By Jeb Wright
Classic Rock Revisited

Boston vocalist Tommy DeCarlo has had a few years to get his feet back down on earth since going from a regular guy working at Home Depot to singing Boston's greatest hits on the band's 2008 tour. Fairytales do happen and dreams do come true and no one knows that more than DeCarlo, who sent a chance email to Boston offering to sing at Brad Delp's tribute concert and ended up becoming the band's lead singer.

During Boston's downtime, DeCarlo produced two singles and released them on the Internet. One song he wrote for his wife and the other he wrote about Brad Delp. In fact, it was the Delp tune that began the process of Tommy's incarnation from home repair guy to rock singer. The tune is titled "A Man I'll Always Be" and Tommy wrote the song only days after Delp's tragic suicide.

Oddly enough, several years prior DeCarlo met Delp after a Boston show in Florida. Neither man knew then the connection that would one day link them together forever.

The interview that follows is an inspiring look into the past, present and future of Tommy DeCarlo.

The ace guitarist/producer/wizard of all trades on remastering his band's Greatest Hits, the misnomer of "perfect" sound, and why analog rules.

By Mike Mettler
Sound & Vision
July/August 2008

ImageWhy did you decide to remaster the Boston Greatest Hits CD (Epic/Legacy)?
For one thing, the other Greatest Hits CD [from 1997] was horrible-sounding — not as bad as Third Stage [chuckles], but it was an older CD, back from the days when Pro Tools was still a fledgling thing, and a lot of that mastering was done in 16 bits. I knew it was substandard, and I really wanted to redo it and get it right. This gave me the opportunity to put the same kind of care into it that I put into the [2006] remastering of the first two albums, Boston and Don't Look Back. We dug out the analog tapes, baked them, transferred them, and started from scratch. And I'm really ecstatic about the way it sounds now.

What did you have to do to make Hits a better release?
We fixed things like drums that weren't right, or vocals that were too screechy. In terms of sequencing, depending on what comes before and after, we had to make minor EQ changes song to song so that the perception was consistent with the rest of the recordings. It's a very difficult line to walk. The hardest judgment to make is figuring out where something is wrong because it's rough, and where something is right because it's rough. And I had to be careful not to eliminate what made something human and gave it feeling versus going for "perfection." Mathematically perfect music really sucks. [both laugh] You have to know when to leave it alone.

Did you initiate the project, or did you have to step in on something that was going to happen anyway?
No, I wanted to do it. I started working on this back in March 2006, or a little before that. I think I had sent Sony some proposals to do it, and they liked the idea. I was almost done with it right before [singer] Brad [Delp's] suicide [in March 2007], which, you know, stopped the project. And, basically, I wasn't able to pick it back up again until almost a year later.

Did your song choices change at all during that time?
I had "I Had a Good Time" for the opening song, which was the last, lead-off single released from [2002's] Corporate America . . .

by Jeb Wright
Classic Rock Revisited

BOSTON’S future never looked more bleak that it was on March 9, 2007 – the day vocalist Brad Delp took his own life. Now, a little over a year later events have come to pass that bring a renewed energy and spirit to the band. Tom Scholz has once again assembled a band that can carry out and carry on his musical vision. A genius musician, songwriter and engineer, Scholz has recruited new vocalist, Tommy DeCarlo, who was discovered under the most unlikely of circumstances and new guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet. The unknown DeCarlo, employed at Home Depot, contacted the band with a link to a website showing him singing BOSTON songs. Michael Sweet, a huge BOSTON fan, is also the front man for the band Stryper. The events that brought both men to the band seem to have been scripted by someone up above – that someone being Brad Delp.

In this interview, Scholz discusses the new line up, the death of Brad Delp, the making of the first album, the CBS court case and the albums Don’t Look Back and Third Stage in detail. Scholz is an intelligent man who tells it like it is. He has championed many charitable causes without much publicity. He prefers to make music, support his causes and live his life on his own terms as he figures he knows what is best. This interview proves he does indeed know what is best for both himself and his band. Read on to discover more about the man who created the band BOSTON.

Ted Drozdowski

Tom with guitarTom Scholz’s metamorphosis from rock and roll dreamer to living the rock and roll dream is legendary.

Toiling long and hard in his basement on funky used recording gear he’d stitched and bolted together, Scholz, primarily with the help of his friend and singer Brad Delp, crafted the Boston album during nights and weekends off from his engineering job at the Polaroid Corporation.

The lanky six-foot-six MIT grad had nearly gone broke after years of making tapes and having them rejected by record labels.

“I had enough money for one last demo and sent it off to 24 companies, then figured I’d sit back and wait for the rejection letters,” Scholz says today. “Lo and behold, three major labels were interested. I couldn’t believe it. Nobody knew who we were, so I wouldn’t even say we were struggling. It was groveling.”

Scholz signed with CBS Records, and when radio stations began playing “More Than A Feeling” and Boston was released on August 8, 1976, the album--which its breathtaking sonic architecture and hopelessly romantic lyrics--became the feel-good cure for a nation suffering the hangover of Vietnam and Watergate.

“Suddenly,” the Les Paul wielding frontman says, “we were ’70s superstars.”