When I read Claire Maree's October 10, 2006 article Melody & Mental Illness: The Outsider Musician & Artist, I was moved on so many levels.
In the case of Badfinger's Pete Ham, who's suicide note words “I will not be allowed to love and trust everybody. This is better,” revealed a tortured soul, I could not help but wonder if there was indeed something to the concept of the outside musician and artist. Is there indeed a creative insanity that simultaneously propels artistic creativity and self-destructive tendencies? After all, Ham had shown growing signs of mental illness in the months leading up to his suicide, including burning cigarettes out on his hands and arms.
This behaviour have led many to conclude that Ham suffered from deliberate self-harm “DSH,” which experts link to a condition known as “dopamine receptor supersensitivity” resulting from early childhood abuse in which there were negligent parent-child interactions (including minimal touch, talk, and play), that may actually altered neurons that process dopamine in the brain.
Given the band's close ties to the Beatles and the fact that Badfinger was considered by many to be the the heir apparent to the Fab Four, the real question is whether Ham would have possessed the music creativity that propelled him to such a lofty height of recognition without the illness?
Joining me to talk about Pete Ham and the Outsider Artist and Musician concept is the personal counsellor to some of America’s biggest Hollywood stars and executives Lisa Haisha, who is the originator of the unique and powerful counselling approach known as “Soul Blazing.”