Tracy Ferrie credits his Elkhart music teacher.
By Kayleen Reusser
Tracy Ferrie, bass guitarist and vocalist for the rock group Boston, credits his music teacher/band director Donald Litherland, now retired from Elkhart Memorial High School, for his success in a musical career.
“Mr. Litherland inspired me to play music,” Ferrie said during a recent phone interview. “Under his direction I took music seriously and became interested in performing. He taught me the steps it takes to get in the limelight. I had to work hard and understand music properly. I was not the greatest student in school, but he pushed me in the right direction and it paid off.”
Ferrie has gone far in his musical career, including attending college in Boston and living in Hollywood, Calif., and New York City. Now he will be back in Indiana, albeit temporarily, performing with the band Boston on Tuesday at Foellinger Outdoor Theatre.
Ferrie was born in Kokomo but moved to the Elkhart area with his family while in elementary school in the early 1970s. “When I first joined the school band, I chose to play the tuba, which was generally considered the most obnoxious instrument,” he said. “From there Mr. Litherland suggested I play an upright bass for the orchestral band. As the years went on, he kept suggesting I learn to play other musical instruments like the tympani and electric bass.”
By Chuck Yarborough
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Listen, kids: You might want to stay off Boston founder Tom Scholz's lawn, at least if you're a fan of digital music.
"I am not a fan of digital music recording or digital music playback systems,'' said Scholz, whose bona fides include a master's degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"I credit the explosion of digital --?? both recording and consumer systems --?? as one of the principal causes of the destruction of the music business,'' Scholz said in a call from his home in Boston.
"How can people listen to an MP3 file and enjoy it?'' said the lead guitarist who will bring his band to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica to open the summer concert season on the west bank of the Flats on Wednesday, May 18.
"I just want to take the eardrums out of my ears,'' said Scholz, who never has never been one to mince words. "It's successful because it's cheap, it's fancy and has lots of features and is portable.
"Cheap is at the top of the list,'' said Scholz. "From the beginning, there were real technical problems with digital, but [I give] credit to the people who introduced the CD and bamboozled consumers into thinking they're getting better sound.''
Scholz, who launched his band after leaving behind a potentially lucrative (and boring) career at Polaroid, puts his money where his mouth is.
"I'm nothing but analog when I'm working on music,'' he said. "The rest of the world has embraced digital mixing consoles, but I still drag this monster analog monitor system around.''
By Howard Cohen
Boston mastermind, guitarist, inventor Tom Scholz is about to blow up his studio in the city he named his classic rock group for when he remembers he has an an interview to do.
"I'm taking a break from working on a new stage effect. I was just about to blow something up before I stopped to call you," Scholz says. "It's a planned ignition so it won't blow up on stage. I'm finding out how far I can push it."
Scholz, 69, has been pushing it, believe it or not, for 40 years. His band's debut album, Boston, arrived in August 1976. The recording remains one of the best-selling debuts in history and one Boston plans to celebrate Friday with the opening of its 40th anniversary tour at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood.
Boston, with its hit singles More Than a Feeling, Peace of Mind and Long Time, became so ingrained in popular culture it wouldn't be a stretch to say if you went to junior or senior high school in late 1976, you were issued a copy of Boston along with your textbooks and hall passes. Boston's following five albums through Life, Love and Hope in 2013, sold well. But at 17 million and counting domestically, Boston has sold more than double the combined total of all the subsequent releases.
By Dr. Nancy Berk
Rock stars are notorious for shocking their fans, but Tom Scholz, the musician and mastermind behind the band Boston, wins the prize for cool surprises. That's because his back story is about as far away from a rock star as you can get. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Scholz for my podcast Whine At 9, where we discussed his unusual and fascinating journey from MIT-trained engineer to stadium rocker and force behind the legendary band.
Tom Scholz and Boston will mark the band's 40th anniversary with a North American tour (kicking off April 29) that will celebrate the music that has made the band a multigenerational favorite. Few are as surprised as Scholz when it comes to the longevity and growing fan base of the band that made "More Than A Feeling" a '70s rock anthem. In fact, Scholz wasn't expecting much when he began working on music at night after his "real" job as a product design engineer for Polaroid.
"Actually, I was expecting nothing. What I was hoping for was that, at some point, I might record a song that would get played on local radio stations," he says. "And then I could go out on local stages, and I could play in a band and play a piece of music that people knew--That was mine. And that was sort of my goal. It was very modest."
The six-plus-year process included enough negative feedback to make the best of musicians reconsider their dreams. Scholz recalls those days as being filled with "absolute, total rejection.
By Wendy Rhodes
Broward Palm Beach Times
Rock 'n' Roll is dead.
At least, that is what the mastermind behind what would become the biggest-selling debut album of all time was told in 1975.
And if Tom Scholz had listened to top music executives' assertions that disco had upended rock, we would live in a world without the band Boston -- without "More Than a Feeling," "Foreplay/Long Time," "Rock & Roll Band," "Don't Look Back," "Peace of Mind," "Smokin'" and "Amanda."
But Scholz persevered. The MIT grad painstakingly played 90 percent of the instruments on the hit album Boston, laying track upon track in his small basement studio while friend Brad Delp soulfully belted out lyrics.
Seven albums, 12 tours and 829 shows later, Boston is set to kick off its 40th Anniversary Tour at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood on April 29.
"When I started this, I didn't really expect people to remember Boston 40 days later, let alone 40 years later," Scholz says with a chuckle.
He has since engineered every song in one of three basement studios in his suburban Boston neighborhood. Despite the arduous process of composing, mixing, and producing, the joy of playing live makes it all worthwhile for Scholz.
"We have some fantastic new theatrical visuals ... new things that I'm working on which I will just describe as electrifying."