Bad Company is ready to celebrate its 40th anniversary by heading out on a North American tour that kicks off Saturday night in Rancho Mirage, California. The British blues-rock hit makers have 30 dates on their schedule, almost half of which they'll co-headline with their old friends Lynyrd Skynyrd .
Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers says he's excited about hitting the road with his group, which features fellow founding band mates Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke , as well as ex- Heart guitarist Howard Leese .
"I'm looking forward to playing with the guys again," he tells ABC News Radio, "'cause we do kick it out there and we do make really good musical conversation, I think."
As for what Bad Company will be performing on the trek, Rodgers says, "I wanna put a set list together that's different and digs a little deeper into the back catalog, but that has all the songs that people expect, as well. You know, 'Shooting Star' and 'Feel Like Makin' Love' and 'Can't Get Enough of Your Love' and 'Rock Steady.'"
He adds, "When I put a set together, I like it to have a lot of different ingredients. It's gotta have impact, it's gotta have [an] intimate moment, it's gotta have a point at which the audience participates in what's going on…the singing."
With regard to Bad Company teaming up with Lynyrd Skynyrd, the singer says he thinks his band and the Southern-rock legends will make an especially enticing bill for rock fans.
"I think it's a really compatible mix of music," he tells ABC News Radio, "'cause we're different enough, and yet in the same ballpark enough, to where I think it's really got a strong appeal to a wide expanse of people."
Rodgers says he has a long history with Skynyrd, having previously played shows with the band both as a member of Bad Company and with his solo group. He also reveals that he has a special fondness for the Southern rockers because they actually introduced him to his wife during a tour 15 years ago.
"They said, 'Wait 'til we get to Vancouver. You're gonna meet Cynthia ,'" the singer recalls. "I'm like, 'Yeah, yeah. OK, sure.' [And they said,] 'No, no. Really'…'cause they were matchmaking like crazy. And, strangely enough, it worked."
Meanwhile, reflecting on Bad Company's milestone anniversary and the fact that so many of its tunes have remained popular, Paul notes, "It is strange to me, because you write these songs and you move on…You don't think that they're gonna stick around for [40 years] and still have a lot of relevance. And, I'm pleased, proud and grateful for that."
Bad Company's 40th anniversary tour is scheduled through a September 29 appearance at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, California.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio