Bid on the original artwork for Boston's "Don't Look Back" LP cover

DLB Gary NormanGary Norman painted just one album cover during his long career as a maker of commercial art and creator of toy prototypes. That album landed in four million homes in just its first month of release, in August 1978, on its way to becoming one of the most beloved, best-selling and debated records of classic rock's defining decade.

And until April 2021, Norman had no idea just how popular Boston's Don't Look Back really was. He says he never knew it reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts, a feat not even achieved by Boston's self-titled 1976 debut, which featured the immortal "More Than a Feeling." Or that its title track, powered by a guitar riff still catchy like a cold, was a Top 5 pop hit. Or that Don't Look Back was among the very first CDs released upon the format's debut in the early 1980s.

"I'm not really a music historian," Norman said after listening to that brief highlight reel of Boston's second record. "But wow. The things you find out."

He played a small part in that history: Norman's name appears in Don't Look Back's credits, as its cover artist. As with everything Boston, the concept came from songwriter, guitarist and technician Tom Scholz, who made one guitar sound like an army of them and could spend years making a few minutes' worth of music. But it was Norman who finally and successfully piloted that upside-down guitar spaceship, which bears the band's iconic logo, over a valley of crystals beneath a deep-blue sky.

Boys not yet men hung that poster on their bedroom walls and wore it across their chests like some superhero's emblem. In the summer of '78, as Brad Delp yelped those lyrics that smelled like teen spirit, Norman's work was everywhere – especially on the Sunset Strip, blown up on a billboard that hovered over Hollywood.

"Thrilled me to death," he says of that moment. Norman has some pictures of him standing in front of that epic ad.

He has the original Don't Look Back artwork, too, though not for much longer: Heritage Auctions is thrilled to offer Norman's acrylic-and-airbrushed Don't Look Back original in the Dallas-based house's April 30 Illustration Art Signature Auction. Estimated to sell for upwards of $35,000, bidding already has surpassed the $27,000 mark … though, given its place in the pantheon, it's likely to go much, much higher during the home stretch.

Norman says now he only got the gig when the original artist fell ill; his rep knew a guy who knew a guy. He also never expected Epic Records to return the painting once he turned it in to Boston's label, which infamously rushed Scholz to finish the band's second record (hence its abbreviated runtime). He always intended to display it somewhere in his home. But, he just never got around to it.

"I've had that artwork in my extra bedroom for almost 40 years, and, really, what good is it doing sitting in the bedroom?" Norman says. "I never even had it framed. Funny thing is, I bought two of the albums and had them framed. But the original was sitting here, covered, and I am sure there are a lot of people still interested in it, even though it's 40 years later. I just thought I should share it now, while there are still fans."

He is told: There will always be Boston fans.

Norman laughs.

"Well, I should hope so."

Auction: Gary Norman (American, 20th Century). Boston-Don't Look Back album | Lot #71060 | Heritage Auctions (

Primary Wave Music Publishing Announces Today It's Acquisition of The Music Publishing of Boston's Iconic Self-Titled Debut Album

New York, NY (September 13, 2019) – Primary Wave Music Publishing continues its expansion with yet another acquisition. After announcing two recent, multi-million dollar deals with the Estate of Whitney E. Houston and Culture Club, the publishing company now welcomes the legendary rock band BOSTON to its roster. In a deal that closed last week, Primary Wave purchased the music publishing of the band’s iconic self-titled, debut album from its former manager Paul Ahern/Pure Songs. Released in 1976, BOSTON became the best-selling debut album in the U.S. that year and went on to sell more than 25 million copies worldwide.

The music was the brainchild of guitarist and studio genius, Tom Scholz. A self-taught musician, Scholz didn’t begin playing the guitar until he was 21 years old. He started writing songs shortly after while earning his master’s degree in engineering. Over the course of nearly a decade, the multi-instrumentalist created demo after demo in his basement studio and finally hit gold with what would become his massive hit, “More Than A Feeling.” It was that song that caught the attention of Epic Records which immediately signed Scholz and vocalist Brad Delp. About six months later, BOSTON released its ground-breaking debut effort which remained the best-selling debut for any band for 10 years.

