Articles
Boston's Tom Scholz on the journey from Toledo to international stardom
Sunday, July 02, 2017

By Kirk Baird
The Blade

Tom Scholz was just another teen out of Toledo when he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. And now everybody knows his name -- or at least his band, Boston.

But while growing up in Toledo, Scholz was mostly known as Don Scholz's son. The elder Scholz was a successful Toledo builder and developer who, as founder of Scholz Homes, took part in the prefabricated housing boom of the 1950s.

"My dad was a brilliant home designer and driven," Scholz said in a recent phone interview with The Blade. "He was a paraplegic who became a mogul in the house engineer industry and built I don't know how many tens of thousands of homes and had a huge plant in Toledo. So when I grew up in Toledo, when I would go places and they would hear the name, they would say, 'Oh, you're Don Scholz's son.'

"I didn't know what that meant, to quite understand that as a kid because he was very down to earth and just another guy doing his job."

It's an ethos the younger Scholz inherited from his father, who died in 1999 at age 80. He also inhereited a brilliant engineering mind; Scholz is an inventor who holds numerous patents.

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Boston's Tom Scholz still rocking at 70
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Boston performs Wednesday, July 5, at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

By Alan Sculley
The Call

Tom Scholz celebrated the 40th anniversary of the blockbuster debut album by his band, Boston, last year.

This year, he's marked another milestone -- his 70th birthday.

But this is one 70-year-old rocker who doesn't look or act that age. Still tall and slender with a full head of brown hair that he doesn't need to color, Scholz said turning 70 was a non-event for him.

"I don't notice that 70 is any different than 60. For that matter, I didn't feel that 60 was any different than 50," Scholz said. "So I'm not feeling it."

That might be an understatement. Scholz was calling during a brief five-day break in the headlining part of Boston's "Hyper Space" tour, and as someone who has no free time once the group is on the road, he chose to spend part of his free time doing the kinds of physical activities that he'd typically do when he's not on tour.

"I have been to the (ice) rink twice because I had been off of the ice for over six weeks. So I had to go through my repertoire of ice skating jumps," said Scholz, an avid skater. "I did that and I went to the gym twice and I raced my dog up the hill yesterday."

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Boston and Joan Jett Take Smart Fans to Hyper Space
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Houston Press

Boston and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Smart Financial Centre
June 28, 2017

When's the last time you went to a rock concert? I mean a real live extended guitar solo-wailin', bassist leaping on the amp, giant gong behind the drum kit, lit Bics in the air, over-the-head hand-clapping, air guitar-inducing, never sit in the seat you purchased rock and roll affair? If you weren't at last night's Boston/Joan Jett show, you missed a hell of an opportunity to experience such a moment.

The bands are traveling together on Boston's Hyper Space Tour. Jett latched onto the tour for shows this month and next and opened the night. She peppered the audience with jab after jab and had us reeling before the headliners came out to land a haymaker, a musical knockout so intense it had us seeing stars (or spaceships, at least).

Even in an auditorium the size of Smart Financial Centre, bands feed off their crowds and last night's audience provided plenty of fuel. There was more than a feeling of excitement outside the building ahead of the show and long lines at the merch tables indoors. But most people were seated when none other than Dayna Steele, Houston's "First Lady of Rock," came out to introduce the bands and welcome everyone. You can't get more "rock and roll" in this town than having Steele onstage setting things up.

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Five reasons why Boston rocked the Saenger Theater in New Orleans
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By Jeff Clark
Sun Herald

I guess I have penchant for bands that have "city" names. Anyone who knows me well, or, probably even casually at this point, knows I love the bands Chicago and Boston and I have since I was about 4 years old. I think it's because "Just You and Me" and "More Than A Feeling" are some of the first songs that I truly loved. Sure, there was The Carpenters and The Archies and other AM radio delights, but nothing really resonated with me like the songs of Chicago and Boston. All I have to do is hear the opening notes of either song and I'm transported back to a very happy time in my life. And what's the purpose of music if not to make us feel?

When Boston landed the rock and roll spaceship at the Seanger Theater in New Orleans on Tuesday, they brought a show that was as much about looking forward as it was looking back. That's not to say they didn't play "Don't Look Back," because they did and it was awesome. But the theme of the show is about space and time and rockets and spaceships and all things futuristic. The live show also a way for Boston leader Tom Scholz to continue to write and perform new material, surrounded by hits such as "Peace of Mind" and "Amanda."

Here are five take-aways from Tuesday's Boston show:

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Tommy DeCarlo finds 'peace of mind' as lead singer of rock band Boston
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

By Jeff Clark
Sun Herald

It's been almost 10 years since Tommy DeCarlo was asked to participate in a tribute concert held for the late Boston singer, Brad Delp. DeCarlo's tale has become legendary -- he was working at a hardware box store when he was discovered by Boston leader Tom Scholz.

