{mosimage}Special Forces soldiers are thought by many to be some of the “baddest” warriors in the world. So it would stand to reason that when choosing a band to headline their annual fund-raising concert, the Special Forces Association would choose like company. So it is with great pride, they announce that Brian Howe, the former lead singer of Bad Company, one of the “baddest” bands in rock ‘n’ roll history, will headline the May 31 concert.
    The concert, at Festival Park, will feature live music all day long. Local Fayetteville bands have volunteered their time and talent to raise funds to help the SF Association fulfill one of its primary goals: taking care of the soldiers and their families.
    According to Jim Sawyer, president of Chapter C of the SF Association — the guys behind the concert — the SF Association puts its efforts into taking care of its own. The 501(C ) 3 nonprofit, raises funds for a variety of uses. One of the primary uses is to provide scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers. Related to that area, the organization will also award scholarships to the spouses of fallen soldiers. By gaining a degree, these spouses are better able to take care of their families in the absence of their spouses.
    The organization also provides money in emergency situations, which allows families of soldiers wounded in the war to travel to be with the injured soldier or to help meet their financial needs. In some instances the organization uses funds they raise to help retrofit the homes of soldiers who may have lost limbs while in the line of duty. Sawyer noted that money raised goes directly to support the SF soldier or, in the case of his death, his family.
    The organization has held similar concerts in years past, but on a much smaller scale. This year, they are pulling out all of the stops to offer Fayetteville one rocking weekend. Previous events have been held in area bars, but the move to Festival Park makes the event more family-oriented. In addition to the live music, which will begin at 11 and run throughout the day, there will also be a bike show  for bikes with motors and for kids who are encouraged to bring out their bikes without motors. Food vendors, as well as other vendors, will also be on hand to feed your hunger, while the musicians feed your need to rock.
    Local bands rallying to the cause of the organization include: Ethan Hanson, Donnaha Station, Superdrive, Fall in Two, Stronghold and Motorjunkie. Each of the bands brings its own style to the stage, with Donnaha Station reaching back to rocks roots, while Hanson brings a more mellow sound to the stage. Motorjunkie, Superdrive and Stronghold will rock the stage, all leading up to the big event at 9 p.m.
    Howe, the former lead singer of Bad Company, will take the stage and take the crowd back to the golden age of rock. Bad Company, an English blues rock supergroup came to international attention in the ‘70s under the directions of Peter Grant, the guiding hand behind Led Zeppelin. The band gained popularity throughout the ‘70s on into the ‘80s. In 1986, the band began to break apart from the inside and the members agreed to go their separate ways. As was the case with the mega rock bands of the era, the parting was not necessarily cordial, and involved a rather one-sided physical altercation between members of the band.
    Enter Howe. Howe came to national fame under the tutelage of rock’s wildman Ted Nugent. Nugent, the Motor City Madman, tapped Howe to sing lead vocals on his album Penetrator in 1983. A few years later, two of the original members of Bad Company — Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke — decided to reunite and tapped Howe to step in as the front man, replacing Paul Rodgers.
    Howe stayed with the band throughout the ‘80s and into the early 1990s. Howe’s lead brought more of a pop-rock sound to the band, and during his tenure with the band sold more than 19 million albums, featuring songs co-written by Howe and producer Terry Thomas. When the band broke up, Howe noted, “Leaving Bad Company was not a difficult decision. It had got to the point where nobody was contributing anything to songwriting and quite frankly, the band was getting very sloppy live.”
    While Howe has been working on his own music, much of the show will feature classic Bad Company songs.
In addition to the music, a number of special events have been scheduled throughout the day, including kids events featuring Captain Jim the Magician, jugglers and face painters. There will also be several raffles including a 2008 Chevy Silverado, a Fender Stratocaster, a Smith & Wesson .45, a mountain bike and much more.
    The daylong event begins at 11 a.m., with advance tickets costing $17 at ticketalternative.com or $20 at the gate.
    For more information, call 309-0888 or visit www.upandcomingweekly.com.
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