The 8-track album, which is considered to be a landmark of 1970’s rock music, not only features BOSTON’s top 5 smash “More Than A Feeling,” but also includes additional well-known hit singles, “Foreplay/Long Time,” “Smokin’,” and “Peace of Mind.” Songs from the album have gone on to be covered by everyone from N*Sync to Sleater-Kinney to Anthrax, and have appeared in a number of films and TV shows such as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “The Sopranos,” and “The Walking Dead.”

Known as the inventor of the BOSTON sound, Scholz is the principal songwriter, principal instrumentalist, and engineer, and continues to tour, playing to sold-out crowds across North America. To date BOSTON remains a staple of classic rock radio playlists, has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and is one of the world’s best-selling artists releasing six studio albums over a career spanning more than 40 years.

Scholz also created the Rockman portable guitar amplifier which featured many effects for musicians, one of which was its ability to reproduce the unique “BOSTON” guitar sound with incredible accuracy. The amps stopped production in the 90s, however the originals have become collector’s items. Scholz is also known for his charitable efforts including his DTS Charitable Foundation which helps support causes such as animal protection, vegetarian resources, stopping world hunger, creating homeless shelters, food banks, advocating for children’s rights, and more. Through his foundation, the legendary musician has donated millions of dollars over the years.

“The debut BOSTON album is unique” says Tom Scholz. “Everything about the creation of the music, the recording process, even the actual equipment used, violated all accepted norms for pop and rock music. Written, performed, engineered and produced by an unknown amateur in the basement of an apartment using radically different homemade gear, many music aficionados were incensed that such a recording could be successful, and some have done their best to ignore it, even today.  My hope is that Primary Wave will help bring this music and its positive message to many more listeners.”

“I have been a fan of the band and Tom Scholz since the debut album, BOSTON, in 1976,” says Lawrence Mestel, CEO & Founder, Primary Wave Music Publishing. He continues, “Tom created some of the most memorable rock songs of all time and we are excited to welcome him to the Primary Wave family.”

Tommy DeCarlo of Boston Starts Anew with a Familial Project

By Pat Moran - Queen City Nerve

Charlotte, NC August 21, 2020 - Tommy DeCarlo, lead singer of Boston, is a contradiction: a rock star who’s a regular guy. In 2008, he was catapulted to fame and fortune as the lead singer of his favorite band, a classic rock juggernaut. In 2012, he launched his own successful group DeCarlo, featuring his son, Tommy DeCarlo Jr., on guitar. And through all the adulation and exhilaration of playing packed auditoriums, and recording new music with a beloved group that has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, the 55-year-old DeCarlo remains a down-to-earth husband and father.

“We have a wonderful following here in the Charlotte area and it’s been a lot of fun,” DeCarlo says of the five-piece rock combo that shares his last name. “The true blessing for me is being able to do this with my son.”

Tommy DeCarlo Sr., lead singer of Boston and DeCarlo. (Photo by Kamal Asar)

DeCarlo brings its brand of melodic classic rock for a new generation, along with a selection of Boston’s hits, to the Barrel Room at Catawba Brewing Company on Saturday. True to his modest demeanor, DeCarlo says the focus of the show is All Things Possible (ATP), a charity that will receive 100% of the night’s proceeds.

The organization provides mobility solutions for those who are unable to walk or in wheelchairs. Those solutions range from motorized wheelchairs to wheelchair-accessible vans that can transport people safely to their medical and therapy appointments, says Lisa Sexton, ATP’s executive director. “We’re the only ones doing it, and there’s a big need out there, in Charlotte and beyond,” Sexton says.

Sexton has partnered with Terry Hudson of Hudson Media Concept to present Saturday’s show. Hudson, a speaker, consultant and entertainment industry coach, drew on his music industry connections to book the opening performers on the concert’s bill.

