Whatever Happened To The Band Boston?
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories, they take a look at the band Boston and whatever happened to them. Check it out below!
What’s going on my fellow rock n’ rollers. Don’t forget to hit the bell notification icon to be notified every time i put out a new video on my channel. If i had to name one of my favourite records of all time, I’d probably have to go with Boston’s self titled debut record. Released in 1976, the album was a massive success selling over 17 million copies. And it set the path for what should have been a massive career, but it didn’t. 4 years later, the band only released one more album and they quickly crashed and burned. So what happened? Stay tuned to find out!
Tom Scholz was the mastermind behind Boston. An MIT alumni and following graduation he would end up getting a job with Polaroid working as a product design engineer. Apart from tinkering with electronics, he also was into music, having played in a series of bands in the city of Boston with names like Middle Earth, Freehold and Mother’s Milk. While he spent a lot of time on the live music circuit, he quickly realized he wasnt going to get a record deal that way. It was then he turned his attention to recording demos in some local studios which never caught the interest of record labels. He soon built a twelve track recording studio in his basement and again record labels showed no interest in what he was creating.
It wasn’t until he enlisted the help of several musicians he had played on the local boston circuit that he finally got the attention of the labels. Guitarist Barry Goudreau, who Scholz played with in boston on the live music circuit would introduce him to singer Brad Delp. They worked on and created the songs that formed the first Boston album, albeit some of them with different names. San Francisco Day which was later to named Hitch A Ride, It Isn’t Easy which was re-titled Something About You, Foreplay, originally composed in 1969, Peace Of Mind, Rock ’N’ Roll Band, and the final track they recorded was called, Ninety Days which was later renamed More Than A Feeling. The hand claps on the song were even from Scholz first wife.
And you would think these songs would’ve created a bidding war with the record labels, but it didn’t. In fact most record labels passed on the demos. But in 1975, Tom, Scholz was contacted a representative from ABC Records named Charlie McKenzie. It had turned out by some strange twist of fate McKenzie had heard the demo while he was visiting a friend who worked at RCA records. That friends name was Paul Ahern. McKenzie and Ahern convinced Scholz to let them shop around the demo claiming they could get him a record deal. They would end up taking the demo to CBS owned Epic Records who showed interest, but prior to signing a deal they wanted to see the band perform live for executives.
Epic staff producer Tom Werman recalled to Classic Rock Magazine hearing the demos for the first time revealing “After More Than A Feeling, which sounded quite like the final product, and halfway through the second song, I stopped the tape. I couldn’t believe that this music was actually available to us, and told Ahern that if Lennie and I could see the band reproduce this live, we’d guarantee to sign them. ”
As Scholz turned to his live showcase for the record executives he knew he didn’t really have a band. Scholz would work with Delp as well as a bunch of local musicians they already knew from the Boston music scene for the live showcase, which took place at a warehouse space, which ended up belonging to Aerosmith. The band passed with flying colours and ended up signing an astounding 10 album deal that would last 6 years. While it may seem crazy, that was the standard contract that was given to bands back then.
However, things started to turn sour for Scholz when Epic Records told him that they wanted to re-record the demos in a studio setting with an experienced producer. The label suggested John Boylan who met with Scholz where the pair hatched a pretty impressive scheme. Instead of going to LA to re-record the demos, which Scholz thought was pointless, He would stay home in Boston and work in his basement sprucing up the demos to give the record label something that seemed more polished. Meanwhile, the rest of the band would go to Los Angeles to work on new material that would turn into the song Let Me Take You Home Tonight, Scholz stayed home, fastidiously gussying up the demos to give Epic something that sounded like a more polished version and he would end up striking a deal with Boylan where he got a producer credit as well. The plan worked and the label was none the wiser.
With an album in the can, the band still didn’t have a name. It would be the album’s producer and his engineer who suggested Boston and the name stuck. Released in the summer of 1976 the album was a massive hit becoming the fastest selling record of the 70’s helped in large part by the opening track and single More Than a Feeling
“More Than a Feeling” was a top 5 hit and it was enough for Scholz to quit his job at Polaroid.
