Bad Company To Tour U.S. With David Lee Roth

Former Van Halen lead singer opening for original lineup of '70s rockers.

Bad Company and opening-act the David Lee Roth Band are preparing to embark on a tour of U.S. arenas and amphitheaters.

The 32-date trek begins Saturday (May 15) at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Tampa, Fla., according to Ana Adame, Bad Company's publicist. The tour, which includes a pay-per-view concert May 21 at Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Fla., ends Aug. 8 at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.

Bad Company's original lineup hasn't toured since singer/songwriter Paul Rodgers left the band in 1982 to pursue a solo career. The Original Bad Company Anthology, a greatest-hits package of music written and released between 1974 and 1982, came out in March.

Rodgers, 49, called the album the "soundtrack of people's lives." "It's very gratifying," he said. "People come up to us all the time and say, 'Our first baby was conceived to "Feel Like Makin' Love" (RealAudio excerpt) in the back of a Chevy.' "

The Original Bad Company Anthology is a two-CD set stocked with 29

of the band's most popular album cuts and four new songs. The older titles

read like an afternoon drive down the avenues of classic-rock radio:

"Can't Get Enough," "Ready For Love," "Bad Company"

(RealAudio excerpt), "Seagull," "Good Lovin' Gone Bad," "Shooting Star,"

"Silver, Blue and Gold" and "Rock and Roll Fantasy."

Drummer Simon Kirke said the reunion grew out of a meeting he had with guitarist Mick Ralphs, bassist Boz Burrell and Rodgers last year to renew the band's catalog with Elektra, its label. Kirke described the mood as tense at first, but he said eventually it led to plans for an album and tour.

"The meeting turned out to be so friendly that we decided to honor the record company," he said. "It was kind of like a little piece of bait dangled in front of us."

The band is touring as the "Original" Bad Company because of an ongoing legal fight with Brian Howe, who served as the group's lead singer from 1986 to 1994 (after it re-formed following Rodgers' departure).

Kirke and the band's lawyers maintain that Howe bills himself as Bad Company, violating a written agreement with the band not to do so.

Howe's manager, Vincent Wolanin, said in April that Howe has never willingly violated the agreement, blaming any confusion on individual promoters. He also accused Kirke and Ralphs of professional jealously in pursuing trademark infringement lawsuits against Howe.

Rodgers held the original copyright to the band's name, leaving its use to the discretion of Warner Bros. (Elektra's parent company) when he left the group.

"I left to live a normal life for a change. It didn't last long," Rodgers said. He formed the Firm with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page in 1984 and recorded two albums. He has performed as a solo act since the late '80s.

Anthology's four new songs were written last year by the reunited band. The titles fit in perfectly with those from the band's 1970s catalog: "Hammer of Love," "Ain't it Good," "Tracking Down a Runaway" and "Hey, Hey."

Roth formed his new band last year, scoring a minor radio success with the song "Slam Dunk." Kirke said he is looking forward to working with him.

"I heard he's a lot of fun, that he's a total nutcase," the drummer said. "I am a fan of his whole persona."

Bad Company Tour Dates:

May 15-16; Tampa, Fla.; Ruth Eckerd Hall

May 19; Pompano Beach, Fla.; Pompano Amphitheater

May 21; Orlando, Fla.; Hard Rock Live

June 23; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Lawrence Joel Complex

June 24; Washington, D.C.; MCI Center

June 26; State College, Pa.; Bryce Jordan Center, University Park

June 27; Atlantic City, N.J.; Trump Marina

June 30; Mansfield, Mass.; Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts

July 1; Bethlehem, Pa.; Stabler Arena

July 3; Philadelphia, Pa.; Mann Music Center

July 4; Darien, N.Y.; Darien Lake Arena

July 6; Scranton, Pa.; Montage Mountain Amphitheater

July 8; Tinley Park, Ill.; New World Music Theater

July 9; Detroit, Mich.; Joe Louis Arena

July 10; East Troy, Wis.; Alpine Valley Music Theatre

July 13; St. Louis, Mo.; Kiel Center

July 14; Indianapolis, Ind.; Market Square Arena

July 15; Greenville, S.C.; Bi-Lo Center

July 17; Dallas, Texas; Reunion Arena

July 20; Englewood, Colo.; Fiddler's Green

July 24; Spokane, Wash.; Spokane Area

July 25; Boise, Idaho; BSU Pavilion

July 28; Portland, Ore.; Rose Garden Arena

July 30; Reno, Nev.; Lawlor Events Center

July 31; Las Vegas, Nev.; Hard Rock Hotel -- The Joint

Aug. 3; San Jose, Calif.; San Jose Arena

Aug. 4; Sacramento, Calif.; Arco Arena

Aug. 6; Salt Lake City, Utah; Delta Center

Aug. 7; Phoenix, Ariz.; Desert Sky Amphitheater

Aug. 8; Los Angeles, Calif.; Greek Theater