Creating Peace of Mind

Since the concert may be the first in-person event that many audience members have attended since Charlotte’s shut down in mid-March, organizers affirm that the show will be compliant with restrictions put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Although the Barrel Room can hold 230 people, seating is limited to 88, well below North Carolina’s requirement of 50% occupancy, Sexton says. She adds that face masks are required and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue. Hudson offers that temperatures will be checked at the door.

“They’re very strict,” Sexton says. “Catawba told us that if somebody is even like a point over, if they’re 98.7 instead of 98.6, they’re not letting them in.”

DeCarlo tells Queen City nerve that the Barrel Room concert is not the band’s first in-person show since the pandemic swept through the nation. The band, which consists of DeCarlo on lead vocals, his son Tommy Jr. on lead guitar, Payton Velligan on keyboards and guitar, Edward Sturt on bass and Christian Sturt on drums, has played four or five non-virtual house shows, DeCarlo says. In each instance, social distancing and masks have been required.

“Not only have a lot of venues canceled because of [the pandemic], but we have also canceled some that we just didn’t feel comfortable doing,” DeCarlo says.

Rock & Roll is a Family Affair

DeCarlo and his son started the namesake band 12 years ago. “We both decided to get involved in the project because he wanted to start performing and playing guitar,” the elder DeCarlo says. When Tommy Sr. got home from tours with Boston, the father and son would start working together on their band. In 2008, they had cemented a lineup and felt ready to start playing shows. “It’s one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had as a musician,” DeCarlo says.

He maintains that his son is far more than just the band’s guitarist. The younger DeCarlo is in charge of almost every aspect of the band. Details including wardrobe, sound and lighting fall under his purview. “He handles everything … and does a great job,” DeCarlo says of his son. “I’m very proud of him.”

Tommy DeCarlo Jr. shreds. (Photo by Kamal Asar)

An unexpected benefit from forming a band came in 2018 when Frontiers, the Italian hard rock record label that Boston calls home, floated the idea of a recording contract for the DeCarlo combo. “It was a bonus,” DeCarlo says. “We weren’t even trying to get a record deal.”

At the label’s request, DeCarlo, who had been writing songs and playing piano ever since he was a teenager growing up in Utica, New York, sent over a few demos he’d been working on. The label liked what they heard, and offered a record deal. “Then it was time to get to work and write the rest of the record,” DeCarlo remembers “It was a lot of work, but it also was a lot of fun.”

Though DeCarlo teamed with a couple of songwriting collaborators for his band’s debut Lightning Strikes Twice, he wrote the bulk of the album’s material. He remembers spending a lot of time in his music room crafting new songs.

The resulting album, released last January, draws inspiration from some of DeCarlo’s favorite artists growing up, Boston being among them. But the uplifting and melodic collection of classic rock-influenced tunes is far from a mere tribute to DeCarlo’s main gig. He says the song “Rock N’ Soul” takes its cue from 1970s and ’80s British-American chart topper Foreigner, and adds saxophone to the mix of bass, drums, guitars and keyboards.

DeCarlo offers that he has received some online criticism for the album’s revved-up pop rocker “Gotta Go.”

“A couple of people commented that it sounds dated, that its kind of ’80s,” DeCarlo says. “I’ll take that as a compliment because that was my goal.”

Lightning Strikes Twice has garnered positive reviews on hard-rock websites including Danger Dog, Get Ready to Rock and Maximum Volume Music.

Tommy DeCarlo Finds Himself in Boston

Similar to Frontier’s serendipitous recording contract, DeCarlo’s path to becoming the lead singer for one of the most iconic bands in classic rock’s canon was unlikely and unexpected. It all began because he was heartbroken. In 2007, Boston’s longtime lead vocalist Brad Delp unexpectedly took his own life. Tommy DeCarlo, a lifelong Boston fan who had drawn inspiration from Delp’s vocals, sat down at his piano to write and eventually record a tribute to the Delp. The song “A Man He’ll Always Be” was a rejoinder to the Boston song “A Man I’ll Never Be.”

