Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show

ANNA MARIA – Bad Company and former Free drummer Simon Kirke brought his multitude of musical talents, humor and storytelling skills to The Center of Anna Maria Friday evening.

Kirke began and ended Friday’s outdoor concert playing the drums in his signature rock solid, snare drum-cracking style. He sang all the lead vocals and throughout the evening he also played acoustic guitar, ukulele and piano.

The Empty Pockets, an excellent Chicago-based Americana/rock band in their own right, served as Kirke’s backing band after playing a short set of their own songs before Kirke joined them on stage.

17-year old lead guitarist and lead vocalist Johnny Jensen opened Friday’s show in Anna Maria, Florida.

Kirke’s works

Kirke’s set began with the Bad Company hit “Movin’ On,” which set the tone for the enjoyable and engaging performance to come.

Next was the title track from Kirke’s latest solo album “All Because of You,” which he recorded in 2016 with The Empty Pockets. Featuring acoustic guitars, a catchy melody and an upbeat, bouncy tempo, “All Because of You” is one of many songs Kirke wrote for and about his wife, Maria Figueredo, for his third solo album.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Simon Kirke is an accomplished acoustic guitarist. Photo: Joe Hendricks

After a tip of the cap to his health-challenged Bad Company bandmate Mick Ralphs,” Kirke led the band through another Bad Company hit, “Ready for Love” – a song Ralphs originally wrote and recorded as a member of Mott the Hoople.

Kirke and the band then dug deep into the Free catalog (Kirke and Bad Company lead singer Paul Rogers’ previous band) and played “Love You So” – a poignant song co-written by Kirke and Rogers about saying goodbye and watching time slip away.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Josh Solomon and Nate Bellon did double duty during Friday’s concert.
Photo: Joe Hendricks

After sharing a story about his friendship with Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, and becoming a member of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Kirke introduced a song he said was inspired by Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” as well as his own personal journey from rock star excess to sobriety. After performing the semi-serious parody, “50 Ways to Love Your Liver,” Kirke joked, “It’s the most expensive song I ever wrote.”

Kirke then introduced his bandmates for the evening: Josh Solomon on electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards and backing vocals, Erika Brett (Solomon’s wife) on keyboards and backing vocals, Nate Bellon on bass and backing vocals and Adam Balasco on drums, percussion and electric guitar.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Adam Balasco played percussion while Simon Kirke played the drums.
Photo: Joe Hendricks

Before they played “Weep No More,” from Bad Company’s “Straight Shooter” album, Kirke said the song he wrote was heavily influenced by Aretha Franklin’s “Mary, Don’t You Weep.” 

“I loved it and I completely stole it,” he said of Franklin’s song.

Inspired by an audience member who more than once shouted out a request to play Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” Kirke told an impromptu story about three of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd band members joining Bad Company on stage uninvited during a show in London. They then took lead singer Paul Rogers out on the town for an adventure that ended with a short stay in a London jail and a call to Kirke to bail them out.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Simon Kirke plays piano too. Photo: Joe Hendricks

While sitting at the piano, Kirke introduced the piano-driven song Bad Company song “Silver, Blue & Gold” as a song he wished that band played more often.  

Kirke remained at the piano for one of the unexpected highlights of the evening: the song “Melting on Madison,” and the story Kirke told about a real-life encounter in New York City that inspired him to write it for his “All Because of You” album.

“I’m out on Madison Avenue trying to get a cab. It’s about 11 at night and it’s pouring rain. In front of me is this couple, and they’re obviously mad for each other. They’re getting drenched and she breaks from him and goes, ‘Oh darling, I want to melt into you.’ I’m thinking she must really love this guy. So, I went home and I wrote this song,” Kirke said, before performing the beautifully romantic, jazz-tinged song.

Kirke also told a story about a late night/early morning ride he took in Los Angeles as a passenger in a 2,000 horsepower funny car driven by Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. The short-lived joyride resulted in Bonham getting pulled over before he got the car out of first gear, but “Bonzo” avoided any further legal troubles when he handed the officer four tickets to an upcoming Led Zeppelin concert at the L.A. Forum,  

When introducing the song “Maria,” Kirke said, “This song is written for my wife.”

