Boston Biography

As a result of home made demos recorded in the early 70s by enterprising MIT engineering graduate Tom Scholz (Donald Thomas Scholz, 10 March 1947, Toledo, Ohio, USA), one of the finest AOR albums of all time was created. The initial batch of tapes were recorded with Barry Goudreau (b. 29 November 1951, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; guitar), Jim Masdea (drums) and Ron Patti (vocals), but it was a second series of demos, with Brad Delp (b. Bradley Delp, 12 June 1951, Danvers, Massachusetts, USA, d. 9 March 2007, Atkinson, New Hampshire, USA; guitar/vocals) replacing Patti, that led to a contract with Epic Records. The line-up was completed by new drummer Sib Hashian (b. John Hashian, 17 August 1949, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and Fran Sheehan (b. 26 March 1949, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; bass). Adopting the name Boston, their 1976 debut was a US Top 3 album that eventually sold over 17 million copies in the USA alone, and spent two years in the US charts. The memorable single, ‘More Than A Feeling’, was an instant classic, containing all the key ingredients of adult-orientated rock: upfront guitar, powerful lead vocal with immaculate harmonies, and heavy bass and drums. Two years later they repeated the formula virtually note for note with Don’t Look Back, which also topped the US charts.

Scholz then became involved in a long-running court battle against CBS Records and manager Paul Ahern over delays in fulfilling his contract. During this time, Scholz, formerly a product designer for the Polaroid Company, launched his own company Scholz Research & Development Inc. and invented a mini-amplifier marketed as the Rockman. Goudreau grew tired of the band’s lengthy sabbatical, releasing a solo album before quitting to form Orion The Hunter. Hashian and Sheehan had also left by the mid-80s, by which time Scholz had regained the right to record under the Boston moniker (he would later be sued by all three ex-band members). The band, in the guise of Scholz and Delp with original drummer Jim Masdea and guitarist Gary Pihl helping out, returned in 1986 with their MCA Records debutThird Stage, which spawned two further US hit singles, ‘Amanda’ (which reached number 1) and ‘We’re Ready’. Fans wishing to replace worn copies of the previous albums had only to purchase this one, so similar was it to their previous output. It, too, went straight to number 1 in the US, giving Boston total album sales of over 50 million.

In 1990, a jury ruled in Scholz’s favour against CBS Records in the court case. Delp left to join Goudreau in his new band Return To Zero before Scholz began work on a new album, enlisting Goudreau’s Orion The Hunter sparring partner Fran Cosmo (b. Francis Cosmo Migliaccio, USA) as vocalist. The ensuing Walk On (1994), with Scholz the sole remaining member of the original line-up, was a disappointment, although it still reached the Top 5 in the US charts. However, Scholz lost his long-running lawsuit with Ahern and was directed to pay over $1.5 million in court awards and damages, although the case went to appeal. He also closed down his Research & Development company and left MCA Records.

Delp returned to the Boston fold in 1994, but their next studio album was not forthcoming until the new millennium. Featuring Scholz, Delp, Pihl, Fran Cosmo and his son Anthony Cosmo, and new members Kimberley Dahme (bass) and Jeff Neal (drums), Corporate America was released at the end of 2002 by Artemis Records. Delp took his own life in March 2007.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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