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Saying goodbye

Tribute to former Bad Company singer, longtime Beach resident Brian Howe to be held at Cape Cabaret

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Jul 13, 2021

Brian Howe was the singer for the band Bad Company from 1986-1994 and a longtime resident of Fort Myers Beach. He died in 2020 and a tribute concert will take place at Cape Cabaret in Cape Coral on July 21. PHOTO BY Keely Linhard

For those who missed a chance to say farewell to longtime Fort Myers Beach resident and former Bad Company singer Brian Howe, there will be a tribute in his honor Wednesday, July 21, in Cape Coral.

Cape Cabaret will host a concert featuring a Bad Company cover band and Foreigner cover band from 7-9:30 p.m. with tributes to the late Howe from friends to be read aloud between sets.

Howe’s solo music will be played in between sets.

The show is being organized by music agent Iona Elliott, a friend of Howe and wife of Foreigner’s original drummer Dennis Elliott. The Elliotts knew Howe through Rick Wills, the former bassist for Bad Company and Foreigner among other musical collaborations.

Elliott said consideration was given to having the concert on Fort Myers Beach, where Howe lived for many years. She said How’s son Michael “wanted to do something but didn’t know what to do.”

Ultimately, Cape Cabaret won out as a favorable location when it was learned that the Bad Company and Foreigner bands had a show scheduled there July 21, one day before Howe’s birthday. Howe died last year in May after a heart attack, weeks after moving from Fort Myers Beach. Howe had a history of heart trouble and had been living in a log cabin in Lake Placid, northeast of Lee County.

Howe played with Bad Company between 1986 and 1994, taking over for the celebrated singer and fellow Englishman Paul Rodgers after he left the group he founded to play with Jimmy Page.

Elliott expects there will be a lot of good laughs at the tribute. “Brian was always a really funny guy,” she said.

Howe’s manager of six years, Paul Easton, called Howe “quite the character.” Once, in an interview, Howe was asked how he filled the shoes of Rodgers. Howe replied, “I have bigger feet.”

Easton said that although Howe had heart trouble, his death was “kind of a surprise because he was really fit.” His first heart attack in 2017 occurred before he was scheduled to go on tour in Europe. Easton said that Howe had a bad bike accident a week before his death.

After leaving Bad Company, Howe embarked on a solo career which wasn’t as successful as his Bad Company days. Howe was responsible for co-writing most of the Bad Company songs during his tenure, enjoying platinum record sales from one album. Two other albums were certified gold.

Howe was known for caring about animals and was on boards for animal welfare organizations.

Elliott said Howe had a lot of pets and would cook food for his dogs.

“He had a really big heart,” Elliott said. Howe played at a benefit for a member of the band PUSH, who Elliott used to manage. He also played at a celebration of life with Dennis Elliott after PUSH member Tommy Yates died in 2019.

“I know that Brian would have had a good time. There will be a lot of laughing and hopefully not too much crying,” Elliott said. “He was a fun person, a loving person.”

Howe is survived by three children and a granddaughter.

To reserve a table for the special tribute show, please visit the Cape Cabaret website at https://capecabaret.com/reservations/.

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