But to place DeCarlo in this one spot in Boston's history is to undermine his ability as a singer and his dedication as a performer. As Scholz said in an interview with the Sun Herald, "Tommy DeCarlo is absolutely the best live vocalist. He does for Boston live what Brad did for it in the studio. We're just very very lucky to have stumbled on him."

The importance of DeCarlo's place in Boston's history goes far beyond his humble beginnings. That was, after all, a decade ago. Since 2008, DeCarlo has been Boston's lead singer both on stage and on 2013's "Life, Love and Hope." And it's because DeCarlo is dedicated to his craft as a singer, so much so that he gets up at 6 a.m. on show days and goes through a rigorous routine that includes exercise, getting plenty of fluids and periods of silence.

Scholz, DeCarlo and the rest of Boston -- guitarist Gary Pihl, multi-instrumentalist Beth Cohen, bassist Tracy Ferrie and drummer Jeff Neal -- will bring the Hyper Space Tour to the Saenger Theater in New Orleans at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets start at $69 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.

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Review: Boston at Verizon Arena
Thursday, April 27, 2017

By Jim Harris
Arkansas Times

Just another band out of Boston sang "Don't Look Back" during its rock 'n' roll heyday (circa 1976-87), but forgive for a moment if I look back.

I'd have given about anything for sixth-row tickets to a Boston show some 40 years ago. They played Pine Bluff, my hometown, when I was off at college; they've toured with other big pop-rock acts of their era since -- Styx, Kansas, et al. -- and I'd missed those shows as well.

Fast-forward almost four decades, and Boston mastermind Tom Scholz (MIT grad and genius mind at that) is still taking his band out on the road with five other faces who weren't there in the 1970s. The show promoter provided those choice sixth-row seats for Wednesday's show in Verizon Arena. But Boston doesn't play full-size arenas, much less stadiums, anymore, and Verizon had cut itself down to its theater-format size. It still manages to offer an arena feel inside a space that's more like Robinson Center across the river.

Boston's anthem rock may not draw the numbers of the late 1970s shows, but the music is still suited for arenas, though the current "Hyper Space Tour" is hitting small casino show halls and theaters like the Saenger in Mobile, Ala. Verizon snagged a show a day after Boston played the Walmart AMP in Rogers, in fact (3,500 seats under a tent, plus an uncovered grass section). The band brought no opener, just the five musicians who accompany Scholz, the versatile wizard.

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Tom Scholz Talks Influences, Boston Lead Singers
Friday, April 14, 2017

By Jim Sullivan
Best Classic Bands

In part one of our extensive interview with Tom Scholz, the Boston mastermind talked about what fans can expect from the band's 2017 Hyper Space tour, which has just begun. In the second half, we ask him about his influences, vocals and lyrics, and just how long he can keep doing what he's doing.

To read part one, go here.

You are noted for your harmonies, guitar and vocal. How does that work in a live setting?
Tom Scholz: There are, of course, in my Boston recordings, tons of three-part harmonies, but we don't just do three-part harmonies, we do three-part harmonies with doubled voices within the harmonies and there's usually some overlapping background or lead lines that have harmonies along with it. [Live] you really need six voices to do that. There are countless times during the set when all six mics are live and all six people are playing and singing and they do a great job.

You took your first lead vocal on "Love Got Away" on the last album, Life, Love & Hope, in 2013.
I did sing a lead. I actually have a two-and-a-half-octave range. Unfortunately, it starts at low D, which is off the neck of a guitar at the low end and doesn't go up that high on the other end, so it's of questionable use a lot of the time. But there are moments when I get to shine, for instance in "Higher Power" on the Greatest Hits album. That super low voice, that's yours truly. I get to do the low part and I'm the only one who can do it.

Let's talk lead singers for a moment. Tommy DeCarlo is the singer now.
Tommy is awesome. Tommy does for Boston on stage what Brad Delp did for Boston in the studio. Brad was the best male studio singer I've ever heard and Tommy is the best male stage singer I've ever heard. We just stumbled onto him and he works very hard at it. And he's a real good keyboard player--he plays difficult things.

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Boston Strong: Tom Scholz Interview (Part 1)
Sunday, April 09, 2017

By Jim Sullivan
Best Classic Bands

Tom Scholz is a boss who's hard on the boss.

Boston's Hyper Space Tour begins April 14, in Hollywood, Florida, just a little more than a month after Scholz's 70th birthday. But he didn't celebrate the momentous occasion. "I did have a birthday," Scholz says, "but I barely noticed it. We were trying to get a new special effects [system] up and running. I had a bunch of people in town and I was involved in building the key pieces to it and got a little behind on one and didn't quite get it done. So, I basically worked like a dog on my birthday and didn't get any sleep. I actually had to ask somebody whether it was Saturday or Sunday. I thought I still had one more day. I hate it when that happens."

Scholz, it sometimes seems, has always been working at a feverish pace. You probably know some of the convoluted Boston backstory: Scholz, who studied classical piano as kid in Toledo, Ohio, began writing songs in 1969 while working on a degree at MIT. He earned both a Bachelor's and Master's and went on to work at Polaroid as a senior product design engineer, all while crafting and refining songs that would become the eponymous debut Boston album.