Before starting “Maria,” Kirke noted that he previously wrote a Bad Company song called “Anna.” This promoted him to say, “How about that? Anna, Maria,” in reference to his location that evening.

When performing the song “Maria,” accompanied by Solomon on keyboards, Kirke sang the following opening lyrics: “She walks in beauty through the night, with the moon and the stars around her, When she smiles at me, my heart takes flight and I bless the day that I found her…”

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Josh Solomon played keyboards while Simon Kirke strummed and sang “Maria.”
Photo: Joe Hendricks

Kirke told another story about the time he met Bob Marley and watched Bob Marley and The Wailers rehearse in a smoke-filled room in Kingston, Jamacia.

Kirke’s Bob Marley story led to a reggae-infused version of Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love,” on which Kirke joyously strumming a ukulele – as he did on the studio version he recorded with The Empty Pockets for his “All Because of You” album.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Simon Kirke played the ukulele on his reggae-infused version of Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love.” Photo: Joe Hendricks

Kirke’s last story of the night was about a party he attended at George Harrison’s mansion and the magical boat ride Harrison gave him on the underground lake below his mansion.

Kirke then returned to the drums to finish the show with three of Bad Company’s biggest hits, beginning with “Shooting Star” – a cautionary tale of a rock star who died with “a bottle of whiskey, sleeping tablets by his head.”

When “Shooting Star” ended, Kirke said, “Before we do this last song, thank you for turning out. It’s been lovely. Here’s a song that me and Paul wrote with a joint and a pint of lager. It took 10 minutes and it put all my kids through college, and me through rehab.”

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Simon Kirke closed his show with Free’s “All Right Now.” Photo: Joe Hendricks

Kirke and the band then launched into Bad Company’s namesake song “Bad Company,” which led many folks to jump to their feet and gleefully make their way toward the front of the stage.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
The Center crowd came to its feet as the concert neared its conclusion.
Photo: Joe Hendricks

Rather than leave the stage and return for an encore, Kirke said, “We can make a show of going off, but we want to do one more song.” He then counted off Free’s “All Right Now,” which features the signature snare drum beat Kirke devised in 1970 when Free recorded what would become that band’s biggest hit.

Sarasota residents Joe and Kara Collins attended Friday’s show and afterward Joe Collins proudly displayed a drumstick Simon Kirke tossed into the crowd.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Sarasota residents Joe and Kara Collins attended the Simon Kirke concert.
Photo: Joe Hendricks

“I absolutely loved the show. This was my fourth time seeing Simon and it was wonderful to see a living legend again. I really enjoyed all the wonderful stories he told about John Bonham, Bob Marley and The Beatles,” Joe Collins said.

When contacted Monday, Josh Solomon said, “Playing the hits of Bad Company and Free with Simon on the drums – as our first show back after a global pandemic – was pretty damn epic.”  

When contacted Monday, Kirke said, “Overall, I loved  the show. The audience was great. Even the hecklers were nice – raucous, but well-meaning. I loved Anna Maria Island. Great vibe. Like a time warp. Beautiful little houses. I can see why people like this place. And the staff at the venue were so nice. All in all, it was a beautiful evening.”

The only flaw in Friday’s show was the PA system occasionally cutting out at times, which was beyond the band’s control.

Pockets far from empty

During their four-song warmup set in which Solomon and Brett shared lead vocal duties, The Empty Pockets played an unreleased song called “Outside Spectrum,” and “Wolfpack,” from their 2019 release, “Tanglewoods” – the latter of which featured Brett’s soaring vocals.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Erika Brett’s soaring and soulful vocals are integral part of The Empty Pockets’ sound. Photo: Joe Hendricks

The band then invited percussionist Gerardo Velez to join them on stage. When introducing Velez, references were made to a famous photograph featuring Velez playing percussion at the Woodstock music festival with guitarist Jimi Hendrix in 1969.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
This 1969 photo of Jimi Hendricks and percussionist Gerardo Velez was mentioned during The Empty Pockets’ set. Photo: Submitted | Facebook

