The rock music world lost a great one last week when former Bad Company lead singer Brian Howe died in Florida from cardiac arrest at age 66. He was a prolific songwriter and worked with many musicians in the industry. Among them is legendary Megadeath band leader Dave Mustaine, who issued a statement Monday about the sad news.
“I’ve recently heard that Brian Howe of Bad Company has passed away. I’d like to pass along my condolences to all his family members, to all his fans, and to his band, Bad Co. I hope to one day meet up again in heaven. Sincerely, Dave Mustaine,” he wrote.
Howe and Mustaine co-wrote the song “I’ll Get Even,” which appeared on Megadeath’s 1997 album Cryptic Writings.
Howe was the frontman for Bad Company from 1986 until 1994. He talked about the decision to leave the band in an interview with Melodic Rock.
“It had got to the point where nobody was contributing anything to songwriting and quite frankly, the band was getting very very sloppy live,” he said.
“I quite simply, along with Terry Thomas, got tired of doing all the work and then getting nothing but resentment for it from Mick and Simon.”
He added that “the highlight for me in Bad Co. was turning the group around from being almost a bar band (that’s how far they had fallen) to selling millions of records again and playing to sold out shows 15,000 / 25,000 people every night.”
Howe had a hugely successful music career. He got his breakthrough in the music industry by becoming the lead singer for Ted Nugent’s band. He sang most of the vocals on the 1983 album Penetrator. From there, he was brought in to be the new lead singer of Bad Company.
His first album with the band was the 1986 record Fame and Fortune, which was mostly a commercial flop. But the band found huge success with Howe’s third album with the group called Holy Water.
Howe left Band Company in 1994 and started a solo career. He talked to Rock and Roll Report in 2010 about his career.
“It’s actually pretty cool to be back in the saddle. Thirteen years is a long time to be away from a recording career and it feels good to be accepted again,” he reflected.
“[Bad Company] came about because I knew Mick Jones from Foreigner. He was good friends of Simon Kirke and knew they were looking to get a band together and were looking for a singer. Mick actually called me at Ted’s house and convinced me to join up with the Bad Company boys and all along I was just praying that Ted wasn’t on an extension,” he added.
“My first plan is to have a distant future. The rest should have fallen in place for that to be achieved. Seriously though, I am not a guy who writes songs all the time: I store ideas and when the time is right they pop out. I want to make my best record next time out. That’s my aim: to make a Brian Howe definitive CD where people say, ‘Wow, he is actually pretty good!’ I will try to achieve that in the next couple of years. My other aim is simply to be around to walk through the park with my granddaughter Izabella. She thinks I am truly great [and] I am trying to live up to that.”