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Boston's 2012 and 2008 Tour Photos

Boston 2012 and 2008 Tour Photographs are now available. Photographed in Grand Prairie and Austin Texas July 10-11, 2012. NOW Available Las Vegas June 28, Los Angeles July 1 and Del Mar July 3, 2008, By Jon Viscott. These high-quality photographs are printed on gallery quality metallic paper for a simply stunning presentation. Treat yourself to a 8" X 12" print with incredible detail. Click here to view the tour photos.

Cover Story: Take off with Boston

Tom Scholz - Photo ©2008 Jon Viscott - All Rights Reserved.
Photo ©2008 Jon Viscott - All Rights Reserved.

Tom Scholz on the Boston album Third Stage:
Back in the '70s, the audiences were so stoned that they didn't know if we were playing or not. In '87, we had Third Stage, and that was much more difficult music. The entire band was on the album. We turned a corner for performing at that point.

On March 9, 2007, Boston vocalist Brad Delp sealed himself in his bathroom, lit two charcoal grills, pinned a note on himself that read “Mr. Brad Delp: I am a lonely soul,” lay down on a pillow and inhaled a lethal amount of carbon monoxide.

Delp’s suicide was a shock to family members, close friends, his band and the music world alike. What made the event so perplexing was that Delp had spent his career as a health-conscious vegetarian and promoted and donated to several charities. In music circles, he was known as one of the good guys. He was fan friendly and spent time after every Boston show signing autographs and taking pictures with his admirers. Delp was engaged to be married and was preparing for a tour with Boston at the time of his death.

Boston bandleader Tom Scholz, a friend of Delp’s for more than 30 years, admits that while no one could predict Delp would end his life, the vocalist was suffering much emotional pain.

On March 9, 2007, Boston vocalist Brad Delp sealed himself in his bathroom, lit two charcoal grills, pinned a note on himself that read “Mr. Brad Delp: I am a lonely soul,” lay down on a pillow and inhaled a lethal amount of carbon monoxide.

Delp’s suicide was a shock to family members, close friends, his band and the music world alike. What made the event so perplexing was that Delp had spent his career as a health-conscious vegetarian and promoted and donated to several charities. In music circles, he was known as one of the good guys. He was fan friendly and spent time after every Boston show signing autographs and taking pictures with his admirers. Delp was engaged to be married and was preparing for a tour with Boston at the time of his death.

Boston bandleader Tom Scholz, a friend of Delp’s for more than 30 years, admits that while no one could predict Delp would end his life, the vocalist was suffering much emotional pain.

“No one saw it coming — I certainly didn’t see it coming. Brad wasn’t a happy camper. He had a tough life in a personal sense. He went through two divorces and he had a couple of engagements that never led to marriage. That part of his life was not very good.”

Scholz goes on to reflect on his relationship with Delp.

“We were work friends; sometimes your work friends are your closest friends. We shared a lot of things together. We spent a lot of time together when we were not working, during our breaks and when we were on the road. You talk about a lot of things, and a lot of things come out. We had some really unusual parallels. We both had serious relationships in the ’90s that left us both in not a very good state of mind. Ten years later, I ended up marrying somebody and being happier than I have ever been. Brad was not so lucky,” Delp said.

Cinderella story

Aside from one album, 1994’s Walk On, Brad Delp had always been the voice of Boston. He was the perfect person to translate Scholz’ musical visions vocally.

Boston would not have been Boston without his distinct and dynamic voice. The rock world mourned Brad’s death, and, along with it, the death of Boston as no one expected at this stage of the game for Scholz to pick up the pieces and move ahead. A drastic turn of events occurred that not only kept the band together but actually brought renewed life to Boston.

From the wreckage of Delp’s suicide came two people who found Scholz by pure chance. The first was Michael Sweet, the guitarist and vocalist of the band Stryper. The second was an unknown singer named Tommy DeCarlo, a credit manager at Home Depot.

“Brad was the most talented musician/singer that I have ever known. No one person could replace him. We could have looked for a lifetime and never found that person,” Scholz admits, “I have to say that both Michael and Tommy have done a great job filling his shoes.”

Tommy DeCarlo - Photo ©2008 Jon Viscott - All Rights Reserved.
Photo ©2008 Jon Viscott - All Rights Reserved.

Scholz’ wife, Kim, actually discovered DeCarlo.

“That story reminds me of the Cinderella story that is Boston,” says Tom. “We appeared out of nowhere. I knew about it, because it was in my basement, but we got no attention from anyone. When it hit, it really hit. Tommy DeCarlo is the same way. He is a regular guy who works a regular job. He was married for a while and has a family. He has not played in bands, but he is a phenomenal singer. He sent us an e-mail and a link to a file.

“The last thing I was interested in at the time was listening to files someone had made on MySpace. Somebody sent it to my wife, and she was playing it as I happened to be walking by. I asked her when that recording was made. She said, ‘This is some guy.’ I said, ‘That is Brad. What show is this from?’ She said, ‘It is not Brad,’ and I said ‘It is Brad.’ We plugged the computer into some big speakers, and the only way I could tell it was not Brad was because of the background music. I quickly realized this was neither recorded Boston or live Boston; it was a stored track. I thought, ‘Oh my God, this isn’t Brad.’ I couldn’t tell. I have been listening to Brad in the studio for 30 years, and I know every little nuance of his voice. I know what it sounds like when it works and when it doesn’t work. It was shocking.”

Scholz was so impressed with DeCarlo that he contacted him. 

