Delp remembered in local documentary
Sunday, March 09, 2008
By Rebecca Correa
The Eagle Tribune

SALEM — One year to the day that Brad Delp was found dead in his Atkinson home, a neighboring community will celebrate his life with the release of a documentary about him.

"Remembering Brad Delp ... With a Little Help From His Friends" is a one-hour film that includes highlights from Delp's performances in Salem and recent interviews with his former bandmates, fiancee and friends.

Delp, the lead singer for the 1970s band Boston and later for the tribute band Beatle Juice, was 55 when he committed suicide. Police said Delp locked himself in the bathroom of his Atkinson home, lit two charcoal grills and died from carbon monoxide poisoning, leaving notes behind for his friends.

John Kelly, music teacher at Woodbury Middle School, and Salem School District's media director Robert Berthel co-produced the documentary.

Kelly has taught in the school district for 27 years. He said Delp was one of the people who continuously gave back to Salem schools.

"Brad was just so good to the Salem School District, as he was so good to all of the charitable organizations he worked in," he said.

Kelly instructed Delp's daughter in the middle school chorus in the 1990s, and he said Delp approached him one day to ask how he could help the children reach their goal of performing in Florida.

"He came over to me, asking if he could help with the trip," Kelly said. "And I said, 'You could chaperone.' He said, 'Of course, I was planning on doing that.' "

But Delp wanted to do more, Kelly said. He organized a benefit concert that helped raise the money the children needed to get to Disney World.

"The place was packed, and they would not take a nickel," Kelly said. "They raised thousands of dollars for the kids' trips that year."

Delp played about half a dozen shows at Salem High School's Seifert Auditorium — the first was in 1995 and the last just two weeks before he committed suicide on March 9. Clips from some of those performances are included in the documentary that will air tomorrow.

"Brad was just a great friend of the Salem School District even when his kids were no longer here," Kelly said. "You have to search far and wide for anyone who would say something negatively about Brad Delp. I say it in the introduction (of the documentary) and it's true, he was a gentleman and a gentle man."

The documentary will air on Salem's local cable television station tonight at 9 p.m. Residents from other towns can view highlights from the video on the YouTube Web site.

If You Watch

What: Brad Delp tribute documentary

Where: Salem Community Television, Channel 17

When: Sunday, 9 p.m.

Why: Celebrating his life on the one-year anniversary of his death

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