Velez has also performed with and/or recorded with Elton John, David Bowie, the popular jazz group Spyro Gyra and others.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Percussionist Gerardo Velez joined The Empty Pockets onstage. Photo: Joe Hendricks

Velez joined The Empty Pockets for “The Bubble,”  a song from their “Voices” CD. Velez enthusiastically and flamboyantly rocked a white tambourine and also played the compact conga drums Balasco would later play during Kirke’s show. The Empty Pockets set also included “Fill It Up,” from their “Tanglewoods” CD.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Percussionist Gerardo Velez still plays with incredible passion. Photo: Joe Hendricks

On Saturday, June 19th, The Empty Pockets will perform “Tanglewoods” in its entirety during one-time-only livestream event.

Up and coming

The evening started on a high note with an impressive set from 17-year-old blue/rock/jazz guitarist Johnny Jensen, who’s still a high school student in his hometown of Captiva Island, Florida. 

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Seventeen year old Johnny Jensen opened Friday’s show. Photo: Joe Hendricks

Filling out Jensen’s smooth but rocking sound were acoustic guitarist Dave Dust and percussionist Darrell Nutt, who masterfully played a Meinl Percussion Slap-Top Cajon, an electric bass drum and at times a hand-held shaker.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Percussionist Darrell Nutt and acoustic guitarist Dave Dust accompanied lead vocalist and lead guitarist Johnny Jensen. Photo: Joe Hendricks

Jensen’s set featured a few of his own compositions and cover songs that included his fantastic vocals and guitar work on his rendition of Bill Withers’ funky hit song, “Use Me.”

After his set ended, Jensen said that was his first visit to Anna Maria Island: “I thought it went very well. The crowd was great. I love playing here because where I’m from, Captiva Island, is very similar. I love the Island vibes and I’ll come to future shows here.”

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
These Bradenton residents enjoyed Friday’s show and the outdoor setting.
Photo: Joe Hendricks

Jensen named jazz guitarists Joe Pass and George Benson as musical influences and Michael Jackson and Queen’s Freddy Mercury as vocal influences.

Jensen said he hopes to do some touring later this year, but he also has another obligation to fulfill.

“I still have to finish school,” he said of his upcoming senior year.

Simon Kirke in good company at Anna Maria show
Concert attendees sat in chalk-marked pods at the outdoor show. Photo: Joe Hendricks

The Bradenton Gulf Islands Concert Series continues at The Center with former Journey singer Steve Augeri on Thursday, June 17, and with The Grass Roots and special guest Donny Iris on Friday, July 2.

The Sunshine Gazette’s concert preview interview with Simon Kirke can be accessed here.

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA – Bad Company and former Free drummer Simon Kirke will be headlining a concert at The Center of Anna Maria in Anna Maria, Florida, on Friday, June 11.

Friday’s show is part of the Bradenton Gulf Islands Concert Series. Sold in pods of two to six seats, tickets are $60-$75 and available online at iTickets. Tickets can also be ordered by phone at 1-800-965-9324. Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs to this outdoor show. The Sandbar restaurant will provide the cash bar.

The Empty Pockets, from Chicago, Illinois, will serve as Kirke’s backing band for Friday’s show. Up and coming blues/rock guitarist Johnny Jensen, from Captiva, Florida, will open the outdoor show. Taking place rain or shine, the doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Simon says…

On Friday, June 4, The Sunshine Gazette conducted a 30-minute telephone interview with Kirke. When asked what the people of Anna Maria can expect to see at a Simon Kirke show, he said, “I’m going to be singing, playing guitar and piano and I’ll be playing drums on quite a few songs. I’ve got a great band called The Empty Pockets. Their manager is the same manager I have, David Spero.”