Now the band had to turn it’s attention to touring, which saw them open for some pretty big names including, opening for Foghat, Black Sabbath, and Blue Öyster Cult. While the tour was enjoyable for the group, the record label was hungry for another album. Scholz felt the pressure, but being the perfectionist he was, he felt like it was too soon to record a follow up. Soon enough Scholz started to work on Boston’s sophomore record 1978’s Don’t Look Back. And while the record hit number 1 on the album charts, and sold over 7 million copies, Scholz felt like it was rushed despite the fact it was delivered a year later than the label wanted. Scholz wanted the freedom to work on the album for as long as he needed without the pressure of a label, but unfortunately, the business doesn’t work that way.
The tour to support the album was grueling lasting over 2 years. And during an interview with thirdstage Scholz revealed: “We had gone on a horrible tour in 1978-79. We played BOSTON songs and I loved playing on stage but it was horrible. It was long and when I got off the road I wasn’t sure that I wanted to ever go on tour again. Brad told me that he didn’t ever want to go on tour. I was going to hang it up and just record. I took a little time off after Don’t Look Back. I was drained. I was more than drained, I was demoralized. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in the music business. I didn’t like what I had seen. Brad and I had made a lot of money for a lot of people and I didn’t like what they were doing. I began to feel guilty about enabling people to do things that I didn’t approve of. I considered leaving music altogether and going back to being an engineer” he’d say.
Scholz ended up staying in the music industry and began work on Boston’s third album, but he was going to take his time until he was ready to release something new. It was around this time the guitarist realized that his manager Paul Ahern had owned a percentage of all the songs he had written when they first signed their contract during the mid 70’s. The manager would be sacked by Scholz and he turned around and sue.
Burned out by what was going on around him, Scholz convened his band and told them he was no longer interested in working on music and they were free to pursue other career ventures. So guitarist Barry Goudreau managed to sign a deal with Epic Records and released a solo album which featured future boston vocalist Fran Cosmo. The guitarist’s solo record was enjoyed by critics, but commercially it didn’t do much. Things took a turn or the worst for Scholz noticed a billboard Epic ran advertising Goudreau’s album with the claim “12 million people know the sound of this guitar. We’d like to introduce you to the owner.” Tom allegedly complained to the label and it was claimed he wanted Epic Records to pull support for the album, a charge he now denies. Goudreau left Boston in 1981 with Scholz claiming they ended their relationship on good terms during an interview with Third Stage.
The next fight Scholz had to face was with Epic Records and their parent company CBS who were eager for a third record. With years having passed since Don’t Look Back was released the label devised a plan to withhold royalty payments to scholz to force his hand to release an album sooner rather than later. The plan failed and with no other options Epic’s parent company CBS would file a lawsuit against Schulz citing a breach of contract in 1984 claiming the guitarist was and i quote “uncooperative.” In turn Scholz retaliated with his own lawsuit over unpaid royalty payments. Scholz would win both cases despite the fact the litigation lasted for over half a decade and slowed the progress on a third record. It was during this time Scholz sought out a new record label eventually signing with MCA, but CBS records was pretty vengeful and ended up suing MCA issuing a cease and desist order, and they wanted a huge advance claiming that for every album Scholz sold on any future boston releases CBS should get 25 cents. His old label would end up losing their case in 1985 and Scholz was now a free man.
During the litigation Scholz also founded a music research and development company in 1982 called Scholz research and development, which made amplifiers and other musical electronic equipment.
