By Kirk Baird
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.
Boston performs Wednesday, July 5, at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
By Alan Sculley
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."
By Jeff Clark
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.
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!"
By Mark Shanahan
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."