“To me [Delp] will always be a man,” DeCarlo says. “I really felt for what was going on with the band Boston — the loss of a great singer.”

DeCarlo recorded the song, and with the help of his daughter Talia, put it up on MySpace. He also sent the MySpace link to Boston’s website and offered to sing the song at an upcoming Brad Delp tribute concert in the band’s hometown of Boston, never expecting to hear an answer.

A short time later, Boston founder and songwriter Tom Scholz contacted Tommy DeCarlo asking him to sing a few songs onstage with the band at the tribute show. “It’s often been written that this opportunity with Boston has been a childhood dream of mine,” DeCarlo says. “Honestly, I never had dreams of being a rock star. I don’t consider myself one. Music was something I did just as a hobby.”

DeCarlo fronted his favorite band at the show. It was an awesome experience, DeCarlo says, but he was sure it was a one-off gig, a memory to treasure as he returned to his day job as a credit manager at a Home Depot in Charlotte’s Steele Creek neighborhood. DeCarlo didn’t expect something great to happen, he maintains, but then something did.

“[Scholz] got in touch a short while later and we talked about doing some touring together,” DeCarlo remembers. A short while later, DeCarlo was up in Boston, rehearsing for the band’s 2008 tour. “It was a complete shock that the band felt I was worthy of that opportunity,” DeCarlo offers. “I’m thankful that I’ve been with them ever since.”

Tommy DeCarlo knows that stepping into the spotlight with Boston would be daunting for any musician. In 1976, Boston released one of the fastest selling debut albums in history, muscling aside disco and punk rock for a place in the charts. The band would eventually score four top ten hits, including one chart-topping song, “Armada,” in 1986.

Today, practically every song on the band’s self-titled debut is a staple on classic rock radio stations. Ever since that rehearsal in 2008, DeCarlo, who had never sung with a band before, has been the frontman of the original area rockers, the onstage voice for one of his musical heroes. After years of touring with the band, DeCarlo also recorded with them as well. He’s particularly proud that his singing is featured on Boston’s 2013 album, Life, Love and Hope.

At that first rehearsal, DeCarlo was relieved to discover that his rock ‘n’ roll inspirations were a bunch of down-to-earth guys — even Scholz, the rock fan who earned a master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before recording the bulk of the band’s debut in his basement studio. “Tom doesn’t think of himself as this iconic rock star,” DeCarlo says, “nor does he act that way.”

DeCarlo, with a similar temperament, felt he was a good fit with Boston. He feels he clicked with the band because he didn’t bring any rock star baggage or behaviors to the table. But one thing in DeCarlo’s life did change. To go on tour, he had to quit Home Depot. Perhaps it was prophetic that the first song he sang in rehearsal with Boston was “Don’t Look Back.”

Don’t Look Back

DeCarlo’s main hope for the Catawba Brewing Barrel Room show is that the band can generate some money for All Things Possible. “I know that they’re very proud of what they do,” DeCarlo says. “I think it’s a wonderful cause.”

DeCarlo (Photo by Kamal Asar)

Hudson promises three opening acts for the show. The featured performers include inspirational gospel and soul singer Abraham Staten who fronts the Abraham Staten Experience; and Ashanti Munir, who has performed at the Middle C Jazz Club. Hudson predicts that music lovers will soon be hearing a lot about Lauren Celaya, the third singer to entertain the intimate audience on Saturday. Hudson hopes the show is an opportunity for people like DeCarlo and the supporting performers to use their gifts and talents to make a positive impact.

“I think that positive impact is needed in a confused world right now,” Hudson offers.

At the same time, the show represents an opportunity for All Things Possible to gain name recognition. “It’s important to get our name out there and let people know we exist so we can continue to help these kids in wheelchairs,” says Sexton.

“Music has that healing power and this will be a cool thing when people, little by little are starting to come together again,” Hudson says.

The concert will also include a Q&A with DeCarlo and an auction where concertgoers can bid on prizes, including a guitar signed by the members of DeCarlo. With typical modesty, DeCarlo sees his band’s role that evening as a supporting act for All Things Possible. He says he hopes to bring some excitement to the event.