With record label lawsuits behind him Scholz was able to finish the work he started on Boston’s third album. Scholz would bring back vocalist Brad Delp, as well as drummer Jim Masdea who helped him on the original boston demo and also joining them in 1985 was former Sammy Hagar guitarist Gary Pihl who also helped out Scholz with his research and development company by acting as an executive. The resulting album would be 1986’s Third Stage, which was a quasi concept that explored the several stages of life from infancy to adulthood. Compared to the band’s first two records, it represented a more subdued sound, while still featuring a few songs that harkened back to late 70’s. Despite the long gaps between records the album still went platinum, selling over 4 million units. The Third Stage. Following it’s release the band hit the road for 2 years supporting the album and they would play the third stage from start to finish during live shows.
As the 90’s rolled in, Boston turned their attention to their new album, but much like the rest of the career, things never went easy. Tom Scholz was surprised when singer Brad Delp left the band soon joined former guitarist Brad Goudreau’s new band at the time, RTZ. And ust like that the recognizable voice of Boston was gone leaving Scholz as the only original member remaining. Prior to his departure Delp did help co-write a song With Delp’s departure, Scholz was then the last remaining original member. Prior to his departure Brad Delp did help co-wrote a song that would be titled”Walk On”, which became the title track of Boston’s next album.
Needing a new singer, Scholz looked closer to home than getting a complete outsider when he enlisted former Iron The Hunter singer Fran Cosmo who had played on Barry Goudreau’s solo record. The next Boston album titled Walk on would be released in 1994 and there would be elements of the band’s three previous records sprinkled throughout the album. The album failed to be a top 5 hit peaking at number 7, but it still went platinum and produced the single i need your love. As the band got ready to hit the road to support the record, vocalist Brad Delp rejoined the group. With two singers in the band, Delp shared vocal duties with new singer Fran Cosmo. Looking back at Boston’s career 8 appears to be the magic number in Boston time as the band would take another 8 years to release their follow up album, 2002’s corporate america.The marketing strategy behind corporate america was a bit different from their previous records as Boston was no longer on a big label and Scholz would upload the album to mp3.com under the monicker Downer’s Revenge instead of Boston. Waiting 8 years between releases meant there was seismic shift in rock n’ roll as trends came and went and Scholz was worried that if the album had the Boston name on it, some people wouldn’t have bothered to have given the record a chance. Corporate America was released on a now defunct indie label Artimis, which was headed by nirvana’s longtime manager Danny Goldberg. The record featured the largest lineup of Boston to date with Cosmo and Delp both singing on the album. But Corporate America would fall on deaf ears and didn’t even chart in the top 40, but that didn’t stop the band from touring for several years on the album. And Scholz’s business relationship with Artimis records would be shortlived as he turn around and sued the labe for $4 million records for as he claimed inadequately promoting the album, despite repeated promises from the label that the record would be the company’s highest priority.
Fast forward to March of 2007 fans were shocked to learn that the voice of the band Brad Delp had taken his life at his home in new Hampshire. Rather than coming together the aftermath had a lot of people pointing fingers more specifically at Tom Scholz. Scholz was accused of running his band with an iron fist, with little regards for how his bandmates felt, with some claiming it made Delp feel marginilized. Scholz defended himself claiming Delp was free to come and go in the band and that he did.
Things got especially ugly when his widow Delp’s widow gave an interviews to the Boston Herald where she incinuatedthat Scholz was responsible for her husband’s death. This resulted in Scholz suing the widow as well as the newspaper for running a defamatory story and causing emotional distress.
Following his death the members of Boston held a tribute concert to Delp titled ‘Come Together: A Tribute To Brad Delp’,
In 2013 Boston released their sixth album, Life, Love & Hope, which featured lead vocals from Brad Delp among many other singers. The album’s sessions dated back to 2002. In the subsequent years Scholz has continued to tour under the Boston name and it was reported in 2018 that some of the band’s master recordings were destroyed in the universal music fire.
During an interview with thirdstage webside, Tom Scholz was asked
Last one: Has anyone ever told you that you are too damn smart for your own good?
To which he would respond I used to be very smart but I am not that smart anymore. I am just right now he’s say. So that does it for today’s video.thanks for watching. Be sure to hit the like button and subscribe. If you guys have suggestions for future topics let me know in the comments section below. Take care.