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria
Simon Kirke plays guitar and piano in addition to drumming and singing. Photo:

“When I wanted to put together a band to do my last solo album, I wanted to play with a band and not just get a couple session guys or play everything myself. David said you should listen to these guys. He sent me some songs of theirs and they sounded like seasoned professionals. I thought they were guys from my generation because they’re so good, but David said they were all in their twenties and thirties. I flew out to Chicago to meet them. They were so nice. We clicked immediately and we knocked out the album in about four days.”

The Empty Pockets feature Josh Solomon on vocals and guitar, his wife, Erika Brett on vocals and keyboards, Nate Bellon on bass and vocals and Adam Balasco on drums and vocals.

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria
Josh Solomon and Erika Brett share lead vocal duties for The Empty Pockets. Photo:

“The Empty Pockets will do four or five songs and then I’ll come on and do my thing. Adam’s a very good drummer. He also plays guitar and percussion when I’m playing drums. They’re a very versatile bunch and they all sing very well, so there will be some nice harmonies. I’ll be doing my songs, a couple Free songs and some Bad Company songs. There should be something for everyone,” Kirke said.

Friday’s show will include songs from Kirke’s latest solo album, “All Because of You.”

“I wrote most of the songs after I met my wife, Maria, a few years ago. Most of the songs are written for her and that’s why I called it ‘All Because of You.’ We recorded it in Chicago a few years ago and I’m very proud of it. I couldn’t have done it without The Empty Pockets. Hats off to them. They’re real good. They’re old heads on young shoulders and I’m very proud and happy to be working with them,” Kirke said.

“All Because of You” features the song “Maria” and the title track, “All Because of You.”

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria
Simon Kirke released his third solo album, “All Because of You,” in 2017 Photo:

Friday’s show will be the first post-pandemic gigs for Kirke and for the
Empty Pockets. Later this year, The Empty Pockets will be touring as Al Stewart’s backing band. Kirke said he doesn’t currently have a tour

“We are looking at other shows now that the country is opening up a little more. There’s talk about doing some shows in the Midwest opening for another band. I love touring and I love performing, but it’s still a little dicey out there. We’ll just have to wait and see. I’m certainly looking forward to performing, whether it’s in a local club, a theater or an arena. Hopefully, there will be more shows later this year. And I think Bad Company will be going out next year,” Kirke said. 

Kirke was asked if he’s ever been to Anna Maria Island before.

“No, but I just love the sound of it,” he said, noting Maria will not be joining him on this trip because she’s staying behind in New York to look after her father.

Kirke and his wife live in Montauk, New York.

“I love Montauk. I love living out there. I’ve got a studio in the house and I’ve managed to do a lot of things this past year. I recorded an album with a band called Lonerider, from England, with a great singer, Steve Overland, and a great guitar player, Steve Morris. They’re both wonderful.

“I did an album a couple years ago with them as well. The album we recorded last year has not been released yet. The album we did a couple years ago is called ‘Attitude.’ If you like Bad Company, Boston and bands like that you’ll love Lonerider. They’re an amazing band,” Kirke said.

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria
Simon Kirke is also a member of the band Lonerider. Photo: Submitted

The “Attitude” album includes the songs “Yesterday Heroes” and “Rhythm of Life.”

Talking drums

Before forming Bad Company in 1973 with guitarist Mick Ralphs and bassist Boz Burrell, Kirke and Bad Company lead singer Paul Rogers were members of the band Free from 1968 to 1973.

Released in 1970, Free’s biggest hit was “All Right Now.”

Bad Company’s numerous hits include “Bad Company,” “Feel Like Making Love,” “Movin’ On,” “Silver Blue & Gold,” “Shooting Star,” “Can’t Get Enough,” and “Ready for Love,” many of which will be performed Friday night. 

Kirke was asked how he would describe his style of drumming.

“Simple, solid and tasteful,” he said.

Kirke said two of his early drumming influences were Ringo Starr, from The Beatles, and Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones.

“Of course it was Ringo and Charlie. I loved Charlie. Charlie Watts still has one of the greatest backbeats in the history of drumming. His backbeat is just phenomenal. I was also very influenced by Al Jackson Jr., from Booker T. & the M.G.’s.,” Kirke said.