“We were doing a tribute to Brad. We were lining up singers to do the show, and he had offered to come up and sing. We didn’t know what his background was. Anyone who sang like he sang had to have experience. He had to have played in bands and have recorded. It wasn’t so. The biggest crowd he had ever sung in front of was 40 people at a karaoke bar in a bowling alley. His first real appearance on stage with a rock and roll band was at the tribute in front of 5,000 people. He came on stage and didn’t have a sound check. He came out like he had been doing this his whole life; he wailed. He is a natural singer — like Brad.”

The second piece of the Boston puzzle that needed to be put in place to replace Delp was Michael Sweet. 

“He contacted us with a condolence. He is a Boston fan. When
we were putting together singers to do the tribute, we sent him an invitation. He said he would be happy to do it. He lives down in the Cape, so he was close. He came up and ran through a song with Gary [Pihl, Boston guitarist] and I. We all looked at each other after we played, and we all agreed this Boston song had never sounded better. We had him play backup guitar and sing harmony for the entire show. It sounded so good that we knew that these two guys were the future.”

With Sweet and Decarlo firmly in place, the band has hit the road for a tour that will take them across the United States. In addition to the tour, Sony will also be releasing a new greatest hits album that Scholz has personally remastered.

A big gamble

Scholz took time to discuss how he first became interested in music.

“I learned piano when I was a kid, but I didn’t do much with it. When I was in college, I started banging around for my own amusement. At some point I bought an electric piano and a little organ. I got in a band at the dorm. Being in the first band I was in is what inspired me to play the guitar. I knew what I wanted to hear the guitar player do, and I wasn’t hearing it. I went out and bought a $25 really bad Japanese guitar. I started learning how to play, and in a few months, I was able to play rhythm.”

Music, however, was not Scholz’s only calling. After receiving his master’s degree from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology., he went to work for Polaroid as a senior product engineer. He married and was saving money to buy a house. While it may have appeared from the outside looking in that Tom was getting ready to settle down, music was never far from his heart.

“In 1974, I basically blew all of my money,” says Scholz. “I had been working for five years at that point, and I took all of the money and spent it on recording equipment that was good enough to record the demos that landed the Epic Records deal.

“I had been bumming around playing in local bands that didn’t have a future. I even started a couple of bands, but they didn’t play the music that became the music I wrote with Boston. I knew that I was going nowhere unless I started doing what I knew I could do and started doing it myself. I quit playing with bands at that point, and I set up in my basement and went to work. Out of that came ‘Peace of Mind,’ ‘Rock and Roll Band’ and ‘Hitch a Ride.’ It was completely done by my drummer friend Jim Masdea and myself. I played all of the instruments, and by doing that, I could finally get everything that I was imagining and hearing. I could experiment and find the sounds that I needed. I was never able to do that when I tried to work with other musicians. It was the old adage, ‘If you want it done right, then do it yourself.’ I knew that if it failed, then I would have no one to blame but myself.

“It was a huge gamble. I was married at the time, and that money was supposed to be for a down payment on a house. It was very uncomfortable. I knew that Brad could do all of the singing, and that he would do an awesome job. He did even better than I imagined. He came in after I had all of the instrumental tracks –—oddly enough, I heard years later that Brad did not realize he was just singing to me playing a bunch of overdubbed tracks. He thought there had been a band. He wasn’t there for the recording of the instruments — it was just me and the tape deck. We finished it up the following year with ‘More Than a Feeling’ and ‘Something About You,’ and that is when we got the deal. All five of those songs were on the first Boston album.

“I think it is very hard for people to get their head around the idea that this band was actually some guys overdubbing in a basement. They like to think that a band plays together and hangs out and writes songs and gets a contract and goes into the studio and then they jam out in the studio and an album comes out of that. This was not like that at all. It was many, many years of long nights playing along with a tape deck.”

Scholz shopped his demo tape and met with many rejections before finally finding a friendly ear in Epic Records. Epic had only one demand: The label wanted the band to go into a proper studio to re-record the songs.

This news angered Scholz. He knew he had done just as good a job recording his music in his basement as a professional producer and studio could offer. Boston’s future hung in the balance as the defiant Scholz, an unknown in the music industry, was going to buck the big boys at a major label. The producer hired by Epic, John Boylan, had enough sense and instinct to know that Boston was the real deal, and behind Epic’s back, he cut a deal with Scholz that would allow him the freedom to do as he pleased.

“The funny thing is that they thought that it was being re-recorded by a real producer in a studio somewhere,” says Scholz. “The only difference is that Sib Hashian played the drum tracks on those versions. I did the exact same thing. I went back to work, and I played all of the parts myself. When you hear ‘More Than a Feeling,’ that is a couple of weeks of me laying the guitar tracks down just the way I did on the demo. Brad did the same thing with the vocals. It was done entirely just like the original, but the record company didn’t know it.

“I have to give John enormous credit, because I told him that the only way I was going to do this was if I could do it in my basement. I told him I was not going to L.A. and do it in some studio, because I knew it wouldn’t work. He was the chosen producer, and he didn’t want to lose the deal. He told me to record it in my basement and then bring it to LA and mix it. He said, ‘You do that, and we will split the producer’s royalty.’ I was ready to say, ‘Yes’ before he said he would split the producers’ royalty. I was just thrilled to be getting paid to do this.”

The other band members went to Los Angeles and recorded the Delp-penned “Let Me Take You Home Tonight,” while Tom stayed home in his basement. The completed album was handed to Epic, and the album was released to immediate and massive success. The self-titled debut took only three months to go platinum and ended up selling over 17 million copies.

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35 Years and they are back! Konnichiwa Japan!

35 Years and they are back! Konnichiwa Japan!
  Tickets On Sale May 10, 2014

10/2 Tokyo, Japan
10/4 Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
10/6 Osaka, Japan
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