“The main thing is helping the organization as much as we can with some good music,” he says.


DECARLO Frontiers Music




Being inducted into the NAMM TECnology Hall of Fame is a huge thrill for me as an engineer/musician. This brings back many memories of the struggle to invent, design, and build the first fully-functional ROCKMAN prototype which led up to the incredible experience of debuting it at the ’82 summer NAMM show in Atlanta.

In 1982 there was no way to practice high-power rock guitar quietly. Even though I had already designed the Power Soak attenuator, it was still too loud to plug your Les Paul into a Marshall stack in the middle of the night, unless you lived alone and a long way from your nearest neighbor. Besides, it just wasn’t the same listening to your power chords at living room volume. What I needed was a way to get that maxed-out overdrive sound in headphones – and not that turned-down amp-in-your-bedroom sound, but huge, total immersion stereo sound that you get on stage with everything on 10. (There was no 11 yet!) And it had to be portable enough to travel without a truck!

After some lame attempts at plugging headphones into an amp output through an attenuator, and even wiring up some simple filters, I realized this problem was going to take a lot more engineering effort. Having spent the last ten years learning how to create guitar sounds with analog electronic equipment, and seven years before that having a wealth of engineering know-how crammed into my head at MIT and Polaroid, I knew that this was a challenge I could tackle. However, making it fit into a Les Paul guitar case (this is where the “peanut butter sandwich” size requirement came from) and doing it for a price that wouldn’t necessitate hocking your guitar were not so obviously attainable goals.

First step was to draw up a block diagram with all the analog pieces needed to get state-of-the-art sustain and distortion, surrounding stereo doubled image, and stereo echo plus reverb. The unique way these processing circuits were combined led to the patents for what I would call the ROCKMAN, a portable device that would convince your ears you were performing in an arena. Moving from this diagram and a few sketches to an actual working model took a small crowd of talented people in addition to myself, a lot of money I didn’t expect to see again, and a little over a year of hard work, stress, inspiration, and abject failure. It seemed impossible that we would make our deadline for the NAMM show, but after all-nighters by a dedicated team and badly-frazzled nerves, at the last minute the first prototype was ready. It still had a lot of unresolved circuit issues so I would have to be very careful about what I played and how I played it.
Summer NAMM 1982

The tiny little jewel of a black box sat alone on a pedestal, diminutive, in the middle of an empty 20-foot booth with a backdrop formed by the word ROCKMAN in giant concrete letters. OK, they were painted styrofoam, but they looked real. This was summer NAMM. Back then that was the BIG NAMM show, and we were surrounded by all the glamour, glitz, and the overwhelming products of the giant corporations’ displays. Here we were playing amongst the big dogs with nothing but me, a guitar, and a tiny box no one had ever seen. What was I thinking? Had I lost my mind? – I had of course, but it had happened long ago. Next to the box sat just two pairs of headphones, one for me with my Les Paul, and one for whoever wanted to hear what the box did. That’s right, it was just one at a time. I would play for a couple of minutes and one person could listen – I wasn’t really expecting a crowd. I was wrong.

The first curious by-stander put the headphones on and I played a few power chords. His eyes got really big. He looked around, like, where are the amp stacks hiding? Then tore the headphones off. He was greeted with total silence, except for the milling early morning attendees and the little plinkity-plink sounds of a Les Paul with no amplifier. After a couple of times with the headphones off, then back on, he finally came to believe that the sounds he heard really were all in his head, compliments of the ROCKMAN, and not in the room. This guy immediately grabbed a few people he knew to drag them over to hear the box, other people noticed the commotion and wanted a turn with the headphones. My coffee was still sitting on the pedestal untouched by midmorning, and the line to hear the ROCKMAN stretched all the way down the length of the walkway past all the other booths and out of sight. My demo performance was shortened to only about a minute, but there was no keeping up with the line of interested parties. I think every buyer at NAMM who heard it ordered it, and a lot of buyers just ordered without listening to it because they didn’t want to be left out. Now I faced a new problem, hundreds of orders for a device that was not even close to production!

