Badfinger enjoyed more major successes in the early 1970s with singles such as "No Matter What," "Day After Day," and "Baby Blue". Each featured some of Evans vocals; background harmony and dual lead. Evans' high-career moment was with his composition "Without You," a song co-written with bandmate Pete Ham. The song became a #1 hit worldwide for Harry Nilsson and has since become a standard in the music industry.
Badfinger dissolved following Ham's suicide in 1975, after which Evans joined a group called The Dodgers with Badfinger bandmate Bob Jackson. Evans was eventually asked to leave the band, and he briefly retired from the music industry.
Evans resurfaced in 1977 to join Joey Molland for two Badfinger "comeback" albums. The second album, "Say No More" spawned the Evans single "Hold On," which reached 56 on Billboard in 1981. Evans and Molland went their separate ways after this second album was released, and the two put together rival "Badfinger" touring bands in the U.S.
In 1982, Jackson rejoined Evans in the latter's version of Badfinger. Original Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbins was also enlisted for Evans' band for one tour. But after Evans and Jackson signed separate management contracts with a Milwaukee businessman, the trio of Evans, Gibbins and Jackson said they found themselves stranded in the U.S. without tour dates, food, money and much duress from physical threats. After returning to England, Evans was sued for $5 million in damages for abandoning his touring contract.
During the evening of November 18, 1983, Evans argued with Joey Molland of Badfinger on the telephone, chiefly regarding potential publishing/ASCAP divisions of the "Without You" song whose ASCAP royalties accumulating for airplay had been funding Evans, with other potential publishing funds being held by Apple Corps Ltd. pending resolution of debate between the group members and manager Bill Collins. Early the following morning, 19 November, Evans was found dead by suicide; his body hanging in his back garden from a willow tree. Allegedly, he left no note, but family and friends have speculated he was overwhelmed by the combination of his conflicts with Molland, ex-manager Bill Collins and ex-bandmate Mike Gibbins over the pending royalties, plus the U.S. lawsuit he felt threatened his livelihood further. But a major factor of Evans' depression, alluded by many friends and family members, was that he was never able to get over his former bandmate's Pete Ham's suicide. Marianne Evans, his wife, was quoted in a documentary stating "Tommy said 'I want to be where Pete is. It's a better place than down here' ...."
Evans is also survived by a son, Stephen.
In 1993, a CD of recordings made in the early 1980s by Evans and musician friend Rod Roach was posthumously released in the U.K. under the title Over You.