Boston hit the airwaves in 1976 with a sound that had both a lively freshness--the soaring vocals, the harmonies, the layers, the guitar parts!--and a classic rock backbone.

But Boston the band was not part of Boston the rock scene. They arrived virtually unannounced and made one of the biggest splashes in rock history, their debut selling (to date) around 17 million copies, with "More Than a Feeling" ruling the FM and AM airwaves of 1976 and 1977. It was the best-selling debut of all time, until Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction knocked it down a notch in 1987.

Boston was not, though, as their song "Rock & Roll Band" proclaimed, "Just another band out of Boston/On the road and tryin' to make ends meet/Playin' all the bars, sleepin' in our cars/ And we practiced right on out in the street." Scholz later admitted that that song was a bit of "self-mythology."

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Piece of His Mind
Friday, March 24, 2017

The musician sounds off on fan tattoos, doing the "God voice" and the state of rock 'n' roll today.

By Jonathan Soroff
The Improper Bostonian

Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Tom Scholz, 70, founder of the rock band Boston, spent his childhood playing classical piano and tinkering with anything motorized. He came east to attend MIT, where he graduated with a bachelor's and a master's degree in mechanical engineering. He began working as an engineer at Polaroid and taught himself to play guitar, bass and organ. In a basement studio he built himself, he worked with drummer Jim Masdea and singer Brad Delp to create a demo tape that launched Boston. Released in 1976, their self-titled debut album (with hits like "More Than a Feeling") went on to sell more than 17 million copies. A Grammy nomination, a world tour and five more albums followed. Scholz is also an inventor with nearly three dozen patents to his name, and the DTS Charitable Foundation he established in 1987 to protect animals, combat world hunger and aid the homeless has donated several million dollars to those causes. He lives in a suburb of Boston with his wife, Kim.

Jonathan Soroff: Favorite Boston song of all time?

Tom Scholz: I really love "Higher Power." I get to do the God voice. And by the way, I can only sing that part in the morning. When I do it on stage, I have to fake a couple of the low notes.

Best sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll story from back in the day? Y'know, I hate to burst that bubble, but I missed that whole phase. I've sort of made it my mission to reverse that perception, with minimal success. I certainly enjoyed being on tour in the early days [laughs]. I remember flying on a 727 to the first show where I was going to be a paid musician, thinking, "Holy crap! I can have a drink on the way to work!"

Strangest place where you were going about your own business and suddenly a Boston song came on? My house. At the end of the day, I have to find a half an hour to sit down in front of the TV and vegetize so I can sleep. I was surfing through a bunch of crap on TV, and there was nothing that I even remotely wanted to see. Then I went past South Park, which I hadn't seen in two or three years, and I stopped. And I got the opening chords of a song, and I go, "Holy crap! This band is good. Wait. That's me!"

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Jury rejects Tom Scholz's trademark infringement lawsuit against former Boston bandmate
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

By Mark Shanahan
Boston Globe

Barry Goudreau, onetime guitarist for Boston, did not infringe on the band's trademark by billing himself as a former member of Boston after leaving the group. That's the verdict in a lawsuit brought against Goudreau by Tom Scholz, leader and principal songwriter of Boston in US District Court. Though it didn't rule in favor of Scholz, the jury likewise rejected Goudreau's counterclaim of breach of contract.

"Despite the jury's verdict on our trademark violation claim, today's outcome was satisfactory because it reinforces a clear message for musicians and artists across the nation," Scholz said in a statement. "Trademark law exists not just to protect the rights of those who create, but to preserve the legacy and value of their art."

Scholz's lawsuit, filed in filed in US District Court in Boston in 2013, claimed Goudreau's "persistent, unauthorized, and willful misuse" of Boston-related trademarks exaggerated his role in the band and "deprives Scholz of his ability to control fully the nature and quality of all (Boston) products and services ... and harms the valuable reputation and goodwill" of the band. Boston's self-titled debut VP, released in 1976, sold more than 17 million copies.

The suit alleged that Goudreau had agreed to refer to himself as "formerly of Boston" after leaving the group, but was called "Barry Goudreau From Boston" and "Barry Goudreau of the Multi-Platinum Group Boston" in some of the promotional materials for other bands he played with, including car dealer Ernie Boch Jr.'s outfit, Ernie & the Automatics.

Still, the jury was not persuaded that Goudreau's work with other bands would cause confusion about the status or lineup of Boston in the mind of the public.

In an e-mail, David Given, one of the attorneys for Goudreau, said he's pleased with the outcome and plans to proceed with claims against Scholz.

"Barry Goudreau achieved 100% victory on the utterly baseless claims for trademark infringement brought against him by his former bandmate and friend, Tom Scholz," Given wrote. "We expect to continue to vigorously prosecute Barry's own claim for unfair and deceptive trade practices against Scholz in the coming weeks."

 
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