Kirke also enjoyed the drumming of Roger Hawkins, who was part of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio group of studio musicians that played on hundreds of famous songs and records.

“Roger was a very big influence. He just passed away and I was very sorry to see that. I did an online recording session with David Hood (the Muscle Shoals bassist, and father of Drive-By Truckers singer/songwriter/guitarist Patterson Hood). I knew Roger wasn’t doing very well and I emailed David and told him how much I loved Roger’s playing,” Kirke said.

The Band’s Levon Helm was another drummer who influenced Kirke.

“The great thing about Levon was that he was a very intelligent drummer because he played other instruments. He played, guitar, piano and mandolin – as did Al Jackson, which I only found that out recently. Al played bass and piano as well. I think that gave them a better knowledge of applying drums to whatever song they were playing on. I play other instruments as well and I’d like to think that’s what I do too. Drums are my number one instrument, but I’ve always played guitar, piano and bass,” Kirke said.

Kirke was friends with Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. 

“Bonzo was a very good friend of mine and even after all this time I think of him quite a lot. We’re pretty much the same age. He was born June and I was born in July of 1949. When Bad Company teamed up with Zeppelin on their Swan Song record label we became firm friends pretty quickly. I actually played with them on stage in Munich, Germany. We did ‘Whole Lotta Love’ together, which went on for about 20 minutes. He was quite something to play along with. I loved his drumming and his son, Jason, is an amazing drummer too,” Kirke said.

Kirke mentioned the odd time signatures featured in Led Zeppelin songs such as “Black Dog” and “The Ocean” and several others: “People say Zeppelin was a straight ahead rock and roll band. They were not. Some of those songs are bloody hard to play.” 

Kirke plays DW drums these days, but he’ll be using Balasco’s drum set during Friday’s show.

Kirke typically plays a four-piece drumkit that includes a bass drum, a snare drum, one rack tom and one floor tom.

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria

Simon Kirke has played every Bad Company concert ever performed.
Photo: Joe SchaefferPhotography/

“Since I was a teenager, I’ve always played a simple kit, because when I was growing up it was Ringo and Charlie and they only ever played a four-piece kit. Bonzo also played a smaller kit. I flirted with a couple different kits when Ginger Baker (from Cream) came out with the double bass drums but that just wasn’t for me. Through the years, I might have added a rack tom or an extra floor tom, but I’m just happy playing four drums. That’s my style,” Kirke said.

“Neil Peart (from Rush) was such a good drummer. He could have played a four-piece kit, but his style called for the multi-drum kit that he was known and loved for. The same with Terry Bozzio. I think Terry has the biggest kit in the world. And Alex Van Halen had all those bass drums and toms. It’s ‘horses for courses’ and it just wasn’t me,” Kirke said. 

Kirke is the only drummer Bad Company has ever had.

“I played every show that Bad Company’s ever done,” he said.

When discussing some of his favorite Free and Bad Company albums, Kirke said, “My favorite Free album was the second album, called ‘Free.’ We’d been together over a year and were really coming to a peak as a band, and Paul Rogers and Andy Fraser were writing such wonderful songs. I was just a great album from beginning to end, and the album cover was wonderful,” Kirke said.

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria

Straight Shooter is Simon Kirke’s favorite Bad Company album. Photo: Wikipedia

“For Bad Company, maybe the second album, Straight Shooter, because there were such amazing songs on there: ‘Shooting Star,’ ‘Feel Like Making Love,’ ‘Good Lovin’ Gone Bad’ and ‘Weep No More,’ a song that I wrote. I have a lot of affection for that.” Kirke said.

Kirke was asked about the running snare drum pattern he plays during the during the breakdown section of “All Right Now,” from Free’s breakthrough third album, “Fire and Water.”

All Right Now” was kind of in two parts. You had that four on the hi-hat with the pushed bass drum, and then once Andy Fraser started the bass solo instead of fours I played eights, because the fours didn’t run properly with that bass line and that groove. I came up with this running pattern on the snare to give it some life, to push it along. And then back to the fours on the hi-hats for the final verse and choruses. People ask me if I spent a long time thinking of that part. No, I just did it on the spot, and thank goodness it worked,” Kirke said.

