Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tom Scholz, 62 Today; BOSTON- DON'T LOOK BACK

A happy 62nd birthday to Tom Scholz, founder, guitarist and guiding light of Boston, the legendary band he founded in 1975, and signed to Epic Records after the company heard demos submitted by Scholz.

Tom had a day job at Polaroid as an engineer, and moonlighted as a guitarist in a local Massachusetts band called Mother's Milk. He had a home studio where he recorded demos with collaborators Brad Delp(vocals-died 3/9/07) and drummer/keyboardist Jim Masdea. After being signed by Epic on the strength of the demos, Delp formed a full band to record and tour- the first (and classic) lineup of Boston was born.

Consisting of Scholz, Delp, drummer Sib Hashian, bassist Fran Sheehan, and guitarist Barry Goudreau the band's debut album, BOSTON, sold 200,000 copies in a few weeks (eventually to sell 17 million copies over the years), and they were the first rock group in history to make their New York City debut headlining at Madison Square Garden in 1977.

On a personal note- I always think of the winter of 1976-77 as "The Winter of Boston". I was working at a ski area in Colorado, and every club was playing their music, every rock station gave you huge doses of them. They were the story in rock music during those icy, snowy days of '76-'77.

Boston spent an incredible amount of time between albums, producing only five records in the studio between 1976-2002. There has been many personnel changes over the years, too many to detail in this short space without becoming "boring you to tears". But the group is still rocking on. The current lineup of Boston is- Scholz (lead guitar); Michael Sweet, lead vocals and guitar; Tommy DeCarlo lead vocals and keyboards; Gary Pihi guitars, keyboards, backing vocals; Kimberly Dahme, bass and vocals; and Jeff Neal, drums and percussion.

Here, Boston's original lineup performs the title track from their second album, Don't Look Back (1978).

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