Tagged: BOSTON BAND

TOM SCHOLZ OF BOSTON PLAYING HIS GUITAR IN SPOKANE, WA ON 9-10-78. PHOTO-ART BY BEN UPHAM. MAGICAL MOMENT PHOTOS.

TOM SCHOLZ CREATES LAYERS OF COLORED SOUND IN SPOKANE, WA. ON 9-10-78. PHOTO-ART BY BEN UPHAM.


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BOSTON PHOTOS BY BEN UPHAM
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BOSTON-
“ROCKED BY TROUBLES, BOSTON TRIES TO REBOUND”
BY STEVE MORSE
THE DAILY HERALD
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
DECEMBER 23, 1994

Boston is trying to salvage a lost year. Not the city, but the band. The band experienced a devil of a year, fighting with its record label, fighting a former manager in court, scrapping a summer tour and watching in horror as a new album sold only 1 million copies. That’s a dream figure for most bands, but was only 25 percent of what any of Boston’s three previous discs had sold.
“One million (sales) is not a total embarrassment,” says Boston producer/guitarist Tom Scholz. “And it got extremely good reactions from the people who actually managed to find out there was an album released”…
Scholz has reason to fume — he lost his battles with MCA Records, which did little to promote the album; and lost his court case with former manager Paul Ahern, who won a half-million dollars for alleged breach of contract. But Scholz is determined to be optimistic. A shed tour is being planned for the spring and summer. The band will debut new lead singer Fran Cosmo (formerly of Orion the Hunter). Other players include guitarist Gary Pihl — formerly of Sammy Hagar’s solo band — and bassist Gary Sikes and new drummer Curly Smith.
Original singer Brad Delp, whose urgently high-pitched voice graced early Boston hits “Amanda” and “Don’t Look Back,” recently joined the band for a Boston-area benefit concert. But as for whether Delp will tour next year, Scholz is noncommittal. “We never think that far ahead. These days, I’m just trying to get my amp to work.”
The new singer, Cosmo, handled the vocals on Boston’s latest disc, “Walk On.” He won the job when Delp opted to work on other projects such as RTZ (with Barry Goudreau, a former guitar player with Boston) and Beetle Juice, a Beatles cover band.
Scholz tried out “dozens” of new singers before settling on Cosmo, whose tenor voice fit the lush, multilayered “Boston sound.” Criticism ensued when Scholz, who produces 90 percent of the group’s music in his home studio, wouldn’t identify the new singer until the album came out. Some observers found this tactic deceptive, but Scholz claims that wasn’t the intent. “Van Halen did it the other way, they made a big deal of it when they changed singers,” Scholz says of Van Halen’s switch from David Lee Roth to Sammy Hagar. “I’m not finding fault with that, but they made a big deal out of it to get some added promotion for their record which is fine. But Boston is not a band of personalities…. Plus, I wanted fans to hear the album without a lot of attendant thinking like, ‘Does this song sound different from before?”
What didn’t work out well was the relationship with MCA Records “What relationship?” Scholz says snidely “Let’s put it this way I killed myself to finish the record ‘Walk On’ in December of last year But MCA didn’t put it out until June We had planned a spring and summer shed tour and that whole thing went down the drain when (MCA) waited so long to put it out.”
One thing that didn’t change was the painstaking way that Scholz recorded “Walk On,” fussing over it like his previous records. He tinkered in his basement studio for three full years, trying to forge the multi-tracked sound he wanted. “There are no shortcuts for me in the studio. It’s always the same procedure — three steps forward, two steps back,” says Scholz, a former Polaroid engineer.

BOSTON DISCOGRAPHY:

1976 Boston
1978 Don’t Look Back
1986 Third Stage
1994 Walk On
1997 Greatest Hits (with 3 new songs)
2002 Corporate America

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TOM SCHOLZ AND BRAD DELP OF BOSTON PERFORMING LIVE IN SPOKANE, WA. ON 9-10-78. PHOTO BY BEN UPHAM. MAGICAL MOMENT PHOTOS.

TOM SCHOLZ AND BRAD DELP ROCK THE SPOKANE AUDIENCE ON 9-10-78. PHOTO BY BEN UPHAM.


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BOSTON
“MORE THAN A FEELING TO FANS”
BY JOHN BENSON
THE CHRONICLE TELEGRAM
ELYRIA, OHIO
JUNE 27, 2003