After seemingly endless design changes and production holdups, the first production ROCKMEN were successfully delivered. I got amazing contacts from performers I admired that I never thought I would meet. Among them, Joe Walsh (a true master of rock guitar sound) who called to tell me the ROCKMAN was “way cool,” Todd Rundgren who sent a pic of his new pedal board which consisted of four ROCKMEN that he could switch between, Billy Gibbons who generously described its sound as “tone with a capital T” (and who knows guitar tone better than Billy?), Phil Collen, Joe Satriani, Elliot Easton, and many others. But my most prized compliment from ROCKMAN owners came from Jeff Beck, in the form of two warranty cards bearing his name.

The ROCKMAN headphone amp eventually inspired a whole line of grown-up fully adjustable stage amplifiers which BOSTON has used exclusively since the mid ‘80s and made it possible to finally faithfully reproduce all of the recorded BOSTON hits live on stage. Although this was my baby from the beginning, none of it would have seen the light of day without contributions from several talented people including:

Neil Miller (MIT) who was chief circuit design engineer ebony porn (his initial are on the original circuit board),
Ken Keisel (MIT and Polaroid) who built up the first stereo “dubler” to my specs, which was used on all BOSTON albums and in every ROCKMAN,
Bill Clack (Princeton) who solved an impossible problem with ROCKMAN’s preamp compressor that had everyone else baffled,
Cindy Scholz, (my wife at that time) who did the ROCKMAN graphic art design, and
Bob Stephansky (Polaroid Designer) who did the detailed mechanical drawings.

Some of these people are no longer with us; all of them were my friends and share the bond of the celebrations and trials bringing the ROCKMAN to life.

Tom Scholz

Former drummer for Boston, Lynnfield resident Sib Hashian dies

BOSTON, MA March 22, 2017— Sib Hashian, a former member of the rock group Boston, has died at the age of 67 after collapsing onstage, the drummer's family said Thursday.

Hashian's wife, Suzanne, said the 67-year-old drummer collapsed Wednesday night while performing during the Legends of Rock Cruise. Medics on board administered CPR and attempted to resuscitate Hashian with a defibrillator, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

"It is with deep and profound sadness I share the news of my husband's, John 'Sib' Hashian, the drummer formerly of the band Boston, sudden death," said Suzanne Hashian, his wife of 38 years.

Hashian played on Boston's first two hit records, including their self-titled debut album in 1976 featuring the hit song "More Than a Feeling," and their second album, "Don't Look Back."

In addition to his work with Boston, Hashian played on bandmate Barry Goudreau’s 1980 self-titled record. He also sang backing vocals on Sammy Hagar’s 1979 “Sittin’ On (The Dock of the Bay)” cover.

Hashian, who called Lynnfield home, owned a record shop and a string of tanning salons in Boston.

Suzanne Hashian said arrangements will be announced at a later date.






23 New dates added to the Hyper Space Tour!

Jackson, MS
Birmingham, AL
Nashville, TN
Huntsville, AL
Montgomery, AL
San Antonio, TX
Catoosa, OK

Shawnee, OK
Paducah, KY
Louisville, KY
Springfield, IL
Cedar Rapids, IA
Madison, WI
Prior Lake, MN

Topeka, KS
Grand Island, NE
Denver, CO
Phoenix, AZ
Murphys, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Bakersfield, CA
Las Vegas, NV

Have you ever wondered how the unearthly sounds that you hear on a BOSTON album actually happen?  See for yourself this summer at a live show on BOSTON's Hyper Space Tour! The band is currently planning four dozen shows in North America and is set to launch in Hollywood, Florida on April 14, at the Hard Rock Live.  Always a huge crowd pleaser with their high-energy stage show, other-worldly sound, and exceptional musicianship, BOSTON prides itself on performing a totally live show, delivering an extraordinary experience that is faithful to their studio recordings.

Be sure to check for the latest confirmed BOSTON tour dates on the band’s official website:
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