Kirke also discussed the electronic drum fill featured in the song “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy,” from 1979’s “Desolation Angels” album. That signature drum fill was one of the early uses of the electronic Syndrums and other electronic drums that became so popular in the 1980s.  

“That wasn’t me. That was Paul Rogers, who’s a pretty drummer himself. I did the drum part, but Paul overdubbed that drum fill. We’d just gotten them. Syndrums delivered them to the studio and my drum tech had set them up. We were just mucking around on them and Paul said it would sound good if we had them on the track. So I said go for it, and I think he did it in one take. We took the Syndrums out on tour and I played them, but they were a bloody nightmare to play. I think after about three days we threw them in the river,” Kirke said.

Regarding his role as a vocalist in Bad Company, Kirke said, “With Bad Company, I was always a back-up singer because we had one of the greatest singers ever in Paul Rogers. Me, and Mick and Boz could all sing, but nowhere near as good as Paul.”

Brian Howe era

Bad Company temporarily disbanded after the release of “Rough Diamonds” in 1982 and did not tour again with Paul Rogers until the summer of 1999 – with a comeback tour that kicked off at Ruth Eckerd Hall, in Clearwater, Florida.

After Rogers’ initial departure, Bad Company regrouped and beginning in 1986 the band released four studio albums and one live album featuring former Ted Nugent singer Brian Howe on lead vocals.

With Howe on lead vocals, Bad Company’s hit songs included “Walk Through Fire,” “If You Need Somebody,” “Holy Water” and “No Smoke Without a Fire.”

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria

“Holy Water” featured Brian Howe on lead vocals.
Photo: Wikipedia

When discussing the Brian Howe era, Kirke said, “It was a departure from what a lot of people remember Bad Company for. I guess Bad Company had two distinctive parts – the original lineup and then the Brian Howe era. Brian passed away last year and I sent my condolences. We didn’t see eye to eye, and I think most people know that, but he was a hard worker. He was a good singer, but he wasn’t Paul Rogers. Ultimately, we drifted apart and he left the band, but we had a string of hits and lot of the younger fans remember the Brian Howe era more than they remember the Paul Rogers era. That was 30 years ago and people who are now in their forties grew up with that version of Bad Company, so I take my hat off to him. I was sorry to hear of his passing at a relatively young age.”

The promotional setlist provided for Friday’s concert does not include any songs from the Brian Howe era.

After Howe’s departure, Bad Company released two lesser known albums featuring Robert Hart on lead vocals.

Staying power

Kirke was asked to share his thoughts on why classic rock has had such staying power and remains so popular with the younger generations.

“There was a golden decade from 1964 to 1974 when modern music just took off. There were so many incredible bands that started in that era. Classic rock has amazing musicians. I’m not knocking today’s groups – there’s still some amazing singers, guitarists and drummers out there – but computers have really taken over. I have a four-track recorder in my home and I can record a song and put it out on YouTube in the next five minutes,” he said.

Bad Company’s Simon Kirke bringing his talents to Anna Maria

Simon Kirke and Paul Rogers plan to tour as Bad Company in 2022.
Photo: Joe Schaeffer Photography/

“Back in my day, we didn’t have that ability to record stuff and put it out on social media. Back in those days it had to be done right. You had tape. You didn’t have Pro Tools if you wanted to do a punch in or an overdub. You had to take more time to do things. The standard of musicianship and inventiveness was a bit higher back in those days,” Kirke said, noting that many modern day musicians mention the legendary classic rock bands as their musical influences.

Citing a famous Keith Richard’s quote, Kirke said, “We’re just passing on what we know to the next generation, and they will pass it on to their next generation. I’ve had a ball. I’ve had a great run. I love playing music and I’ll play music until I die. And hopefully you’ll see some of that on June 11.”

Regarding a future Bad Company tour with Paul Rogers, Kirke said, “We were going to go out with Rod Stewart last year but that was scuffled by COVID. We are definitely going out next year.”