When M.I.T. graduate Tom Scholz first began noodling around in his basement creating his own studio and perfecting his unique guitar style, he had no idea he was beginning a seven-year odyssey that would result in perhaps the greatest debut disc recording ever, Boston’s 1976 self-titled album.
However, there were moments when Scholz almost shelved the project, after hundreds of rejection letters and the hopeless feeling that his hard work would be for naught. “I never expected it to be a success,” said Scholz, calling from his home m New England. “I had spent seven years alone in basements recording. Never did the going out and playing clubs, partying and having girls thing. Never had that. And I got nothing for it except lots of rejection letters. So, I expected to be rejected for one last time then that was going to be it. I knew that it had been a gamble from the beginning and I figured I had lost. What was a shock was getting a class A deal from a major label and a much greater shock when the recording became a huge smash hit.
While successful right out of the gate, Boston would spend the next quarter of a century leaving fans continually waiting, releasing a whopping five albums in just over 26 years.
Amazingly, Scholz’s laborious process of recording new studio albums — which normally takes him in the four to five year range — has many whispering “perfectionist” but he doesn’t necessarily agree.
“There is no such thing as a perfectionist in art quite frankly.” Scholz said. “What I am certainly guilty of is trying to get the most out of myself and people who work with me. That term perfectionist used to rankle me. It always gave me this mental image of some anally retentive guy in a perfect place with a clean desk and all of that. I have to climb into my studio and get through all of the wires that are lying around in order to do some work.”
One would naturally assume that Scholz, the main producer for all Boston albums, beginning with 1978’s “Don’t Look Back” and including their most recent release, 2002’s “Corporate America,” has fully embraced the digital age of music technology, leaving behind the antiquated form of analog tape recording.
Actually, he despises the “artificial sounding” results of digital
recording and only does so at the last minute when he’s forced to deliver his albums in a digital format. The one constant throughout the 25-plus year career of Boston has been the lush wall-of-sound guitar style, most often defined by one of the group’s biggest singles, 1976’s “More Than A Feeling.”
For classic rock fans, that same rich style remains evident on the band’s most recent release, which means the group’s upcoming show Tuesday at Blossom Music Center will be an evening of familiar arena rock. However, considering the eight years since Boston’s last studio disc this may be a must-see show for even the casual fan. After all, who knows when the band win come around again?
“All of us are really itching to get out on the road,” said Scholz. “It’s a long, arduous process in the studio, and it’s not fun. The tour is the fun part It’s great.

BOSTON DISCOGRAPHY:

1976 Boston
1978 Don’t Look Back
1986 Third Stage
1994 Walk On
2002 Corporate America

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BOSTON FINE ART AMERICA IMAGES BY BEN UPHAM
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BOSTON PHOTOS BY BEN UPHAM

TOM SCHOLZ OF BOSTON PERFORMING LIVE IN SPOKANE, WA. ON 9-10-78. PHOTO BY BEN UPHAM. MAGICAL MOMENT PHOTOS.

TOM SCHOLZ SQUEEZES SOME AMAZING SOUNDS FROM HIS GUITAR IN SPOKANE, WA. ON 9-10-78. PHOTO BY BEN UPHAM.


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BOSTON-
“ROCK BAND MAKES IT OVERNIGHT”
THE MORNING HERALD
HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND
JUNE 6, 1977

Just over a year ago, lanky, easy-going Tom Scholz was living quietly in suburban Boston, making a good living as one of the hotshot technicians working on Polaroid’s instant movie camera project. But Scholz had a secret ambition: he wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll star.
Then, it seemed like a big order. But today, 12 months and 3.5 million albums later, Scholz is more than a star — he’s a phenomenon. Scholz, 29, is leader, chief writer, producer, arranger and guitarist for the band Boston — a group that leaped, full-grown, from its namesake city to near the top of the record sales charts in a matter of weeks last fall, and has stayed there ever since.
It’s an unprecedented accomplishment.
No band in rock history — not even the Beatles — has won such near-universal acceptance in so short a time. Most of the credit for that success goes to Scholz’ masterful blend of melodic, hummable hard rock with an unorthodox approach to the big business of pop music. Even before graduating with a master’s degree from MIT a few years back, Scholz had decided to become a musician. “I love engineering,” he says. “I love inventing things and so forth. But playing rock ‘n’ on stage —it’s almost as good as sex. So I said, if there’s some way I can do this and make a living, that’d be it.”
For three years, he worked by day for Polaroid, by night on the dues-paying circuit of second – rate nightclubs and bars. But it led nowhere and Scholz eventually withdrew to his own hand-built basement recording studio. There, like some rock ‘n’ roll Frankenstein, he put together dozens of multi-tracked demonstration tapes of his songs and mailed them, helter-skelter, to record companies.
Finally, one of the companies told Scholz to put a band together to do the material. Scholz recruited singer Brad Delp and three other top musicians from the Boston area, rushed through rehearsals and cut an album.
That LP, “Boston,” released in August of last year, was an instant smash hit, propelling Scholz and company into a nationwide tour, headlining major concert halls across the country their first time out. The band came as close to being an “overnight sensation” as any gold-digging Hollywood starlet of the 30s could have imagined.
The magnitude of his success is only now beginning to strike home for Scholz.
“It finally did start to get to me, he says with a broad grin. “We were so new, but selling tickets like the biggest bands around. And that was always the object — to be able to play and to have people be willing to come and see you. It’s amazing — and a little bit scary.”
Scholz has thought a lot about why Boston’s strong rhythms and rich harmonies have been so successful; his conclusion is simply that he is in better tune than most with the nation’s musical tastes..
“Basically, our music is what I used to like when I was in high school, back in the early and middle 60s. Bands like the Yardbirds, the Kinks, the Beatles, the Hollies, the Byrds – singing bands that had really straight forward rock ‘n’ roll behind them, lots of guitar.
“Our music is a little more developed than back in those days, though. I mean, I’ve been a musician for a long time and you get to where you have to have a little bit more than just banging out chords to keep yourself amused”.
By starting off at the top, Scholz has set himself a real challenge for Boston’s crucial second album. “We don’t have any cuts on tape yet, but I have several songs selected,” he says, “but I’ll tell you, I’m not looking forward to doing all the work that’s involved… I just wish there was some way of doing it without spending three or four months of drudgery in the studios and rehearsing and stuff.” It’s a hard life, rock ‘n’ roll. But then Michelangelo had to suffer for his art, too.

BOSTON DISCOGRAPHY:
1976 Boston
1978 Don’t Look Back
1986 Third Stage
1994 Walk On
2002 Corporate America

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BOSTON- FINE ART AMERICA IMAGES BY BEN UPHAM
BOSTON PHOTOS BY BEN UPHAM